Football History the ball at the foot

 Clear, cultivated, and superbly illustrated, Alfred Wahl's book offers a scholarly overview of the history of football. Inherited from the ball games of the Middle Ages, but above all stemming from the modernity of the mid-nineteenth century, this sport, according to the pages, comes alive before our eyes. Summoning the history of societies, institutions, techniques, and regulations, or tracing the geopolitical map of its gradual establishment, the author draws the many facets of this "king of sport". Engravings, paintings, posters, press reviews, testimonies, and documents refine the design and immerse the reader in this universe of passion.

Did you know that it was Brazilian workers who had the idea in 1923 to paint the balloon white to see it better at night on the grounds of their factory? Did you know that it was in 1966 that an English referee came up with the idea of yellow and red cards while walking past a traffic light? Did you know that in 1997, during the Tournoi de France, Brazilian Roberto Carlos fired his historic free kick at 137.5 km / h? The one Fabien Barthez and the football world watched with amazement move away from the goal and then enter it without a rational explanation ... In the 100 Football Legend Stories, you will savor the greatest stories that made the legend of the most popular sport in the world. You will also discover behind the scenes, the big and small secrets and then, of course, the fate of the biggest stars.

2Modern football was born in English public schools attended by young people of the social elite. As early as 1863, in London, the Football Association tried to harmonize the various rules of the game, thus distinguishing football from rugby. The phenomenon spread and quickly spread throughout the British Isles. In enthusiasm, the youth tread the lawns "with the ball to the toe". At the same time, this practice, with simple rules, is democratizing and popularizing. Thanks to the presence of many British nationals in the four corners of the world, she sets out to conquer the planet. Quickly, associations and federations institutionalize football on all continents. National and international meetings, the World Cup (from 1904) give this global kickoff. From 1920, universalization took the offensive. In the process, the practice evolves. A little rough at the beginning, because played “with big kicks”, this game gives way to a “sport” 

3Selecting each event, Alfred Wahl constructs, according to the archives, his themes for reflection: the difficult birth of professionalism and the rejections of brown amateurism, chauvinism, nationalism, the growing share of associative movements (Catholics or workers) the weight of more and more economics are called upon in the field of this reflection. Because football cannot be immune to the challenges of the societies in which it is played. On the contrary, it reflects it. An example? In the hands of financial magnates since the second half of the twentieth century, the sport has seen television broadcasting rights gradually disappear, the sums drained by advertising revenues and player salaries. Boosted by this media era, the sports hero occupies the ground of our daily lives. Pelé, Platini, Maradona, Figo, or even Zidane embody these beings adored by the whole world.

4Of course, we would sometimes like to find more in-depth analyzes, but the author submits to the law of the genre: making football “discover” its game and its challenges. In this sense, the work of Alfred Wahl, a professional historian and passionate football fan is a leading document. Precise and documented - we appreciate the bibliography, tables, chronologies, rankings, websites, tables of illustrations, or even the index - this revised and augmented reissue can be a valuable tool for research in the human sciences. . Legitimizing an object long neglected, it puts the researcher on the paths of approaches and singular problems on the way of perceiving and constructing the world. Well anchored in history, this book reads like an invitation to enter into a relationship with the world of football. A success, certainly.