John Doyle

The World is a Ball
  • The World is a Ball

  • In The World is a Ball, critic and author John Doyle travels the world in pursuit of his first love - football. In dispatches from Italy to Ireland and from Buenos Aires to Bratislava, and between encounters with crazed taxi drivers and drunken fans dressed as leprechauns or in lederhosen, Doyle celebrates the evolution of soccer as a global phenomenon.

    He begins his journey with the first game he saw in repressed 1960s Ireland - a match which left a lasting impression on him - and then skips through the decades to concentrate on football in the twenty-first century. Here he focuses on the World Cups of 2002 and 2006, the European Championships of 2004 and 2008, and the key games and teams involved in qualifying for the historic 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

    With eyewitness accounts that are both hilarious and nostalgic, The World is a Ball brilliantly weaves together travelogue, match-reporting and compelling social history. It's an insightful and thought-provoking vision of the beautiful game which for some is more a religion than a sport: where colonized nations can triumph over their colonizers, the poor are rich in the pleasure of play, and for ninety minutes, anything seems possible.

John Doyle has been a critic for Toronto's The Globe and Mail since 1997 and has written its daily television column since 2000. His first book, the memoir A Great Feast of Light: Growing up Irish in the Television Age, was published to great acclaim in the US, the UK, and Canada. He has also written for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Guardian online, The Irish Times and The Toronto Star.

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