Aside from mine, of course, here are some soccer books and films you might want to read and see.
The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer, by David Goldblatt. This is a comprehensive history of the game, which is to say it’s massive, thick, tough to get through, incomparable, and indispensable.
Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby. Hollywood made a stupid movie with this title about the Boston Red Sox, but the real story was about Arsenal. It’s about one man’s relationship with football and his beloved club.
The History of English Football Clubs, by Colin Mitchell. At 400 pages, you’ll not find a better source for the history of 133 clubs. Published in 2013.
Dictionary of Football Club Nicknames in Britain and Ireland, by Shaun Tyas. You might not think this topic rates 350 pages, but the author proves you wrong – and also introduces you to names like the Cider Army and the Wurzels.
Football Cliches, by Adam Hurrey. Let’s put it this way: the opening chapter is called “101 Ways to Score a Goal (or not)” and explains very important distinctions like an impudent chip versus an exocet.
How Soccer Explains the World, by Franklin Foer. Each chapter takes you to a different place and explains how soccer touches on a current theme: Brazil for corruption, Italy for the “new oligarchs,” America for the culture wars.
Savage Enthusiasm, by Paul Brown. A history of football fans – how they have evolved and why they (we) care so much.
Bloody Confused!: A Clueless American Sportswriter Seeks Solace in English Soccer, by Chuck Culpepper. A veteran sports writer has lost all passion for the subject, turned it into a job to be analyzed. And then he encounters Portsmouth FC. Hilarity ensues.
Who Are Ya?: The TalkSport Book of Football’s Best Ever Chants, by Gershon Portnoi. It’s really hard to write about songs (trust me), but this book is at least a humorous and entertaining entry into the world of soccer singing.
The Football Pink delves into the game’s history and culture. Free online subscription.
The English Game, just released on Netflix, is a six-part miniseries on the rise of the professional footballer in the 1880s, woven together with class relations, the workers’ rights movement, some love affairs, life drama, etc. From the creator of Downtown Abbey.
The Damned United is not a 100% historically accurate portrayal of Brian Clough’s time at Leeds United, but it’s a fun movie. The guy who plays Clough is outstanding.
Sunderland Til I Die, another Netflix series that goes behind the scenes at the north east club.
All Or Nothing is a behind-the-scenes from Amazon Prime about a very different team and season at Manchester City.
The Bromley Boys is a sweet coming-of-age story focused on a South London lower-tier team and its supporters.