Reading list for the 2022 World Cup

The World Cup is upon us, and whether this is your first year or 40th of watching the world’s biggest tournament, everyone has their own unique story. Certainly this in the winter and in Qatar is historic, but also complicated and controversial.

To help the casual soccer fan navigate the Qatar World Cup, I’ve compiled a reading list of current and past books. This selection is not just a list of the best recently published books on the 2022 World Cup, although there are plenty of those. Rather, think of it as the book’s version of a carefully curated wine and cheese pairing, with each book having a flavor designed to elicit a reaction or understanding based on its pairing.

World Cup 2022 Reading List

The history of the World Cup is important to know for 2022

This new book published in time for Qatar 2022 examines the role of the coach in the World Cup. What makes a successful World Cup coach? Of course, the answer is “it depends”, but Evans does a good job of explaining how managers can succeed in the strange setup that is international soccer.

Soccer trips: a man. A diary. A beautiful game by Drew Farmer.

The author writes a travel diary about his visits to different cities and his reflection on how modern society impacts football today. It’s definitely worth reading his descriptions of getting around Qatar, prior to construction.

The World Cup and FIFA are corrupt, this is not at all shocking. What can be shocking is how corrupt it is. Wernicke’s new book details the story of government interference in the world’s biggest event from the very beginning with an impressive and terrifying level of investigation.

Soccernomics (2022 edition) by Simon Kuper and Stefan Syzmanski.

This book is like The Emerging Majority for football fans: read it superficially and it’s easy to criticize the authors’ conclusions. Read it and consider it and you’ll understand more deeply why the World Cup (and modern football) is what it is today.

Learn about Qatar-specific controversies The Ugly Game: The Corruption at FIFA and the Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup by Heidi Blake and Jonathan Culvert.

Written seven years ago, this book remains one of the best deep dives into Qatar’s 2022 bid. The book is based on articles from The Sunday Times that shed light on corruption in the bid process and is expanded upon in the form of book.

The Away Game: The Epic Search for Soccer’s Next Superstars by Sebastian Abbot.

One of the most important soccer books written in the last decade, Abbot’s book focuses primarily on the impact of mining African soccer clubs for talent to exploit in Europe. Qatar’s role, however, is essential to see how the kingdom tries to boost its team ahead of 2022.

This collection of essays is a bit more academic than most of these books, but it’s a good book if you want to delve into the culture and history of soccer in the Middle East.

US Fan Specific Read

I just wrote a review of this new book and it is essential reading for soccer fans in the USA to see how far we have come as a soccer nation in 30 years.

You may question the wisdom of publishing an autobiography at age 20, but if you want to understand America’s biggest name, this is your book. An added bonus are the beautiful photos and some controversial statements about Thomas Tuchel.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Action Plus

World Cup 2022 Guide

Here are some resources to help you make the most of the biggest event in soccer!

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