Behind the Curtain

Behind the Curtain Alternate Cover Edition for this ISBN can be found hereFrom the war ravaged streets of Sarajevo where turning up for training involved dodging snipers bullets to the crumbling splendor of Budapest s

  • Title: Behind the Curtain
  • Author: JonathanWilson
  • ISBN: 9780752879451
  • Page: 241
  • Format: Paperback
  • Alternate Cover Edition for this ISBN can be found hereFrom the war ravaged streets of Sarajevo, where turning up for training involved dodging snipers bullets, to the crumbling splendor of Budapest s Bozsik Stadium, where the likes of Puskas and Kocsis masterminded the fall of England, the landscape of Eastern Europe has changed immeasurably since the fall of communism.Alternate Cover Edition for this ISBN can be found hereFrom the war ravaged streets of Sarajevo, where turning up for training involved dodging snipers bullets, to the crumbling splendor of Budapest s Bozsik Stadium, where the likes of Puskas and Kocsis masterminded the fall of England, the landscape of Eastern Europe has changed immeasurably since the fall of communism Jonathan Wilson has traveled extensively behind the old Iron Curtain, viewing life beyond the fall of the Berlin Wall through the lens of soccer Where once the state controlled teams of the Eastern bloc passed their way with crisp efficiency a sort of communist version of total soccer to considerable success on the European and international stages, today the beautiful game in the East has been opened up to the free market, and throughout the region a sense of chaos pervades The threat of totalitarian interference no longer remains but in its place mafia control is generally accompanied with a crippling lack of funds Jonathan Wilson goes in search of the spirit of Hungary s Golden Squad of the early 1950s charts the disintegration of the soccer superpower that was the former Yugoslavia follows a sorry tale of corruption, mismanagement, and Armenian cognac through the Caucasuses reopens the case of Russia s greatest soccer player, Eduard Streltsov and talks to Jan Tomaszewski about an autumn night at Wembley in 1973.

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    About “JonathanWilson

    • JonathanWilson

      Jonathan Wilson is a British sports journalist and author who writes for a number of publications including the Guardian, the Independent and Sports Illustrated He also appears on the Guardian football podcast, Football Weekly.



    482 thoughts on “Behind the Curtain

    • Behind the Curtain : Travels in Eastern European Football (2006) by Jonathon Wilson catalogues much of Eastern European football from the years after WWII to the fall of Communism and beyond. It reads as part travel book, part sports book and part history book.Wilson wrote the really excellent Inverting the Pyramid about football tactics and is a fine writer as well as a keen observer of football. He also has a love of Eastern European Football that comes through in the book.The book covers Ukra [...]


    • Favourite quotes:'Injury time was approaching when Gavrila Balint headed what he believed was the goal that would give Steaua a 2-1 victory over their city rivals Dinamo in the 1988 Romanian Cup Final. As he raised his arms in celebration, though, the linesman raised his flag: offside. What followed has come to symbolise both the madness of football under the Ceausescu regime and the intensity of the rivalry between Dinamo and Steaua. According to most witnesses, Valentin Ceausescu, son of Nicol [...]


    • There is little doubt that Jonathan Wilson is one of the finest football writers of our time, and he showcases it perfectly in Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football, which is arguably his most impressive work. Wilson's blending of political history and tales of some of the most important events in football is both fascinating and entertaining, and he perfectly guides the reader through his travels across this wonderful region. Through interviews and an impressive personal know [...]


    • A superb advertisement for east European football. Well judged balance between history, culture and football.


    • Interesting review with some cultural pedagogy. For anyone watching the championships right now, this is such an introspective look at some of these countries.


    • Writing any book about Eastern Europe must be a hazardous process. The chief problem involves a decision on whether to concentrate on life before the collapse of communism or what has ensued since. Most authors take the former course and so Wilson should be congratulated for attempting to tackling the chaotic, often anarchic, events of recent years. Wilson does well to capture the fast pace of change in Eastern Europe and the rise of previously unheralded clubs such as Litex Lovech and Groclin. [...]


    • Behind the Curtain is the ultimate book on football and politics in Eastern Europe. Jonathan Wilson has long covered football in post-communist Europe for a variety of soccer blogs and magazines and combines rich historical detail with passionate and lively accounts of trips to the big and small teams of the region. Divided into chapters on specific countries (often within subregions), Wilson describes many famous historic stories about famous and mythical clubs, games or players -- often in exc [...]


    • It took me a while to finish this book, since I'm only interested in Aranycsapat, the mighty Hungary national team in the 1950s. And then I lost my interest to read the rest because I'm not familiar with teams from Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina. But the story of Eduard Streltsov of USSR made me able to finish the book. This book is for people who want to understand the concept and history of football in Eastern Europe. Jonathan was able to brought this fairy tale in [...]


    • I really enjoyed this book, the mix of history and football culture was about right. The ex-players and people connected with the sport that he meets on his travels are interesting to say the least. This really is a must for the type of fan who has a thirst for knowledge on the game in the darker parts of Europe.


    • A comprehensive account of football in Eastern Europe both before and after the fall of communism. What was merely a tool of by the regime became the plaything of oligarchs post-1989. My only criticism is the overwhelming level of detail; the sheer number of players, officials, etc. can be hard to keep track of. And why was the former Czechoslovakia omitted?


    • A good book and an interesting insight into football in Eastern Europe. My only issues with the book were the fact it was a little difficult to really get into, and the fact it was quite the book I was excepting, I half excepted it to be a Travel Log/Historical football book, but I wasn't too disappointed really.


    • A great holiday read, but not a great commute read - the chapters need to be broken up to help you pick up where you left off. Fascinating insights into the Hungarian international team of the 50s, and into the demise of the great Ukrainian domestic teams though


    • Very enjoyable and taught me a lot about eastern european history than just their footballers. My favourite bit was that there is a Romanian player called Adrian Bumescu.


    • Love Jonathon Wilson. An in-depth, anecdotal look at the power clubs, players and managers of Eastern European football. Favorite chapter was the one on Ukraine - love watching Shakhtar!


    • A first-time travel writer shows his inexperience by reviewing history at the expense of travel-writing; sadly, this makes for a non-compelling read in the internet age



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