Soccer around the World
A Cultural Guide to the World's Favorite Sport
by Charles Parrish and John Nauright
April 2014, 400pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-302-8
$98, £73, 82€, A140
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-303-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Soccer is the most viewed and most played sport by fans worldwide.

Two leading sports authorities explore the culture of soccer around the world, considering the sport as a means to better understand a society's past, present, and future.

How popular is soccer worldwide? Here’s one indicator: 3.2 billion people—nearly half of the planet’s population—tuned in to watch the 2010 World Cup on television. Soccer matches attract a gargantuan number of fans from around the globe due to the popularity of the sport itself but also because of the nationalism it inspires and the entertainment spectacle of the big games. Distinguished authors and sports authorities, Charles Parrish and John Nauright, examine how soccer impacts societies worldwide by shaping national identities, providing common ground for diplomatic issues, and forging economic and social development.

This one-volume geographic guide studies the places in which soccer has a major impact, examining each region’s teams, major tournaments, key players, and international performance. The authors organize the book geographically by region and country, with entries reviewing the history of the sport and cultural impact on the area. Each profile concludes with fascinating game-based statistics, such as winners of major tournaments and top goal scorers. The book covers 20 countries including England, Brazil, Egypt, the United States, Cameroon, and Korea.


  • Includes both men's and women's soccer
  • Features lists of winners of World Cups, regional confederations cups, and Olympic Games
  • Provides sidebars of interesting facts and photos to supplement the text
  • Offers a multi-disciplinary perspective from across geography, social studies, world cultures, and anthropology
Charles Parrish is a lecturer and research assistant in the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism at George Mason University. He holds a master's degree in sport management from Georgia Southern University. His published work includes ABC-CLIO's award-winning Sports Around the World: History, Culture, and Practice as well as research articles in a variety of peer reviewed academic journals, including Soccer & Society, Journal of Event & Convention Tourism, Human Movement Science, and International Journal of Sport Management, Recreation & Tourism. He has also contributed content to several edited books, including Advanced Theory and Practice in Sport Marketing and DC Sports: A Century in Transition. Parrish is an active supporter of D.C. United in the United States and follows Argentina's Boca Juniors.

John Nauright, PhD, is professor of sport and leisure cultures in the School of Sport and Service Management at the University of Brighton, UK. He was founding codirector of The Center for the Study of Sport and Leisure in Society and founding director of the Academy of International Sport at George Mason University. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Sports Around the World: History, Culture, and Practice , which was named a Library Journal Best Reference Work; Long Run to Freedom: Sport, Cultures and Identities in South Africa; and The Routledge Companion to Sports History. Nauright holds a doctorate in history from Queen's University. He is a longtime and passionate supporter of Aston Villa Football Club in England, having spent numerous hours in the Holte End, and follows several football clubs in the UK, Europe, and the United States.


"The authors note that space limitations caused them to make difficult choices regarding which nations, clubs, and players to include, but, overall, this is a solid reference suitable for high school, public, and academic libraries."—Booklist, August 1, 2014

"This hardcover text is well written. The authors have successfully provided an overview of the sport and profession of soccer in 400 pages. This text is timely and informative. . . . This is an effective way to capture the interest of a wide variety of readers. . . . The authors provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of soccer. . . . This well-written text will likely be appealing to a wide range of individuals, especially those who are interested in any aspect of soccer. The text will complement personal or professional libraries, including academic settings such as schools and colleges."—ARBA, November 12, 2014

"Overall, this is a good historical summary of the global significance of the game of soccer. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers."—Choice, December 1, 2014
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