Chicken Soup’s “Beautiful Game” Commemorates FIFA World Cup

Written by Ian Thomson

The Chicken Soup for the Soul series of inspirational books features a new title to commemorate this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

“The Beautiful Game: Inside World Soccer’s Greatest Cup Competition” features 20 stories by current and former players as well as broadcasters and writers. Each chapter recounts famous games or moments from the tournament’s past and what the World Cup means to people from different countries.

Former United States national team players Carlos Bocanegra, Eddie Lewis and Christopher Sullivan recount their experiences of the World Cup, while New York Cosmos legend Shep Messing provides his thoughts on the competition.

Ghana’s John Pantsil recounts the pain of missing out on a semi-final place in 2010 due to Luis Suarez’s deliberate handball. Former Cameroon midfielder Emile M’Bouh recalls the Indomitable Lions toppling defending champion Argentina in the opening game of Italia ’90.

Other stories include memories of England’s 1966 triumph by former Three Lions defender George Cohen, and ex-Major League Soccer defender Andrew Boyens reflecting on how New Zealand stayed undefeated during the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

Scotland’s uncanny ability to set up last-game heroics in the opening group stage before flaming out in embarrassment is covered in a contribution by The Soccer Observer.

“The Beautiful Game” is available in paperback for $20, which includes access to the online digital book, Soccer Stories app and the Club House section of featuring additional tales, articles on health, nutrition and coaching, and competitions.