The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup features original pieces by thirty-two leading writers and journalists about the thirty-two nations that have qualified for the world's greatest sporting event. In addition to all the essential information any fan needs—the complete 2006 match schedule, results from past tournaments, facts and figures about the nations, players, teams, and referees—here are essays that shine a whole new light on soccer and the world.
Former Foreign Minister of Mexico Jorge G. Castañeda invites George W. Bush to watch a game.
Novelist Robert Coover remembers soccer in Spain after the death of General Francisco Franco.
Dave Eggers on America, and the gym teachers who kept it free from communism.
Time magazine's Tokyo bureau chief Jim Frederick shows how soccer is displacing baseball in Japan.
Novelist Aleksandar Hemon proves, once and for all, that sex and soccer do not mix.
Novelist John Lanchester describes the indescribable: the beauty of Brazilian soccer.
The New Yorker's Cressida Leyshon on Trinidad and Tobago, 750–1 underdogs.
Fever Pitch author Nick Hornby on the conflicting call of club and country.
Plus an afterword by Franklin Foer on the form of government most likely to win the World Cup.