Eduardo Galeano – Soccer in Sun and Shadow


“And Eduardo Galeano‘s book seems to reverberate that sentiment, though in much spectacular detail. ‘Soccer in Sun and Shadow‘ is easily the most beautiful book written on the Beautiful Game in every respect. Beauty lies in simplicity & the joy of reading this book comes from its its elegant yet effortless writing. In fact, Galeano abhors the language of the so-called soccer doctors or the football analysts & commentators while mocking them for complicating the game more than necessary through the use of fancy words & terminologies which the common man doesn’t understand. He presents a utopian vision of the game – how the game ought to be played in today’s world, where winning has become so vital that adventure is sacrificed for the sake of efficiency. The chapters are very short indeed, some of them barely a page or so. Through these chapters, the book explores every aspect of the sport, be it the origins of the sport, the players, the clubs, the managers, the rules, the referee (most maligned individual), fans or the fanatics. One gem of a saying about fanatics goes as follows – ‘For the fanatic, pleasure comes not from your own club’s victory, but from the other’s defeat.’ Incredibly true. Galeano takes delight in amazing the reader with a slew of extraordinary anecdotes, some of them bordering on the unbelievable. We have the Italian forward Meazza dropping his pants on his way to taking a penalty, for it seemed the only way to beat the stolid goalkeeper – by making him break down in laughter. Coming back to the fanatic for a moment, Galeano recounts how a Boca Juniors fan on his deathbed pronounced his last wish – he wanted to be wrapped in a flag of rival club River Plate so that when he died, he could feel that as if ‘it was the death of one of theirs’. … Galeano recounts his admiration for some of the greatest footballers & the goals they scored through distinct chapters dedicated to them – Di Stefano, Puskas, Garrincha, Didi, Beckenbauer, Pele, Yashin, Eusebio, Cruyff, Muller, Zico, Romario, Baggio & last but not the least, Maradona – showering a lavish amount of praise on each of these legends. And these are only a select few, for Galeano writes about them comprehensively & gives us a thorough account of the history of the game. He also writes about the World Cup tournaments held till date in the backdrop of major international events of respective years, which includes a running gag about Fidel Castro & the Americans as well. …”
Between the Lines
Just in Time for the World Cup, an Excerpt From Eduardo Galeano’s “Soccer in Sun and Shadow”
amazpn

W – Eusébio

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