Title: In den beginne was de bal
Author: Erik Brouwer & Rop Zoutberg
# Pages: 256 (8035)
Category: Sports (football)
Some of the chapters have appeared as articles in the Dutch football magazine ‘Johan’. In between there are 26 virutas (typical South American style short story), that make it fun reading. Every single chapter and viruta tell us something about Argentine football, therefore also about Argentine culture.
The book shows what many football fans already know; in Argentina football is much more important than just a game. It is a great collection of historic backgrounds, funny anecdotes and good portraits. There is much more than Maradona, there are also Houseman, Valdano, Di Stefano, De la Mata, Ferreira, Kempes and Moreno. Famous Argentines like Juan and Evita Peron, Che Guevara, Jose Luis Borges and Jorge Videla play a role in the history of the book.
I really enjoyed reading this book, a long flight with a delay was enough for me to finish it, on arrival I had finished it. The stories about the Barras Bravos are very interesting. The tragic case of Rene Houseman is shocking, the link between Che and the game is funny (though I have since seen a movie in which he played rugby), the rivalry between Bilardo and Menotti, between River and Boca, between Argentina and Brasil, it is all in this book.
Very informative, yet also a fun read.