'Ultimately this superb book is about far more than football - it's about Spain, about Catalan culture, about the psychology of management, about developing youngsters, and crucially about the three remarkable men who have shaped the modern game - Cruyff, Messi and Guardiola.'
'This is a masterfully written history of the world's greatest football club. Més que un book!'
'Simon Kuper's Barça has it all: riveting storytelling, superb analysis, non-partisan investigation and, perhaps best of all, it's shot through with Simon's wonderfully dry humour. Simply unmissable.'
The chapters devoted to Cruyff, who played for the club and then transformed it as a manager, are essential reading for anyone interested in innovation or high performance. The book is both a debunking and a restoration.
One of the best sports books I have read. About so much more: politics, Spain, elites in business... brilliant on Cruyff and Ajax, Messi... quite outstanding.
Simon expertly charts the path from Cruyff to present-day Barça, showing how Messi, in his own way, represents an update on the Cruyffian style. His approach to a wealth of information about the club, along with his knowledge and passion for football, make for a really great book.
What is the point of football, Simon Kuper asks? It makes our lives a little happier than they would be without it. And the point of this book? It makes our lives even happier. Kuper has written a great story, a history and an autobiography, a work of philosophy and gossip. It is the best book about sport, any sport, that I have read in a long time. An outright joy. An instant classic.
Simon's writing has been an indispensable part of football's landscape for the better part of the last three decades. His access to Barça has enabled him to tell a story that no one else can about the biggest club in the world, and its biggest star. This book both chronicles and analyses an era in football history that we're lucky to have witnessed, and that may never be matched.'
'Rich value here: five books for the price of one. Much more than a mightily well-researched chronicle of the rise and decline of FC Barcelona, Simon Kuper's Barça offers a masterclass on football, a brilliantly perceptive, anecdote-rich anatomy of the game's greatest team, greatest player, greatest coach and most influential figure.'
'The best football book of 2021.'