Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport

Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Named one of the “Best Books of the Year” by Guardian, Slate, Financial Times, Independent (UK), and Bloomberg News

Soccernomics pioneers a new way of looking at soccer through meticulous, empirical analysis and incisive, witty commentary. The San Francisco Chronicle describes it as “the most intelligent book ever written about soccer.” This World Cup edition features new material, including a provocative examination of how soccer clubs might actually start making profits, why that’s undesirable, and how soccer’s never had it so good.

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3 thoughts on “Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport”

  1. Sarah C Hunt says:
    22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Regression analysis is of limited use for complex data sets, October 3, 2014
    By 

    I am an American who never played any significant soccer and only watched my children play through about junior high. My interest has only developed after age 65 from watching US national teams and uefa Champions league on TV. So maybe I dont know much about soccer, but I have done a lot of statistical analysis of complex data sets over a long university career. I think the book includes lots of interesting observations about soccer. My main complaint is the authors uncritical use of regression analysis to try to find cause effect relationships. Regression is based on correlations between pairs of variables, and more correlations between variables crudely adjusted for the effects of still more variables. The results may depend critically on minor changes in the data sets analyzed which affect the order in which variables are incorporated into the analysis. And of course correlation does not establish cause and effect. I was entirely unconvinced by their long paragraphs describing results of regression analysis, and started skipping reading most of these sections. So if I evaluate only the sections free of regression results, I would raise my score to four stars.

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  2. Nigel Pretty says:
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    This is a good book. One that most any fan should consider …, October 19, 2014
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    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This is a good book. One that most any fan should consider for their reading list.

    It does have a few problems, and a number of the conclusions the authors reach have gaping logical flaws. Specifically, they spend considerable time (correctly) reminding readers that there is a difference between causation and correlation, yet they proceed to make the exact same mistake on multiple occassions, particularly as relates to salary vs. transfer investment, a core discussion point of the book. They also spend a quite exhaustive (and frankly nauseating) amount of time explicitly making the point that this book is the soccer version of “Moneyball”. The entire first chapter is basically a ham-fisted advertisement for this claim.

    But those are the complaints. There are many good reasons to read this— it is engaging in its narrative, and educational even to those already familiar with many of the concepts. And the anecdotal evidence (often a weakness in books of this genre) is actually mouthwateringly good…. many tidbits that simply aren’t part of the mainstream coverage of the sport, even for those who geek heavily on soccer blogs.

    Probably, this is “must read” if you really study the global game. But you will take umbrage with some of the conclusions. Maybe that’s normal– we all have a unique passion for the beautiful game.

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  3. Dilek Kirca says:
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Mixed feelings, March 20, 2015
    By 
    Dilek Kirca (MI) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport (Paperback)
    Good book if you are interested in the first part of the title (i.e., Why England Loses, Why Spain and Germany Win). In fact more than two thirds of the book really talks about this issue. Disappointing book, if you bought the book for the second part of the title (i.e., Why the U. S. , Japan-And Even Iraq-Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport).

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