1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.49

Buy for $31.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The definitive book about soccer, from the author of The Games: A Global History of the Olympics.

There may be no cultural practice more global than soccer. Rites of birth and marriage are infinitely diverse, but the rules of soccer are universal. No world religion can match its geographical scope. The single greatest simultaneous human collective experience is the World Cup final.

In this extraordinary tour de force, David Goldblatt tells the full story of soccer's rise from chaotic folk ritual to the world's most popular sport - now poised to fully establish itself in the USA. Already celebrated internationally, The Ball Is Round illuminates soccer's role in the political and social histories of modern societies, but never loses sight of the beauty, joy, and excitement of the game itself.

©2006 David Goldblatt (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about The Ball Is Round

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Bullet points

I had high hopes for this book going in as I love the game and wanted to get a feel for the origins. However, there was never a cohesive flow to it. I felt like the author created an outline with a few items of interest under them and left it at that. The performer read the bullet points. I found myself disengaged in the content more so than not. I made it through 4 hours and couldn't take it any more. I may try to continue, but I doubt it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Book, Lots Of Mispronounced Names

This audio book is well worth the price, if you can stand the mispronounced names. You’d think that these mistakes would have been caught and corrected, or that the reader was familiar with world football pronunciations. Hearing Juventus of Turin’s nickname pronounced “Joov” instead of “You vay” was particularly grating.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

long detailed history of football i

I like that its long also. took time to listen to. although I knew a lot about football I still learnt a lot

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Dry and Boring

To be fair I didn't finish the book. I made it about 10 hours in before I returned it, I feel the need to write a review though so other people don't make the mistake of buying this book like I did. It's a book about soccer sort of, but it's written, it seems, by someone that doesn't care about the game at all. Indeed the approach to the subject is at best academic and at worst grandiose and lofty to degree that it gets lost in its own smugness. To me the author comes across with absolute confidence that every statement made is unfailingly true. Even when its a sweeping generalization or inference from the limited information available. It comes across as if unraveling the complex and historical context of soccer and how its effected everything in the world is simply a matter of speaking enough words. There's no love or interest for the game in these pages. Just endless big words, with unnecessary and matter of fact statements. The author clearly did a ton of research and there is massive amounts of information, but its not organized in an interesting or thoughtful way. It's kind of like listening to an incredibly knowledgeable child try to tell you everything they know about a subject as fast as possible, and when I say everything I mean everything they can think of in an almost unplanned stream of thought sort of way. There are many other better books available on the subject. I would recommend anyone interested in the history of soccer read "Inverting the Pyramid" over this.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Christopher Curtis
  • Christopher Curtis
  • 05-12-21

Great book read by someone who doesn't like footy

I don't mean to sound pretentious, but the users pronunciation of many of the continental players/teams/terms regarding football really detracted from the experience. "Joov". it kept happening and it just started to annoy me and I would lose focus on the book, and would have to go back. otherwise, this is just a tremendous social and historical review of football. it's essential reading.

3 people found this helpful