This book is from one of my favorite Latin american authors, Eduardo Galeano. He is most famous for his book called The open veins of latina America, which is about the horrors of the colonization of Latin america by the Europeans. Galeano books are very diverse in style and also in content. They sometimes are journalistic, sometimes are about his memories, his wanderings, so every new book you get from him is a new interesting adventure. He is also very well know for being a left wing activist, which is the case of many famous latin american authors such as Mario Benedetti, and Garcia Marquez. I find his writings to be, apart from a few exceptions, very easy to read and to follow. He uses a language and a style, which I think is much more simple and mundane if you compare for example with Garcia Marquez. However that doesn't make them less interesting, specially if you, like me, have some sympathy towards a progressive left wing way of analyzing and thinking about the world.
One interesting aspect of Galeano is that he was also a huge fan of football. You can see this on interviews on youtube where he talks about for example his admiration for Guardiola as a manager and Messi as a player. He had a very romantic view of football which, by the way, I myself share with him. I am also a huge fan of football, which here in Latin america is actually a very common thing. So, very differently from his other books, which mainly deal with "social-political" issues, this one called "Soccer in sun and Shadow" is actually only about football and what surrounds it. There is obviously sociology and politics on it but it is only when it relates to something that happened in the history of this game. The book is actually amazing. I wouldn't say it is about the history of football but it is more like "The history of football stories". That would summarize it well. Galeano goes back to times even before football was created as we know it and starts telling interesting stories and curiosities that actually happened. Of course he then comes to the beginning of the 20th century and starts telling a lot of things about famous clubs and matches. Since he was Uruguayan, obviously most of the stories he tells are either from Uruguayan, Brazilian or Argentinean football history. He talks about each world cup also so there is a lot o stories about famous European clubs and players as well. So, in any case, if you are interested about stories that happens during the football's history, specially if you want to know more about interesting facts about south american football this is the ideal book for you. As I said, the book is very easy to read and written in a very easy language. The stories are very small, usually not bigger than two pages. I read the whole book (248 pagess) I think in less than 10 days. Anyway, it is a good book for anyone who likes football and want to see it trough the eyes of a very good writer which always had a romantic view about everything in life.