a smartphone attached to a gimbal on a rocky surface

Soccer Camera Gimbals [How to film soccer games in 2024?]

You can’t be there for every single game that your kid plays. Even if you can, you want to be able to keep it for when they grow up. Or your neighbor asks about it. Or your third cousin brags about their kids and how they [read with nasal voice] “just use these soccer camera gimbals”, but you just dismiss them. You want that in your pocket, ready for whenever you might need it. But you can’t afford the expensive cameras that clubs use these days.

Instead, you should use your smartphone!

It is raining, you are confused between looking at your kid or looking at the screen, and in the end, your spouse is disappointed because your hands kept shaking the image despite your best efforts. Yes, there is a simple solution for all of this. It is called a gimbal, or if you don’t want to sound funny a stabilizer. They are affordable these days and can be used to film all the time, not just your kid’s soccer games.

What are the best soccer camera gimbals?

There are 3 factors to determine the quality of the soccer camera gimbals:

  • Stability of image – the most important thing of a gimbal is to be stable. When it comes to sport camera gimbals, account for uneven terrain, wind and rain, as well as the occasional ball or person hitting it. Don’t look for perfection, but expect some reasonable stability that will not break the image, or even worse, your phone.
  • Integration with smartphones – while optional at first look, you want these features of tracking the action. The more common level of tracking is to track the ball and the action at all times. Less common is to track a particular player (like your kid or yourself) and usually more sophisticated systems are used for full wide field of view recordings. In any case, you want to be able to enjoy the game while the camera moves and records the game.
  • Durability and sturdiness – you do not want to keep buying the soccer camera gimbals each season. So, do yourself a favor and get the one made with good materials and engineered with attention to detail. And yes, it will feel heavy and you will know how it is once you have it in your hand.

We rate the soccer camera gimbals based on these factors. Also, we make sure there is no monthly fee for them, for streaming, storage, data analysis and statistics, or whatever else the most premium soccer cameras have. They all have options to get them from Amazon, but also some of them have their own stores. Check out both for the best pricing and add-ons.

Insta360 Flow (Our Pick)

Insta360 is the leader in the space of capturing action. Most of their products include a camera, from 360 or action-focused to professional VR or webcams. However, it looks like they managed to integrate a lot of the technology into their Insta360 Flow product, which is a gimbal for smartphones. It brings stabilization, together with the AI-powered technology of action tracking. The price is reasonable for a great build and intuitive interface in case you want to manually capture the moments. The stabilization is great and the integration with the smartphones works as you would expect. Furthermore, the community is large and there are all kinds of tricks and tips on how to get the most out of it on their forums.

Buy it from Amazon or their store.

XBot (with tripod)

It definitely is a level up to the Insta360, but it comes at a price. It supports smartphones, integrated with a remote control or even an Apple Watch. The XBot is actually designed for soccer as primary usage, making it a perfect solution for our needs. The tracking is optimized and tested for soccer!

Another great thing about the XBot is the range of accessories that you can find with it. Considering the size of the field and the number of players, you definitely want to set the camera at some elevation to capture the entire field. The XBot tripod is stable, and high quality and adds on to the already great functionality of the XBot to get the perfect view of the field and action.

You can buy it from Amazon or directly from the XBot store (use code RONDOCOACH for $25 off your purchase).

DJI Ronin-SC (mirrorless camera)

If you have a high-quality mirrorless camera with good lens, this might be a better option for you. While you need to operate it (one-hand handling is great), it will give the best capture from all the options. You can still mount your smartphone on top of it and use it for capturing, but also to adjust the force sensitivity of your movement and stabilization.

If you want to watch the game with your coffee, while the video is being captured automatically, this is not for you. But if you want to be actively tracking the action, capturing the plays and the players throughout the game, this is the option to pick. We also highly recommend it for capturing footage to be sent to soccer scouts and college recruiters. We have even seen some parents sending soccer videos before tryouts (tread carefully there).

Hohem for GoPro (waterproof)

Similar to the DJI stabilizer, you will be manually operating this gimbal and won’t be able to use your smartphone. However, the most important aspect here is that you will be able to record games in the worst possible conditions, such as rain and snow. The gimbal is relatively cheap for what it does, but it does require a GoPro or one of the other compatible devices. The secret weapon is a waterproof design with limited functionality and compatibility. Also, the sturdiness and durability of the device are great, but then you will likely run it through tough conditions and you will end up really testing it.

Zhiyun Smooth Q4 (Budget pick)

There is nothing wrong with this gimbal and we would definitely recommend it if you are looking to spend minimally on a stabilizer for your smartphone. However, it just misses a lot of the magic that the other options have. The integration with smartphones is there, but minimally (suggests angles and adjusts zoom and light). This also means you need to manually move it. It comes with a tripod, but you will likely need a table or a chair to get the height and stability right. It is sturdy, but not as robust as the others, especially when extended as more of a selfie stick. Of course, it doesn’t have waterproof characteristics or cross-compatibility with other devices, such as high-quality cameras. Overall, if you know exactly what you need it for, it is a great option. If you need anything beyond to feel the magic of AI and motion tracking, you will need to spend a bit more.

Pick the right soccer camera gimbal for you

The technology for sports and entertainment is amazing today. We have seen U6 games not only recorded, but streamed in real time. You think that might be crazy, but their grandparents were actually watching live overseas! It is truly incredible that we have all this technology to capture these moments. At an affordable prices we can film them and play them whenever we want. Also, with the power of AI we can often be lazy and let the smartphone track the action while we enjoy the game in real time. We recommend picking the right option for you and give it a try. Over time you will be amazed how much the ML models will improve the capture and tracking. Have fun, make memories and save them forever!

numbers projected on face

Most Insightful Soccer Statistics Books [Complete Guide 2024]

“The better team lost today”. We have heard this statement when teams think they’ve been the better team. How did they measure them being better? Did they do that objectively? Sometimes one team had the majority of the possession and the opposition had only one set piece, like a corner or a free kick. Would the statistics tell us that the first team should win the game? Well, if the first team passed between the goalkeeper and the center-backs, while the opposition had David Beckham take a free kick, then it means that the data didn’t tell us the full story. The best soccer statistics books can tell us the progress that soccer analysts have made over the past decades and where they are going.

Which data is important and which one is just noise? How can we evaluate the quality of the data and the true advantage that one team has over the other? Does the tactical approach drive the statistics of the game? Or can the data drive our tactics to victory? Is there something left to the naked eye that cannot be quantified by statistics?

What are the best soccer statistics books?

Soccer has become so big financially and the league structure for most leagues requires good performances. In Europe, teams have to perform well even if they have no chances for the title. They need to qualify for international competitions (lucrative incentives). Also, if they perform particularly badly, they get relegated, which can devastate the team, both financially and in terms of players who wouldn’t agree to play in the lower division. For these reasons, it is imperative for teams to win games, or at least not lose them.

To gain an edge, the top soccer clubs in the world hire soccer analysts, data scientists, and statisticians. Not only that, but soccer agents and their agencies hire them to identify the talent earlier. They synthesize data with methods from the best soccer statistics books, but also from books about data science from other sports and overall in the field of statistics. These are our picks of books that can significantly improve the way you look at the game through data analytics. They are not soccer books for kids or maybe even regular soccer fans – it is for the ones obsessed with numbers.

Net Gains by Ryan O’Hanlon

Net Gains is probably the most comprehensive book on soccer analytics. The author has played Division I soccer in the US and has transferred his passion for soccer into his life as an ESPN staff writer. In addition to his personal story, he guides us through the history of using data to gain an edge in soccer. He starts in the 50s and 60s and the very basics of soccer statistics. In contrast, he shares information about the exponential growth of data inputs that we get today through video analysis, GPS tracking, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and so on. However, he is also honest and questioning the models that we have today that cannot explain some phenomena today and how some players and some teams cannot be explained through data. If you plan to read only one book, then this is the one.

Football Hackers by Christoph Biermann

Perhaps a bit more current and Europe-focused, Football Hackers digs straight into the details of what you need to know about the world of soccer statistics. Analyzing the possession, shots taken, tackles, and so on, Biermann tries to help differentiate what is important and what is just empty data. Indirectly, he proves the rule that “If it’s important then it can be measured, but not all that can be measured is important”. The book can look very math-oriented and requires a genuine interest in soccer analytics and/or math and statistics. However, it’s a requirement for anybody who wants to get an edge or at least avoid being outsmarted based on accessible data.

The Expected Goals Philosophy by James Tippett

The rise of Expected Goals (xG) in soccer analytics is evident, as many pundits share these statistics more than any other info to show how the game went. For example, a team can have dominant possession, but it can be defensive and not have a single chance. Similarly, a shot on goal from far away doesn’t mean it is a good chance. In contrast, a team can have a penalty and miss the goal, which is a great chance without a shot on goal. The book explains what xG is and how to quantify it. It makes the case of why it is a better indicator of the dominance in the game. The book doesn’t have the complexity of the other books on this list, but it gives the right framework so that you would understand the xG on a much better level when you see it in real life.

Signal and Noise by Nate Silver

This does not naturally fall in the category of soccer statistics books. However, Nate Silver is the modern guru of statistics and his classic is something that every person who wants to understand data should read. His work in politics, in addition to his obsession with baseball, explains over and over again why probability is not certainty, and why only certain data is important. As we encounter variables in our analysis we have to assign appropriate weight to them. While this book will not teach us how to do that in soccer, it will help us think about the world of data. I have reread the book multiple times, pausing and thinking along the way with the new information and in the context of the recent games and seasons, of my teams that I coach and the professional ones that I have watched.

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

Possibly the most famous book on this list, helped by Brad Pitt starring in the movie. It shows how one of the poorest baseball teams in MLB went on the most impressive winning streak using data analytics to scout the sports talent. This is a true story that changed the way baseball teams use data. Obviously, this cannot be directly used in soccer, but certain aspects of it already are. With players playing key factors, it shows how there are no straight replacements in sports. One great player can be sold and two weaker players can be bought for that money. But the end result can be better or worse depending on the characteristics. The right data models can tell us which one is the better option. European soccer clubs like Leicester, Brighton, Borussia, Leipzig, and others have tried this approach. They cannot compete with the giants financially, so they have to be shrewd. I am certain we will see a soccer book like this in the upcoming years. Until then, enjoy Moneyball in the world of baseball.

Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

Written by a professional poker player, we learn to think of our decisions as a process. It is not just the result that matters. Say we play against a better team overall, but we have taller players. We will try playing for set pieces and crosses. We might still lose the game, but we increase our chances of success. The book explains how we should think about maximizing our chances. That doesn’t guarantee success, but it makes us think in terms of probability. We naturally do that in our lives. I still travel by car, bike, and airplane. We limit our downside by wearing helmets and seatbelts. There would be unfortunate accidents, but we try to minimize them. Thinking in Bets will teach us exactly that. My only advice is to pause and reflect while reading the book. Think about your teams and matches, and how to maximize your chances of success.

Decision time

With so many books on soccer statistics, you might think we know so much about it. I would disagree with this statement. We know the human stories of soccer players, but we are far from understanding the numbers. I think we are just starting with it. With the rise of AI and the influx of data through various sensors, we will see an explosion of it. We have even seen it in youth sports as young as U8s. Video systems can calculate possession, passes, shots, and even xGs. This is truly impressive and will drive the development of youth players in a different way.

As you saw from the books, many other industries are ahead of soccer. However, as soccer is so lucrative, clubs will invest more and more in technology over time. The best soccer clubs in the world already hire these kinds of job profiles: data scientists, programmers, AI/ML engineers, computer vision experts, computer infrastructure engineers, and so on. The soccer aspect will not stay a side gig or a niche, but it will become a legitimate track for these professionals. They will try to outsmart each other and give an edge to their clubs. Only a few will succeed, so it will be fascinating to see yet another battle between the soccer clubs.

Soccer Coaches - Master and Apprentice

Top Soccer Coach Gifts [Complete Guide 2024]

One of my mentors, a soccer coach, was having an “after-practice chat” with his players, playing at a U16 level. He asked them: “How do you get to have good teammates?”. Nobody answered. “You need to deserve good teammates. By being a good teammate yourself! How do you deserve a good coach?”. They were smart and got the answer: “By deserving a good coach!”. The system of volunteer soccer coaches in the USA, often by parents, and much of the world dictates that the hard work of the coaches often goes unrewarded. With that in mind, you need to ask yourself, how do you show appreciation for a great coach? I’ve seen players and parents excel in selecting thoughtful soccer coach gifts that don’t cost much, but have an enormous emotional impact on the coach and the team.

What are the best soccer coach gifts?

The best soccer coach gifts are those that create an emotional bond between the team and the coach, often long after both have moved on. I have seen gift cards given to the coaches and that just seems unnecessary and not personal. The right way to do it is to put some thought into it. If you are too lazy to make it personal, at least get them a soccer book about coaches. I am happy to help with some of the best gifts I have received or have seen being given to other coaches. It is up to you in the end to decide which one fits your coach, so let’s go through them and you take your pick!

Picture Frame with Photos

One of my favorites is a personalized picture frame and team photos of each game of the season. I occasionally rotate through them. The players are now much older, but I still have the pictures from U10 and cycle through them on that picture frame. I think somewhere between 5 and 15 photos is a good number. Ideally, the players would also sign the photos at the back. Putting that all together with the picture frame creates a perfect, inexpensive gift for the coach – ideally at the end of the season.

Soccer Coach Hoodie

This one is just fun, while also being practical. Ideally, you would pick colors that fit the club colors, too. For example, if the uniforms that the team usually wears are black and white, then don’t pick a red or blue hoodie. Of course, this can work with other clothes, usually a T-shirt or a hat. Socks are usually not great, as they often wouldn’t show – a reminder that you are buying a gift for the coach, not the players. Just don’t get something that is hard to find the right fit, including any kind of shoes.

Whistle

I personally don’t use whistles when coaching, but I occasionally act as a referee or need to lend my whistle to a referee. This often happens at the youngest age groups where we have a parent act as a referee. For this purpose, having a whistle or two is great. I would likely not buy one myself, so it’s great that I got one as a present. It’s either that the players saw that I can use one or they prefer me using the whistle than my voice. Well, obviously that is not going to change anytime soon.

Tumbler

Unlike other sports, soccer can be played in rough weather. I never use an umbrella, but my players can often see me with a tumbler full of hot tea during evening practice or coffee for early games. I don’t run as the players do and often have multiple games in a row. In fact, I often have a second tumbler in the car after the game. So, having a quality tumbler that keeps the temperature is important. When spending such a long time on the pitch, I just need enough warm tea and some protein bars and I am good to go.

Water Bottle

The other side of the coin – summer weather can be brutal in some places. I always have at least two water bottles. When the players are very young, I often have several spare ones, as they always forget theirs. In fact, more often they just don’t bring enough. This is true for both boys and girls playing soccer. So, I just transfer some of the water from one of my gigantic water bottles into their empty ones. In any case, I always have one with me, so it’s an easy, practical gift that can bring good feelings to every practice and every game.

Soccer Tactics Board

This one is a little tricky and depends on the coach. When the players are very young, this can create more chaos than benefit. They might think it’s a toy and not focus on the actual tactic. However, as they get into their teenage years, the coach needs a tool to quickly show a concept to them.

One idea to personalize it is to sign it on the backside with a Sharpie. And this doesn’t have to be an electronic one. In fact, the idea for this gift is a signed tactics board I have seen gifted to a fellow coach many years ago, even before I met him.

Decision time

I hope this is a good guide on the soccer coach gifts. As a soccer coach for many years, I appreciate all the gifts that I have received from my players and parents. It was never about the cost, as I often spend way more on prizes for the players, but about the amazing memories and the way these gifts make me feel every day. Buying gifts is hard and each person is different in what they like. You will need to think a little bit about the person you have as a coach. However, I hope that this gift guide helps you with several ideas on what to consider buying for them. If you have other ideas, please reach out, happy to include them!

man helping a player with the injury during the game

Blisters in Soccer [Complete Guide – Prevention and Treatment]

Have you ever heard of youth or amateur players getting blisters and can’t play soccer for some time? Of course, I have seen that often. While that used to be the case for professionals, it doesn’t happen anymore. It looks like they found out how to manage them and even play through them. While the root cause explanation can often be a bit hand wavy, the prevention and the treatment are so straight forward, that it’s a shame not to steal their methods. Let’s walk through the common causes and how to handle blisters in soccer.

What are blisters? Why do soccer players get them?

Blisters are areas of skin covered by a raised, fluid-filled bubble. Soccer players get them on their feet usually, caused by friction injury or trauma. Often referred to as chafing, it happens when there is rubbing of the skin, leading to irritation. Other blisters, such as hands or thigh blisters are not uncommon with soccer players, but they are not specific to soccer. Also, they are often related to overuse (weight-lifting or pull-ups, for example) or improper gear (too tight shorts or no gloves).

What are the root causes of blisters in soccer?

Wrong gear

The most common reasons of chafing is improper gear. Almost everybody have experienced some blisters when they buy new shoes and they spend some time adjusting. However, if this keeps happening and the blisters stay, then it’s not about time. The definition of insanity is keep trying the same thing that failed and expecting different outcome. So, instead of attempting to adjust your body to the gear, make the gear fit your body. If it’s the clothing – make sure it is not too tight or too loose, so it forces unnatural movements.

When it comes to cleats, make sure you understand the cleats that are good for you. Firstly, you have to understand what kind of feet you have – narrow, normal or wide. Secondly, you have to get the right size. Too small and too large can cause huge problems. In fact, the quality of the cleats matter less than the right size. So, if you are buying for your kid that grows super fast – get cheap cleats with the right fit, rather than expensive ones that are simply too big for them.

Wet gear or clothes

Even if you have the right gear, if they get wet while playing soccer in the rain, you won’t get far. In addition, to getting heavy and cold, they will likely cause you blisters. To prevent getting your feet wet, we recommend Sleef cleat covers. You can buy them straight from SLEEF.com (use RONDOCOACH code at checkout for 25% off) or through Amazon.

We have reviewed various clothes and gear that we recommend and use for playing soccer in the rain and the snow. They are overlapping significantly, as the goal to stay warm and dry is the same, but there is some difference. Check them out if you are in for a gear refresh for the wet season.

Wrong physical movements

This is tricky and requires a bit of analysis. About a decade ago I broke my ankle (fractured fibula with ligament tear, but that’s just technical details) playing soccer, of course. Months later I recovered after physical therapy and everything else required. However, when I went back to playing soccer, it wasn’t the same. I didn’t feel completely free to do all the movements that I used to do. So, I started stopping short and not doing full turns. I felt like walking on eggshells. The result was not just playing worse than before, but also blisters! I started to put pressure on parts of my feet that I shouldn’t have, causing friction on my toes and my heel. It took time to relearn how to run and move again. It was crucial that I was aware of that and could correct it myself.

Most kids run naturally, but not all of them. For various reasons, some kids develop wrong muscle memory and run in harmful ways. They don’t lift their knees, or twist their ankles, or move their arms at all. We shouldn’t blame them for that, but help them instead. Small adjustments will go a long way over time. So point out the issue, show them the movement and ask them to repeat. Sooner or later they will likely correct and see a great improvement. If that doesn’t work, the player might need to go to a podiatrist.

How to prevent blisters in soccer

Well, sometimes the chafing is a bit too much. No worries, there is a simple solution for that, too. You will need to lubricate the area that has the potential for developing blisters. Obviously, you don’t need to do this just because you’ve seen others do it. However, if you have parts of your feet or thighs developing blisters, this is the way to go.

Wear things in!

As we said earlier, one of the reasons blisters show up is when there are new shoes or gear. It takes some time to get used to them. While I want to tell you there is a shortcut, there really isn’t. However, we can create a system that you should follow to minimize issues. It worked for me multiple times as I switched through various cleats over time. I usually try to have 48 hours between the steps, providing there are no issues.

  1. Go for a walk with the new gear! If you cannot walk with the gear, what makes you think you can run and sprint? Simple rule – if you are wearing cleats, walk on grass or at least turf. You don’t want to walk on concrete or asphalt. We say practice as you play, so this is a no-brainer.
  2. Go for a run! Don’t forget that there are movements and areas of impact that are not going to be the same between walking and running. The most common place that causes issues while running, but not walking, is the area just above the heel where the cleat ends. The ankle moves significantly more and often aggressively, compared to a simple walk.
  3. Practice with the new gear! I’ve seen players going straight to a game with new cleats. In addition to not having the right feel and misplacing passes and shots, you won’t feel comfortable. You want to feel everything fitting like a glove and not spend time trying to understand the new gear. The delta between winning and losing can be that small!
  4. Play the game! At this point, you are ready to go. This might mean that it took a week to get to the game. Hopefully, it was worth it!

How to treat blisters in soccer

Once you already have blisters, it’s important to treat them properly. Failure to do so will result in developing much bigger problems. You can get traumas or infections, which might require going to the doctor. Instead, these are the steps to treat blisters, as soon as they start to show up.

  1. Identify the area of the blister. Even if the current state is nothing more than redness and swelling, treat it immediately. There is no reason for the area to develop painful blisters.
  2. Clean the blisters. Of course, you will wash the area anyway, but it is important to pay attention and wash the area and keep it clean. Furthermore, dry it well to avoid any bacteria development.
  3. Apply lotion to help the area recover quickly. Since most of the damage is on the skin, that needs to be treated first.
  4. Apply a bandaid if needed to protect the direct force and cushion the impact. Obviously, limit activity, but you don’t want to be prevented from walking.

Conclusion

We have covered the common causes of blisters in soccer, ways to prevent them and how treat them if they have already occurred. This should give you a step-by-step guide to remedy any issues that you have run into. Soccer should be a safe activity that we enjoy and with the right gear (often with character) and treatment we will achieve that. Good luck and have fun playing soccer!

person standing on the white snow

Top Snow Gear for Soccer Players [Complete Guide 2024]

If you live in a place with weeks and months of snow, you know how painful it can be to get there on the soccer pitch. Whether you are a parent trying to the kids to practice, a coach to get them to move, or just a player attempting to perform, you know how painful it can be to adjust to the snow and the winter weather. Obviously, if it is actively snowing heavily, there is nothing much you can do to get visibility. However, you can definitely do a lot to stay dry and warm on the soccer pitch, while avoiding injuries. Many players get injured because of improper clothing, which is inexcusable. The field is more slippery and the players take time to warm up, with the right snow gear for soccer. Also, as players cannot easily see and are more likely to slip the collisions are more probable, so it is so vital to get the right gear.

What is the best snow gear for soccer players?

The best snow gear is the one that will keep you warm, and dry and protect you from injuries. Getting the right covers for your cleats is crucial to keep your feet dry. Then you have to cover any open areas, like your head, neck, and hands. For this, you should use neck warmers, beanies, and gloves. However, you cannot use the thickest ones like you use for skiing, because they will limit your movement and agility. Finally, make sure you get your thermal insulation right – base layers for your legs and your core body will provide both warmth and protection from injuries.

Cleat Covers by Sleef

There is nothing more important than keeping your feet dry. You just can’t move properly and will subconsciously avoid hitting the ball if they are wet and cold. The snow might melt on your feet, but the feet will become so cold that you will get injured or at least sick.

Sleef, a company from South Florida, has come up with “cleat covers”. (use RONDOCOACH code at checkout for 25% off) While not designed to protect from snow, using polyester and spandex, work great. We can’t recommend them strongly enough! They cover only the parts that get wet, but the tip of the foot stays uncovered for better control. Also, they provide extra protection against slipping or rolling the ankles. As we mentioned before, players slip and bump into each other. You have to be extra careful to avoid getting injured by twisting the ankle and these covers will help you with that.

Neck Warmer by Nike

The neck warmer is vital to get the warmup ready. I cover most of my face so that the air that I breathe is warmed up at the beginning. Breathing freezing air can be detrimental for your lungs and your warmup will take much longer. Over time, I lower it to cover only my mouth and then just the neck. You don’t want your neck warmer to take too much water if it’s still snowing and you don’t want to be too rigid so that you cannot move your head to scan the pitch. Nike happened to get the right technology for that, but there are several others we recommend, too.

Bula – Great for cold weather, but absorbed too much water

Sleef – Waterproof and very cheap, but somewhat thinner

Adidas – Closest to Nike, but a bit more limited in movement

Waterproof Gloves by FanVince

The worst thing when I play soccer in the winter is when I get my feet wet. The only thing coming close to it is for my hands to get wet and freezing, even with the rest of the body dry. Now, you can’t just take your skiing gloves and look like you are wearing mittens on the pitch. You need water-resistant gloves with some protection. We found FanVince to work best for this, as they don’t absorb water. The protection if you slip is decent, which is also important. What you don’t want is to keep swapping gloves because they get wet, so these are the way to go. Finally, you want to have a little bit of grip, as this is still a physical sport and you might need to do throw-ins in the game.

Water-resistant Beanie by OtterShell

There was a saying that most of the heat dissipates from the head. That was proven to be wrong, but there is no doubt that we need to make sure that the head must remain dry and warm. The best way to achieve that is with a beanie. Now, we have tried hundreds of beanies, probably even more. The reason why we are picking OtterShell is because it’s the best balance between waterproofing and keeping warm, while also allowing for movement. There are other solid beanies, too. But, let’s not overthink it – don’t get anything weirdly shaped, too large, or bulky. If you find something that works better for you, let us know, as we are always looking out for better products.

Long Sleeve Base Layer by Under Armour

Layers, layers, layers! During winter this is crucial. Nobody does that for sports than Under Armour. We are looking for snow gear for soccer, but UA is good for all sports. We recommended a lighter version for rain that is still waterproof. However, you will need a base layer that provides that extra thermal insulation. Also, back injuries are very common during this time, so get the sturdier ones that will protect you from those kinds of injuries and provide extra support. I usually get colors to match with the uniform, but other players like to stand out with different colors. It’s really a matter of preference – UA has it all.

Leg Sleeves by Tough Outdoors

I used to wear leggings but changed to leg sleeves instead. If you want just a thin layer of support, then Tough Outdoors would do. However, if you want true winter protection, then Sleef is much better for you. It really adds that extra protection and I tend to use them even when it’s not as cold. It doesn’t limit movement of the ankles and the hips are free to rotate, too. So, I like combining it with the cleat covers for the ankles and I feel indestructible. Obviously, that’s not a good idea because I am definitely not. Nevertheless, I strongly recommend these for the winter and the snow.

Get your snow gear for soccer

There it is! Playing in the snow can be fun for kids until they find the pain of freezing hands and feet. Then it can cause such reluctance to get on the pitch, that parents end up begging the players to get out of the car. It doesn’t have to be that way. Getting the right snow gear for soccer is all that is needed. Staying dry and warm from head to toe can be done with the right equipment. Get your cleat covers and leg sleeves and you are halfway there. With the right base layer you will keep your core and arms warm, and the gloves will keep your hands dry. Finally, buy the beanie and the neck warmer for your head. It’s not that complicated and you might have to adjust. However, be ready for it with the items we suggest or let us know what works better for you and we’ll give it a try!

Top Personalized Soccer Gear with Character [Stand Out in 2023]

The goal for many soccer players is to be recognized by soccer scouts and coaches at tryouts and games. Obviously, if you have a hat-trick in the first half, they will notice and remember you. However, if you play in the middle of the pitch, you tend to do great, tough work, but it is hard to notice you among 21 other players. Visibility can be awful and often there is no big visual difference between you and your teammate who misses every other ball. Of course, you can have neck tattoos or giant blue hair. However, it might be easier to stand out, while respecting the team uniform and gear. What you need is personalized soccer gear that will make you be seen.

Furthermore, you want to be inspired by your soccer gear. I always feel good when I pick up my soccer cleats, but when I wear the socks I got as a gift from my parents, I feel elevated. You need to figure out what that is and find what motivates you. Some might be to get you to practice hard when you have an odd day. Other gear will be reserved only for games and tournaments. You need to pick what you need, but let us help you with some ideas.

What is the best personalized soccer gear?

You need to get top personalized soccer gear to be noticed and to be inspired. The best ones will help you achieve that, by elevating and motivating you. We will start with the cleats, as a core element of any soccer player. We will look for wristbands, neck warmers, and beanies, as they often add that extra distinction, in addition to their function. Finally, we will review some great ideas for the personalization of captain armbands and shin guards. They are more useful for motivation than differentiation, but players love them and we highly recommend them.

Note: we are not looking for jerseys, shorts, undershirts, leggings or socks. Clubs rarely let you play with them, choosing colors or patterns. For them to look like a team, everybody must respect that code. However, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to be done. On the contrary, let’s see how to solve that issue.

Shin Guards

Brilliant gift! I have seen that this works as a gift every time!

Let’s be honest – you rarely see the shin guards of players. However, I’ve heard of players wearing the same shin guards for over a decade for luck. They are very personal and don’t really wear out, except maybe for the lining sometimes. The important aspect is that they can inspire the players. In the ritual of getting ready for the games, being able to get into the right mindset just by looking at the shin guards can be massive. Whether looking at the picture of your partner, soccer hero or super hero, whatever motivates you to give the maximum effort will go a long way.

Neck Warmer

If you live in any place that has less than perfect weather conditions, you need a neck warmer. It has been a game changer for me to warm up and stay warm throughout the game. You can start by covering your nose and mouth at the beginning, then I initially tried my snowboarding balaclava at a game, then ended up buying multiple ones just for soccer. I have them in different thickness and material, to differentiate when I need water protection from the rain vs. warmth from the cold.

The amazing feature on this product is that you can put whatever picture you want! From a photo of your favorite player to one from your dog, everything works. You don’t have to limit yourself to just words, numbers or logos.

Cleats

Most professional players don’t have personalized cleats, even though they represent the manufacturers. However, you can still stand out with your cleats. There are three reasons why we like these cleats. Firstly, they are quality Adidas cleats and look good! You have to buy solid cleats if you want to play well. Secondly, they stand out because of their color. Thirdly, they are several years old. That’s a good thing – the technology is only so much evolving, but the prices drop and it is unlikely that others have the same ones. That means that you will stand out just because of that! Hunt for bargains with cleat models 3-5 years old!

Captain Armband (For Clubs!)

“You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” In a ceremony at practice every year, the captain of the team for the previous year hands over the armband to the new captain for the upcoming year. The club is the real owner of the armband and the captain is the ambassador who sets the example for future players and captains.

Unlike the other products, armbands already make you stand out from your teammates. So, it’s not for a captain to get one with their name on it. The club needs to build its brand by giving personalized ones to the captain of each team.

Wrist Band

You will stand out by wearing wrist bands anyway. They are not that common, even though they can be very practical. They are designed for very hot days, but I really like them because it provides the extra protection of the wrist in case of a fall. Recently they became more popular as covers for smart watches, but I strongly recommend against wearing smart watches while playing. You really don’t need them and there are over-the-chest or at the cleats more accurate devices to measure all the data you need.

How to personalize it? Any way you want! You can add a name, a logo or even just the jersey number. It all depends on your personal preference.

Beanie

When I was younger I thought that the quality of the beanie didn’t matter. However, I learned that you have to get at least a decent one to protect you from the cold weather and the snow. Even more, you want protection from the rain, instead of soaking the water on your head. No fancy materials and super waterproof requirements, but you want to not absorb all the water to last 90 minutes.

This is the best one we’ve tried and it can also be personalized. If you live in a cold place, likely all the teammates will have beanies and the club might require the same color for all of them. However, you will be able to get away with your name or at least a number to differentiate yours. It’s a great personal touch, but also a way not to lose yours.

Time to get your personalized soccer gear

This is a great mix of products to set you up just right for your soccer games! Some of them are to motivate you, others are to make you stand out from other players. Soccer should always be fun, but as you get more serious, it can often look like a job. However, when it is asking to give 100% every time, you will need any extra bit of inspiration to do that day in and day out. These small items can help you get there. So look for the piece that resonates with you and find a way to motivate yourself!

Disclosure: I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy. This site is not intending to provide financial advice. This is for entertainment only.

father and son playing football in the backyard

Top Soccer Toys for Toddlers [Little Messi at Home 2024]

It’s never too early to start playing soccer! Every parent says that they want their kid to love the activity they do. I’ve heard the same saying about piano, painting, basketball, cooking, knitting, or soccer. Doesn’t matter what it is, it has to be fun and they have to like doing it. The best way to do that is through games. While we can make up games at home, it’s useful to have the right tools, in this case, indoor soccer toys for toddlers, to achieve that quickly and effectively. You can have great soccer experience through rain and snow, but you can have it at home without worrying, too. Let’s make sure our loved ones are safe, engaged, and challenged, all at the same time.

What are the best soccer toys for toddlers?

We’ll start building our toolkit of toys by figuring out the playing field first. If you have a dedicated space in your home that has enough space without fragile items and windows (backyard acceptable), then you have to get a small soccer ball. Having a plush soccer ball is also a great substitute, that can work for both indoor and outdoor settings. While you don’t have to shoot on a goal, it instantly brings excitement to the kids, so just get one if you have the space. You might not need soccer shoes indoors, but having a pair at least for the backyard sessions is needed. Finally, if your kid already loves doing art, try to merge the two activities by painting soccer art. Let’s get into the best items we have found in these categories.

Plush Soccer Ball

We keep hearing about the lack of unstructured play that the kids have these days. All of a sudden coaches are “forced” to dedicate half of the practice to the players just kicking a ball without much structure. Instead what they need is a soccer ball just being around the house that they can kick whenever they want. While watching TV or waiting for dinner to be ready, just have it be there. The great thing about this plush toy is that you can use it from a very young age. Most kids have a plush toy they are attached to. They go everywhere with it, eat with it, fall asleep with it… Sometimes it’s a dinosaur or a bunny, but imagine if it’s a soccer ball. Give it a try and you never know – maybe it’s going to develop an instant love for soccer!

Small Soccer Ball (size 2 or 3)

Kids need to have fun, but they need to see a ball moving and be able to kick it. So, regular soccer balls will not do because they are too heavy. Neither would random balls because they just have different physics. Instead, get the right size balls, size 2 or 3, that are appropriate for the feet size. The kids love them and they can practice hitting it differently. You want as realistic a representation of the soccer world as possible but in a controlled environment. I would definitely recommend having at least one ball for indoors and one for outdoors.

Soccer Shoes

This one is a bit tough because they grow so fast! If you are playing only indoors, then you don’t need them right away. If you see that the kid loves playing, you can use it as a stepping stone to get them playing outside with other kids or maybe a rec league. However, once they get on the grass, get them the shoes. If you are wondering about the soil – get one level below the recommended one. If they play on grass, get the turf shoes. If they play on turf, get the futsal one. They will feel more comfortable, have better control, and can use their shoes outside of soccer. You don’t want them to outgrow the shoes after 5 practices.

Soccer Book

Human brains are good at synthesizing information and signals. Kids need to have multiple stimulants to develop affinity and interest. Obviously, one is to have the family around – playing with parents and siblings is vital at the beginning. But also, unlike pro athletes, you can’t have them play for hours and hours. Instead, you can read books to them about soccer. Of course, you can also do other things like watch some videos or even bake cookies shaped like soccer balls. Those are fun. However, you want to grow persons first, and soccer players second. Let me not convince you why books work. They do at this age and hopefully for the rest of their lives.

Soccer Goal

It’s not a soccer game without a goal! The reason why I like this goal is that it’s scalable. Firstly, it’s a popup goal that can be folded and transported whenever you need to. Secondly, it has options to either work as a full goal or be marked with holes on the sides. This is so crucial as your kid gets too good for the open goal or needs to challenge themselves. Thirdly, this goal works great for the backyard or park. There are pins you can use to ground it and bring stability. I have used many other goals and they are good if you have large groups of players. However, this is the one you want for your kid – it’s great for indoors, great for beginners, and excellent when they get better and want to play outside.

Soccer Ball Lamp Kit

Not everything needs to be about playing soccer. Whatever your kid needs to be engaged, you should do that. If the kid needs to do a dance with the ball, that’s ok. Sometimes you might need to include a candy, a song, or a goofy outfit. For those into the arts, we found a great idea to paint a lamp with their favorite colors. The actual painting is interesting, but also it keeps reminding the kid of soccer because it’s there all the time. Don’t forget that they need multiple inputs and reminders to inspire them. There are other ideas for painting and decorating, but we liked this one as a great reminder on a daily basis.

What to avoid? What are not soccer toys for toddlers?

Soccer Disks – there are some made-up home games with two goals and gliding soccer disks. While fun, they really have different physics than the real soccer balls, both in how they move and how they are being kicked. We want the kids to have fun, but we want them to have some correlation with soccer. It’s fine to buy these toys if the kids enjoy, but don’t think that they have real connection with soccer.

Excessive soccer video time – again, I am not here to decide how much screen time your kid should or shouldn’t have. All I am saying is that they will not really benefit from watching others play soccer without them playing with the soccer ball. They need the ball around their feet as much as possible at this age.

Individual practices – when they are this young, they simply don’t need them. Don’t make soccer a chore until they become professionals. Just make sure that it looks like a game and that can last for a long time.

Time to get your soccer toys for toddlers

Now that we have reviewed that top soccer toys for toddlers, it’s time to build the right environment. I’ll repeat again – your main goal is for them to enjoy and fall in love with the sport. Their skills will not matter now, but their feelings toward soccer will. There is enough time to get good at it and it will not be a straight line. However, you want them engaged and challenged, so that the line is directionally upwards and not downwards. Keep trying by adding one piece at a time and it will work out. And don’t forget to have fun!

Disclosure: I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy. This site is not intending to provide financial advice. This is for entertainment only.

A person wearing rain boots

Top Rain Gear for Soccer Players [Complete Guide 2024]

Not everybody is lucky to play soccer in perfect weather all year long. Rain and snow are very common environments for soccer players, even at a very early age. When I see kindergarten players in Seattle or Portland freezing in the rain, I love it and hate it at the same time. That’s the only way to create the next US soccer superstars, but we have to not make them hate the sport because of the rain. Games and practices are rarely canceled and players need to mentally adjust to it and be ready. However, it’s not just the psychological readiness – we need the right rain gear for soccer! Staying warm and dry for the duration of the game, while also keeping the flexibility and ability to perform is important. It’s impossible to achieve both with absolute perfection, but let us guide you through what is possible and what we should avoid.

What is the best rain gear for soccer players?

The best rain gear for soccer players is the one that will keep the player dry, warm and not limit the performance in any significant way. Starting from the bottom to the top – the feet have to remain as try as possible in order to keep playing. Appropriate protection through layers is key for soccer players, as the majority of injuries can be caused by not having this protection. Furthermore, covering the hands with light, but waterproof gloves is super beneficial. Finally, while the myth that the majority of the heat escapes through the head is false, covering the head and neck is vital to stay dry and warm. Let us get through the core requirements of what is absolutely needed and what is nice to have.

Cleat Covers by Sleef

If there is one thing that you have to keep dry is the feet. Other things are annoying, but if the feet are wet, then it’s a possibility to get an avoidable injury. Sleef, a company from South Florida (use RONDOCOACH code at checkout for 25% off), has come up with “cleat covers”. While not designed for rain protection, with polyester and spandex only, they work great. We can’t recommend them strongly enough! They cover only the parts that get wet, but the tip of the foot stays uncovered for better control. Also, they provide extra protection against slipping or rolling the ankles, which is more common in rainy weather. The added bonus of keeping the laces tied is particularly useful for the youngest soccer players.

Neck Warmer Dri-Fit by Nike

The neck warmer is needed as much for rainy as it is for cold weather. In fact, I have several of them because I wash them after every practice or game. Other options, like Bula or Adiddas, have been underwhelming in rainy weather. They get wet quickly, often doing a disservice after half an hour. However, it looks like Nike has cracked the code with Dri-Fit and has come up with a material that stays dry the longest. It’s not perfect by any means, but it is exactly what you need for the rainy season. Don’t overthink it, get several pairs and keep your neck warm.

Waterproof Gloves by FanVince

The worst thing when playing soccer in the rain is to get your feet wet. The only thing coming close to it is for the hands to be wet and freezing, even with the rest of the body dry. Instead, find a simple solution by getting water-resistant gloves. They need to be light, so don’t get skiing gloves. I have found that the FanVince works best and I don’t need to swap them even with heavy rain. If you end up getting lighter ones, like Head or Nike, you might need a double pair, as they absorb too much water. Then I need to have two pairs, one for each half.

Water-resistant Beanie by OtterShell

For cold weather, a beanie is a must. However, when there is heavy rain outside, even the best beanie absorbs too much water. Ottershell has been the best I have tried, but I still have to swap it in heavy rain. It also depends a lot on your preference. As I have a fair amount of hair, although much less thick over time, keeping it dry is important, but my head is protected anyway. For players with much longer hair, it can really add to the weight of the head when it’s wet. Finding the right balance is important, so just pick one – Ottershell is our preference, but if you have another one already, just stick with that.

Long Sleeve Base Layer by Under Armour

Layers, layers, layers! Staying warm and dry is all about layers. And nobody is doing that better than Under Armour. They are not really focused on soccer, even though they have cleats and clothes. However, they are best when it comes to base layers for team sports. If you live in super cold areas, you can look for skiing/snowboarding base layers, but usually, it’s too much. Instead, get several of the UA long-sleeve base layers, just like you would use an extra t-shirt for layering. We like to have matching colors with the uniform, but kids like to have fun and mix gear colors to stand out from time to time.

Leg Sleeves by Tough Outdoors

For a long period of time, I thought that the way to go is leggings. The issue is that they took away from my flexibility and didn’t really add any stability or protection. I decided to try leg sleeves instead, as a friend of mine suggested. They are a game changer! I use them both to keep my shinguards in and to keep me dry and warm when it’s raining or cold. In fact, I even tried wearing them when skiing and snowboarding and they are great on very cold days. They also provide solid support, so I feel much better putting on hard tackles when wearing them. They are a must in my rainy gear now!

Decision time

I hope this is a good guide on the rain gear for soccer that you need to stay dry and warm. Whether you are playing to be remembered as the best soccer player ever or just want to avoid getting sick while being on the bench most of the game, you have to have a plan for it. There are variations that you might want to try that fit your preference. Removing one of them or picking different materials can be a great option, depending on the weather and what makes you feel good. It took me some time to pick my favorite items and I am sure I will change them as the technology improves. I am planning to test out several more items this winter and keep you posted!

Soccer girl holding the ball

Top Soccer Books for Girls [Gift Ideas 2024]

Are you looking for a great book for a girl soccer fan? How about a soccer player? We have curated the best ones that you should gift. Some of them are written by coaches and write about how to be the best player you can be. Others are fiction, trying to grow the love of soccer at various ages. Soccer as the most popular sport has fantastic human interest stories and we have them, too. These are not stories about the perfect tactic, personal soccer superstar stories, or best soccer business readings. These are the best soccer books for girls that you should buy for your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, teammates, and coaches. While you are at it, pick one for yourself, too. They are fantastic!

What are the best soccer books for girls you need to read ASAP?

For players

Fiction

Early teens

World Story

History

Kids

Everything Your Coach Never Told You Because You’re a Girl by Dan Blank

.If you’re a young female soccer player seeking an uplifting and game-changing read, this book is an absolute must-buy! Dan Blank is famous for writing many books for current youth players. However, we think that this is his best book. This book should be your personal guide, unlocking the secrets to success on and off the field. Blank’s insightful advice and motivational anecdotes are specifically tailored to empower girls. The book is her to help girls overcome obstacles, enhance their skills, and cultivate a winning mindset. Bursting with infectious enthusiasm, this book will leave you feeling inspired, confident, and ready to take on any challenge. Regardless of the gender, get this book!

Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez

“Furia” by Yamile Saied Mendez is a captivating fiction book that will ignite a love for soccer in girls. The story follows Camila, a fierce and determined protagonist, as she battles societal expectations and pursues her soccer dreams. With vivid storytelling and relatable characters, Mendez’s book celebrates the power of sport and inspires young girls to embrace their passion for soccer. It’s a compelling tale that will leave them cheering for Camila’s victories both on and off the field. It is a great read for book lovers that might not even like soccer, or for soccer players that might not like reading. 

Saving the Team (The Kicks) by Alex Morgan

This is an absolute gem that early teen girls will adore, providing a perfect avenue for them to fall head over heels in love with soccer. Morgan’s impeccable storytelling effortlessly transports readers into the world of the protagonist, offering a relatable and inspiring journey. The book beautifully captures the essence of teamwork, determination, and the sheer joy that soccer can bring. This book is a must-have for any early teen girl seeking an empowering and enjoyable literary adventure that will ignite their love for soccer and inspire them to reach for the stars.

Play Like a Girl by Ellie Roscher

“Play Like a Girl” by Ellie Roscher is a remarkable and inspiring book that celebrates the global impact of girls in sports. Roscher’s heartfelt storytelling shines a light on the challenges of extreme gender inequalities in Kenya, especially in the world of sports. It is an uplifting story of perseverance and persistence to deliver opportunities for girls who live in the slums and seemingly have no hope. However, starting from 11 girls and 2 volunteers, now the soccer academy runs with 20 full-time staff (in 2017 at the time the book was released). An inspiring story, that just happen to be related to soccer! 

Kicking Off by Eve Ainsworth

“Kicking Off” is a great book that blends fiction and non-fiction elements into it. The goal is clearly to create an entertaining read and inspire teenagers to get into soccer. Happening in 1917, the book helps paint the picture of what it was like to live in the middle of a war. In a little idealistic setting, the protagonist, Hettie, is an outcast in Britain that manages her way through a rough world. However, with the right lessons of persistence and fighting spirit, this book put soccer, and the love for competition as the centerpiece of this coming-of-age story. It’s a great gift to stimulate reading books and the love of soccer!

The Soccer Fence by Phil Bildner

Targeted for the youngest generation of soccer lovers, this book is illustrated to instill the love of soccer, but also open discussions about social issues. As it says in the title, the topic of the apartheid is central, as it is soccer, to the story. With only 40 pages filled with colorful illustrations, this is a great book on multiple levels. Reading it several times for bedtime stories and start seeing the layers of questions that your kids start to ask and comment on. A truly interesting book that is worth buying for the young ones!


These six books represent a collection of inspiring, empowering, and thought-provoking stories that celebrate the world of soccer and its incredible female athletes. From memoirs to fictional tales, each book offers its unique perspective on the sport. We want to encourage young girls to embrace their love for soccer. At the same time, we want to teach valuable life lessons such as teamwork, perseverance, and the power of dreams. By reading these books, we hope that young girls can find inspiration, strength, and a deeper appreciation for the beautiful game that unites people across the globe.

Top Soccer Business Books Money Makers [Must-Read 2024]

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to run a soccer club? I am not talking about being a coach and choosing which player plays where. There is the coach decision, player trading and contracts, stadium planning, tickets and merchandise, travel arrangements, boardroom politics, brand building… So much to handle and none of it is soccer on the surface. We have put together a list of memoirs of soccer giants and soccer business books. They will show you the state and the history of the soccer business, which is massive and still growing at a rapid rate. The books dig deep into the entrepreneurship and management of the clubs. Also, they examine the human element of the sports industry. The stories are fascinating, so let’s get into them!

What are the best soccer business books you need to read ASAP?

Best Book

World View

History of PL

Failing Club

Memoir

Soccer fan

“The Barcelona Way” by Damian Hughes

“The Barcelona Way” delves into the secrets of one of the most successful soccer clubs in history, FC Barcelona. Damian Hughes examines the unique culture, leadership, and values that have made Barcelona a global powerhouse. Guardiola has won 14 out of the possible 19 trophies while being the coach of the first team in Barcelona. However, it is not the results, but the culture of the club that makes this club unique. You can see it in La Masia, but also in the “alumni” today. Hughes outlines the key principles and the way the club operates. It is a useful read for winning the infinite game. You can see it as a case study of how to grow the right culture in the very, very long run. 

“Soccernomics” by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski

“Soccernomics” is a groundbreaking book that uses data analysis and economic principles to explore the inner workings of the soccer world. The dynamics always changing in the world of soccer. So, the authors regularly release new editions to incorporate this news. The World Cup 2022 edition certainly looks at the first World Cup in winter and in the Middle East, as well as coming right after the pandemic. Additionally, in between the two World Cups there was a failed attempt to create the Super League. That was a fascinating development in the financial and club management world of soccer. Some people might consider it a bit drier than the other books. However, it is a must-read for those who wish to understand the economics and statistics behind soccer.

“The Club: How the English Premier League Became the Wildest, Richest, Most Disruptive Force in Sports” by Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg

Robinson and Clegg take readers on a thrilling journey through the evolution of the English Premier League (EPL) in “The Club.” It is fascinating how this book gives an overarching view of what Jordan’s or Dein’s books tell about their own clubs. The book tells the story of the EPL from its humble beginnings to its global dominance. It offers an in-depth exploration of the league’s transformation into a multi-billion dollar business. How fast we take things, like oligarch money or transfers of 100 million, for granted is astonishing. It is packed with fascinating anecdotes, behind-the-scenes stories, and interviews with key figures. This book captures the essence of the EPL’s rise and the impact it has had on soccer and the business world at large.

“Be Careful What You Wish For” by Simon Jordan

You might have heard of the story of Crystal Palace making their way back to the Premier League in the 2010s. It is depicted in the documentary series “When Eagles Dare”. If you wonder what has happened before then to get the club to that position in the first place, this is the book to read. Jordan became a multimillionaire at 32 after selling his company and decided to buy his neighborhood club. Unfortunately, the club got relegated and lost most of its value. Jordan looks smug and is a person that people either love or hate. Nevertheless, the book that he wrote is truly original and is a great read if you want to learn a lot about the management of English soccer clubs.

“Calling The Shots: How To Win At Football And Life” by David Dein

“Mr. Arsenal”, as called by Thierry Henry, David Dein has been pulling the strings in the golden age of Arsenal with Wenger as the team manager. Published in 2023, Dein has taken time to reflect and deliver a memoir of his time at Arsenal. He shows his struggles with the board of the club (he was a part owner), the formation of the Premier League, his dedication to women soccer, his current NGO to bring soccer education to prisons, and many more. While it is particularly worth reading for Arsenal fans, we strongly recommend this book as the book to read in 2023. It will help you understand the road of the Premier League and the philosophy of leading a club before the rich-owner money came into it.

“Soccer Thinking for Management Success: Lessons for Organizations from the World’s Game” by Peter Loge

This can be classified as a book for professionals through the lens of soccer. Loge is a professor of media and public affairs and has worked in politics of public policy. So, don’t expect a book about the role of the inverted wingback or the best way to practice the rabona. The lessons of people management, communication, leadership, decentralized ownership, and responsibility, are conveyed by a soccer fan, making them more easily digestible. We enjoyed reading it and frankly, they were more useful for our day-to-day jobs which have nothing to do with soccer. 


The intersection of soccer and business offers a fascinating realm of study, filled with valuable lessons applicable to various industries. Each of the books is a little different, providing unique perspectives on the economics, leadership, and organizational aspects of the soccer industry. Hope these pages inspire you to approach your own endeavors in a different way, with a bit more knowledge and with as much passion as you have for soccer.