Almost every time someone asks online for football literature, Football in Sun and Shadow is repeatedly mentioned. I finally read it an now I can see why it is universally loved. Unlike most recent football books that are heavy on tactics, Football in Sun and Shadow is a love reflection on the joys of the global game. It is unusually structured; the chapters are actually vignettes, some are a few pages long and others are barely a page long. Soon after a fun history on the origin of football and its evolution, each vignette, starting with the 1930 World Cup and contextualized within the current affairs of that year. The uniqueness of this plotting is that before Eduardo Geleamo reminisces about what happens in each World Cup, he reminds you of what was happening around the world in that year and his social and political commentary gives hints of his political persuasion. Soon after, he gets lost in the joys that the beautiful game bestowed on him and the world in that year. The chronological order of the World Cups is the only orderly aspect of this gorgeous book. The rest of it flows like an old lover reminiscing about the origin and life of the object of his affection. The Sun refers to the joys that football has brought the world and Shadow refers to dark side of the game, particularly how capitalism (through TV stations) has stolen the soul of the game. One can accuse Eduardo Geleamo of using broad strokes to describe complex matters but what matters most is that his strokes are colourful, resonate with any genuine lover of the game and that it is movingly poetic. Football in Sun and Shadow is an excellent and easy read that fills one with nostalgia for the past of the beautiful game and a longing for a future where the joys of the game takes centre stage again.


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