Top Soccer Biographies of All Time [2024 UPDATE]

People love playing soccer all around the world, and I have played in teams where I didn’t couldn’t understand any words the teammates were speaking. I have even heard of coaches speaking to their players in a language they don’t understand. However, in addition to soccer being a universal language, there are soccer icons that have left an everlasting legacy on the game. Luckily, some of these life stories have been documented in (auto)biographies and they’ve been translated into many languages.

What are the best soccer biographies?

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I love audiobooks and these are all great to get through Audible. As you don’t have to look at the formations or any detailed numbers, these stories are great to be read on your commute to work or even to long drives before or after games and practices. However, we included the links in case you decide to get them as a gift for your child, significant other or a friend. Let’s get going!

1. My Turn: The Autobiography by Johann Cruyff [Best Overall]

This an insightful and inspiring account of one of soccer’s true legends. Cruyff’s influence on the game is monumental and felt today through the words of virtually anybody that has seen Barcelona or the Netherlands play. The autobiography takes readers through his remarkable career as a player, coach, and sporting executive, offering a deep understanding of his innovative football philosophy. With honesty and passion, Cruyff shares his personal philosophy, strategic insights, and his unwavering commitment to soccer. Everybody can benefit from reading this story, both soccer and non-soccer people.

2. Ronaldo: The Children’s Book by Roy Brandon [Best for Children]

It’s never too early to start consuming soccer through books and this one is a delightful and inspiring read that takes young readers on a journey through the life of soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo. The book gives fun storytelling and motivational messages, focusing on Ronaldo’s determination and resilience. Through colorful illustrations and age-appropriate prose, it tells the story of Ronaldo’s rise to stardom and emphasizes the values of hard work, perseverance, and self-belief. It’s a perfect book for every kid that is starting the soccer journey.

3. I Am Zlatan by Zlatan Ibrahimovic [Best for Players]

Zlatan Ibrahimović, the enigmatic Swedish striker known for his charisma and breathtaking goals, tells his story as only he could. This autobiography delves into his troubled upbringing, his rise to stardom, and his experiences playing for some of the world’s most renowned clubs. The biography does not include the time in the United States which we hope he will write about in a newer book now that he is retired. He is honest and often controversial in his reflections and opinions. It is a vital read for every young player looking for determination and self-confidence while finding their identity as a soccer player.

4. My Autobiography by Sir Alex Ferguson [Best for Coaches]

For over two decades, Sir Alex Ferguson was the driving force behind Manchester United’s dominance in English football. In “My Autobiography,” Ferguson recounts his remarkable career, sharing insights into his leadership philosophy, squad-building and human managing strategies, and the intense rivalries that defined his era. This biography offers valuable lessons not only for soccer enthusiasts but also for aspiring managers and leaders in any field. As we cannot be at his lectures at Harvard Business School anymore, reading about leadership and decision-making through this biography will have to do.

5. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby [Best for Fans]

While not strictly a traditional soccer biography, “Fever Pitch” by Nick Hornby is a poignant memoir that beautifully captures the essence of being a passionate fan. Hornby shares his personal experiences as an Arsenal supporter with significant moments in the club’s history. Through the lens of football fandom, he explores the deep emotional connection between individuals and their teams, making it a must-read for anyone who has ever experienced the highs and lows of supporting a football club.

6. A Game of Extremes: 25 Exceptional Soccer Stories: What Happens On and Off the Field by Roy Lingster

Another non-typical choice for this list, the book is a captivating and diverse collection of soccer narratives that delves into both the thrilling moments on the pitch and the intriguing tales behind the scenes. There are personal accounts, historical anecdotes, and cultural perspectives. It’s well-balanced and well-written, providing great stories of the beautiful game. The author has a baseball and military background, but as he is currently living in the Netherlands, he has undoubtedly witnessed soccer from a different perspective.

Decision time

Soccer biographies offer a window into the lives of football legends, revealing the triumphs, tribulations, and human stories behind their on-field achievements. From the self-confidence of Zlatan Ibrahimović to the managerial genius of Sir Alex Ferguson, each of these biographies provides unique insights and lessons that extend beyond the boundaries of the sport. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply fascinated by remarkable individuals, these soccer biographies are essential reads for anyone seeking to understand.