We all love watching 90 minutes of football action, especially if it’s a tense match or an encounter between two great rivals. But, it’s also just as much fun to read about a footballer’s life through their own eyes – their highs and their lows. With Mesut Ozil’s autobiography, The Magic Of The Game (where he has described a heated altercation with Jose Mourinho) coming soon, I take a look at five football autobiographies you should read while you wait for Ozil’s book to be released.
Gary Neville – Red
One of the best English defenders ever, Gary Neville’s red is about his growth as a Manchester United and England defender. It shares his bonding with Manchester United giants like Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes, and also describes the mood in the team when they played simply unbeatable football.
Zlatan Ibrahamovic – I Am Zlatan
Zlatan Ibrahamovic is one of football’s most magnetic personalities, and his autobiography isn’t short of magnetism either. His rags to riches story has an unputdownable feel to it. The book is loaded with politically incorrect observations, and Zlatan’s honesty is what makes him endearing. Though you can safely say that humility isn’t his forte.
Frank Lampard – Totally Frank
Few players are as adored by Chelsea fans as Frank Lampard, and in his autobiography the midfielder shares his growth as a young boy playing in the West Ham academy to winning titles with Chelsea. He’s also got great things to say about people like Jose Mourinho and John Terry. On the bitter side, he reveals that the amount of booing he receives from West Ham fans every time he plays at Upton Park feels extremely unfair to him.
Andrea Pirlo – I Think Therefore I Play
I Think Therefore I Play is written with a lot of creativity, and Pirlo’s experience as a footballer is worth several reads. One of my favourite bits from the autobiography is when Pirlo speaks about the infamous miracle in Istanbul, where Pirlo’s team AC Milan lost the Champions League final despite being 3-0 up at half time. “To most people’s minds, the reason we lost was Jerzy Dudek — that jackass of a dancer who took the mickey out of us by swaying about on his line and then rubbed salt into the wound by saving our spot kicks. But in time the truly painful was realising that we were entirely to blame,” he wrote in his book.
Sir Alex Ferguson – My Autobiography
Without doubt, the most influential and celebrated manager in the history of football, Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography is a must-read for all football fans even if you hate Manchester United. It will give you insight into Sir Alex’s life before Manchester United, his troubles during the wretched period when United were not succeeding and how he managed to “knock Liverpool off their f**king perch.”