The 11 Best Football Books You Need to Read Right Now

Can't get enough of the beautiful game but sick of tedious, ghost-written footballer autobiographies?

Well, from lesser-discussed corners of world football to profiles of some of the globe's top stars, here are 11 of the very best football books available on Amazon now.

Thirty-One Nil: On the Road With Football's Outsiders (James Montague)

Described as 'the Indiana Jones of football writing' in a cover quote, Montague's book on the road to qualification for the 2014 World Cup is a travelogue epic​, taking in parts of the globe rarely associated with international football - from Afghanistan to Curacao, Haiti and American Samoa (whose record-breaking defeat provides the book's title).

Emotionally-charged, vivid and humorous, few books (if any) capture what the dreams of football - and the World Cup - mean culturally, politically and on a personal level in this detail and scope. 

Available from ​​Amazon for £8.27​

El Diego: The Autobiography of the World's Greatest Footballer (Diego Maradona)

Calling yourself the world's greatest footballer in your own title tells you more or less everything you need to know about the tone of Maradona's 2005 book.

The ultimate antidote to the bland inanity of every recent 'My Story' memoir, football's arch-anti hero is typically unapologetic and candid in telling the tale of his rise from the streets of Buenos Aires to the top of world football with Napoli and Argentina.

The book also features a glossary of expressions to help the reader understand Maradona-speak.

Available from ​Amazon for​ £10.46 

Forgotten Nations: The Incredible Stories of Football in the Shadows (Chris Deeley)

Like Thirty-One Nil, Forgotten Nations follows the trials and travails of international football's underdogs but goes one step removed by examining nations that don't actually exist.

Ahead of the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup, the book details the stories of 'stateless' football teams unable to break into FIFA for whatever reason, who have banded together to create their own football associations and tournament.

From Tibet to Barawa and (ahem) Yorkshire, Deeley uses his quirky yet accessible style to bring to life not just an unusual football tournament and its teams but also the stories of marginalised peoples, cultural identity and more. 

Available from ​​Amazon for £9.99 

Klopp: Bring the Noise (Raphael Honigstein)

An in-depth account of perhaps the world's top football manager right now, Klopp: Bring the Noise is an excellently researched origin story and portrait of Liverpool's Champions League and soon-to-be Premier League-winning manager.

From his days as defender-cum-striker of average success in Germany's second tier, to promotion with Mainz, titles at Dortmund and of course Liverpool, Honigstein's account is an engaging and insightful tour through the life and times of Klopp, what makes him tick and the stories behind his successes.

The updated edition also provides extra anecdotes on the Reds' journey to European glory in 2019.

Available from ​Amazon fo​r £9.39 

Living on the Volcano: The Secrets of Surviving as a Football Manager (Michael Calvin)

Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2015, Calvin's Living on the Volcano is possibly the best study in the harsh realities of life as a football manager you are likely to find in any book.

Inside the manager's office with the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez and Martin Ling - and a host of others at all levels of the football pyramid - Calvin provides access and insight into a much-talked-about but little-understood profession and its unique pressure.

Both gripping and empathetic, the book goes behind the cliches, myths and public fronts to provide portraits of real people experiencing the highs, lows and ruthlessness of life in the dugout.

Available from ​​Amazon for £8.99​

Fear and Loathing in La Liga: Barcelona vs Real Madrid (Sid Lowe)

The book football's biggest club fixture deserves, Lowe's account of the history of Spanish football's two greatest clubs and their rivalry is as much about Spain, its politics, divisions and modern-day culture as it is about football.

Wonderfully insightful and researched, detached but with the pacing of a thriller, Fear and Loathing in La Liga tells you everything you ever needed to know about why El Clásico is the way it is.

Available from ​​Amazon for £12.99​

Feet of the Chameleon (Ian Hawkey)

Winner of the Best Football Book at the British Sports Book Awards 2010, Hawkey provides an extensive account of Africa's relationship - both good and bad - with the beautiful game.

From the rise of top European-based stars like Samuel Eto'o and Didier Drogba to struggles with racism and corruption and why African countries still prefer white managers, Hawkey's book is epic in its scope but always engaging and authoritative on the subject matter.

The story of how successful football manager Jeff Butler effectively conned his way into several top jobs around the continent is just one of many colourful anecdotes that remain with you after reading.

Available from ​Amazon fo​r £7.35 

The Billionaires Club (James Montague)

The Billionaires Club not only looks at how football teams went from locally run small businesses to the playthings of the super-rich, but also why oligarchs, global leaders and shady operatives are getting involved.

A smart and timely investigation into how money is using the beautiful game for PR and soft-power, Montague is able to discuss relatively complex financial issues without it ever being dry, while the chapters on Stan Kroenke and City's Abu Dhabi owners will likely make Premier League fans quite uncomfortable.

Like his other book on this list, Montague's The Billionaires Club is both a travel and a football book, taking in all parts of the globe, examining both the owners at the top and the fans feeling the impact of their rule at the bottom.

Available from ​Amazon f​or £9.99 

Welcome to Hell?: In Search of the Real Turkish Football (John McManus)

While the most obvious images British fans have of Turkish football are fan violence in Europe and Graeme Souness planting a Galatasaray flag in the Fenerbahce centre circle, McManus provides a refreshing look at realities of the country's relationship with the game.

From its idiosyncratic (and passionate) fan culture to tribalism and politics, Turkish football is portrayed in a full and evocative way, with a rich cast of characters.

Perhaps the biggest compliment you can give the book is that it actually leaves you wanting to go watch a game in the Super Lig.

Available from ​​Amazon for £7.37​

Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-04 Season (Amy Lawrence)

Following Liverpool's recent defeats, Arsenal's 2004 achievement of going an entire Premier League season undefeated has been further put into focus. 

Guardian journalist Lawrence's in-depth and exclusive interview-riddled account takes you behind the scenes, into the dressing rooms and onto the pitch with Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and the rest of one of English football's best-ever teams.

This acclaimed account has become essential reading for Arsenal fans.

Available from Amaz​on for £8.19

Forever Young: The Story of Adrian Doherty, Football's Lost Genius (Oliver Kay)

Chances are you’ve never heard of ex-Manchester United youngster Adrian Doherty, but his is a football and a human story that needed to be told and is done so in compelling detail by Kay through interviews with those who knew the star that never was, in and out of the game, at the various stages of his all too short life.

A forgotten star of the famous Class of 92, Doherty was far from a typical footballer and while his contemporaries marvelled at his natural ability, he was not driven by success, but rather by enjoyment. When football couldn’t provide that for him, he was just as happy reading books, playing music and writing poetry. 

Available from ​​​Amazon for £8.47​​

Source : 90min