Book review: La Roja
A journey through Spanish football
The current golden era for Spain's national team is also a boom time for publishers and authors producing books in English about the Spanish game. La Roja by Jimmy Burns is nicely timed for Euro 2012. Burns has deeper links within Spanish society than most observers. His father Tom was a spy in Madrid during the Second World War and a Madrid metro station is named after his grandfather Gregorio Marañon. His closeness to issues outside sport soon emerges. Don Quixote shows up on page one and General Franco, ETA, recent president José Luis Zapatero and 19th century English travelwriter Richard Ford are all mentioned early on. None of them played much football, but they help argue that Spanish politics and culture shaped the country's football team. Read more
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