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Publisher's Summary

A mazy dribble through the recent history of European soccer, showing how shifting styles and influence have shaped the game.

In the early 1990s, the Dutch footballing philosophy was worshiped across the continent. Then the baton passed to the Italians, who clearly boasted Europe's strongest league. But when France started winning everything at international level its national academy became the template for others, until suddenly, almost out of nowhere, Europe's most revered player and manager both hailed from Portugal. Next, Barcelona and Spain won everything during a very obvious four-year period of dominance, before tiki-taka's decline meant Bayern and Germany took control. Finally, Europe's most successful coaches found themselves competing in England, introducing a brilliant cacophony of styles to the Premier League.

Zonal Marking is a glorious travelogue through soccer's triumphant styles and characters.

©2019 Michael Cox (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Featured Article: The Best Soccer Audiobooks for Avid and Prospective Fans


Soccer definitely has game. It’s played by more than 200 million people around the world, and it's the world's most-viewed sporting event. If you're in America, Canada, Ireland, or Australia, you probably call it soccer, and if you live in most other parts of the world, you call it football. Whether you're a casual player, a serious fan, or just interested in learning more about the game and its staying power, these audiobooks capture what makes soccer such a sensation.

What listeners say about Zonal Marking

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Historical perspective not tactical

I had hoped this would give insights on tactical aspects using big games to provide that perspective. Instead it is a look back and big games.

1 person found this helpful

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good book but leaves you wonder!

It was a very good book with great examples but leaves you wondering! where was Sir Alex Ferguson in all these? you wanna tell me arguably the most successful manager in the history of this game had no influence on the game?
I wish there was an explanation for that reasoning!

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For soccer nerds.

It was a fantastic football tactic history, with stories and passages well woven together. Some of it did become repetitive as the periods somewhat overlapped but again the author did a nice job of bringing thi gs full circle.

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A football fans dream!

This book is brilliant. I am a 30 year old that has played and followed the game since I could walk. It took me down memory lane while breaking down tactical analysis and providing an in depth peek into playing styles from across the globe. So many fun facts and tidbits of knowledge hidden in this book.

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Great and Accessible Depth

I am new to the world of soccer (or football) and I am trying to soak up as much as I can. There is a deep wealth of knowledge here and in less skillfull hands I would have sunk quickly to the bottom as I waded in. But Michael Cox has done wonders with the organization of this book and the layering of concepts and ideas throughout. I cannot reccomend this book highly enough.

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A delightful look across borders at the evolving Ecosystem that is European football.

It’s easy to get absorbed into “your league” or “your team” as a modern football fan. But taking a step back and having this opportunity to browse the evolving philosophies of Europe, understand their overlaps, and admire their synthesis is just fun.

This book is well written, well paced, and a delight for any football fan.

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Very well written and engaging!

I loved the book as it greatly explained the different styles in European football. There were lots of great side stories and analogies that really brought out the ideas presented in the book.

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brilliant knowledge on football history

I learned so much about the best teams in history. very detailed history about tactics and coaches. Especially the bring-ups of the best footballers in history.

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really really good.

great interesting succinct. brings modern football tactic up to date with interesting reference to the past