Stats book is a match for the World Cup

PETER WILSON pores through what could prove to be a vital book for those covering the 2010 World Cup

There will be plenty of books leading up to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa and, like this one, I’m sure many of them will have SJA committee member and Bulletin editor Keir Radnedge’s name on them in some capacity.

The prolific former editor of World Soccer has got in early with this Fifa-licensed book, which not only covers a tournament that will dominate our lives for a month next summer, but football competitions from the Copa America to beach football, the Africa Cup of Nations to the women’s game.

Because the book was published at about the same time as the 2010 World Cup play-offs, do not expect this to be a comprehensive guide to all the teams that have qualified for the finals – Slovakia, for instance, are barely mentioned at all.

Even so, this is a throughly enjoyable book, one you can pick up at any time, read a couple of pages and go back to later. It is largely about the stories behind the stats. Not only who won each tournament, but how those competitions were won and lost. It is a book of records, but produced in a colourful (literally) way.

You can be sure this will be a go-to book for football writers for background information for many years to come, as long as it is updated. That is the problem with books of stats: for every Sky Sports (formerly Rothmans) Football Yearbook that is published annually, you get others, such as Mike Collett’s excellent The Complete Record of the FA Cup, that cannot get the financing and isn’t.

If getting a World Football Records 2011 means you going out buying World Football Records 2010, then do so. You will not be disappointed.

World Football Records 2010 by Keir Radnedge (Carlton, £18.99)

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