From the grass roots of Africa and India, to the corruption of FIFA, the rise of China to the cauldron of Russia 2018, football is the common denominator that reaches across all social, political and economic spheres. To understand the 21st Century, its essence but also its future, we need to understand what football and its place in our social, economic and political lives.
From watching kids play in the heart of Africa to surveying the catastrophe of the Maracanã, stripped of every copper wire as well as its legacy, The Age of Football cuts across the inequities of economic globalisation, the tumultuous impact of the rise of the global south, the dismal state of global governance and the rise of new social movements are truly transnational phenomena which have consequences for every human on the planet, this is the first full story of the present and future of the best game in the world.
The Age of Football is an epic sweep through the 21st Century and how it has come to be defined by football's primary status across the planet. While in Europe development is led by a dynamic high-skill private sector and dense, urban civil societies; Africa turns to commodity exports, new global alliances and technological leaps; Russia and China respond with all the might of their huge but erratic state machines and oligarch economic allies.
Drawing comparisons with Adam Tooze's Crashed, and Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, The Age of Football provides an unorthodox but eye-opening guide to the new geography of globalisation and the making and meaning of global football; one with its eyes firmly on the realm of power and money that never ceases to be amazed that such a simple game and its complex beauties, should still captivate them.