La Roja – Reviews

“Burns shows that there is far more to tell about Spanish football than today’s success on the field.”
The Economist

“[A] splendid book….La Roja is indeed much more than a journey through Spanish football. It is a story of pain, humiliation and ferocious regional rivalry.”
Belfast Telegraph (UK)

“Burns relates nearly 150 years of Spanish soccer history, capturing its roots, the regionalism, the racism, the politics, the bullfighting connections and even a cultural reminiscence of Don Quixote. He portrays personalities, rivalries, strong emotions—including his own—and moments of shining success for a much-beset nation….La Roja is a window into Spain and its component cultures, regions and histories as well as a celebration of soccer and its most recent champions.”
Shelf Awareness

“Jimmy Burns is amongst one of the best writers out there and in his latest book, La Roja, he leaves no doubt as well as no stone unturned….La Roja is not just a tremendous book to read.  Jimmy Burns’ latest book is an educational tool for fans of Spanish football and fans of the game in general.  The information as well as the passion reflect how they live and breathe the Beautiful Game in that country.”
Simply Futbol (blog)

“[An] absorbing book… this book is a must read. It will make you appreciate the game even more than you do…. I imagine one of the ambitious tasks Burns set for himself when he started writing this book was to capture the soul of a nation, as seen through the prism of soccer. He has done that in an authoritative and entertaining way in this marvelous book. And for that we owe Burns a loud and enthusiastic ‘Olé!’”
Carlos Briceno, Barcelona Soccer Institute (blog)

“Combining keen observations, informative research, and groundbreaking interviews with everyone from del Bosque to Kubala, Burns brings the dynamic history of Spanish soccer to life. La Roja is the inspiring journey of the circumstances and individuals who have shaped, nurtured, and created the superpower that the rest of the soccer world envies today.”
The Soccer Room (blog)

“La Roja shows in colorful detail how the traditions and loyalties of one country ended up by giving us the finest clubs and national team of the present moment.”
Wall Street Journal

“Those who like to sneer that the world’s most popular sport is a grossly exaggerated and often meaningless metaphor for the battle of real life should get hold of this splendid book.”
The Independent

“[A] vivid survey of Spanish football”
Financial Times

“There is so much people don’t know about Spain and Spanish football, and that is not a bad thing for as long as a complete writer like Jimmy Burns has a look at it and bring his unique vision of it. La Roja fills a hole in the knowledge of both Spain and Spanish football, as it goes beyond the football to explain a country, a society and its transformation through, thanks and despite the beautiful game.”
Guillem Balague, Sky TV correspondent

“Spain is a place where football, politics, history and regional identity are impossible to separate. La Roja is a fascinating and path-breaking study of the role this game has player in Spanish society right from its origins until the present day. Much of this history took place in the shadow of fascism, and Franco is an ever-present figure for a large part of this book. But Burns also studies the role football played in the transition to democracy, and the rise of one of the greatest teams the world has ever seen: Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, as well as Spain’s recent triumphs in international football. A must read for all fans of sophisticated football writing.”
John Foot, author, Winning At All Costs: A Scandalous History of Italian Soccer

“Steeped in Spanish soccer and Spanish history all his life, Burns is the perfect person to write this book.”
Simon Kuper 

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