11 Best Soccer Autobiography Books: Uncover the Stories Behind the Legends!

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Soccer isn’t just a game; it’s a world of stories, triumphs, and heartaches. Imagine reliving the most electrifying moments in soccer through the eyes of its greatest heroes. Autobiographies in soccer offer you an intimate access pass to the personal lives and inner thoughts of the players and managers who have shaped the beautiful game.

  • Experience the Journey: Each page takes you on a journey from youthful dreams to the pinnacle of international stardom and beyond.
  • Legendary Insights: Uncover the secrets behind the most iconic goals, the tense locker room atmospheres, and the intense pressures of top-tier competition.
  • Emotional Connection: Feel a deeper connection to the sport as you grasp the human side of the superhuman feats on the field.

Whether about an Italian defensive maestro or a Brazilian scorer, these books convey soccer’s real emotion and intensity behind the media representation. Live these stories, not just read them. Prepare to be inspired, celebrated, and perhaps sympathized as you explore soccer history and culture. Grab a book and feel your heart race as you kick every ball and face every difficulty with favorite soccer heroes.

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Pele: The Autobiography

Discover the journey of a global soccer legend with “Pelé: The Autobiography.” Your passion for soccer isn’t complete until you dive into the pages that chronicle the life of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known worldwide simply as Pelé.

  • Rise to Fame: Born into a modest family, Pele’s story begins with him playing soccer with a makeshift ball, showcasing his humble origins and early love for the game.
  • Career Milestones: Witness his ascent as he becomes a three-time FIFA World Cup Champion, claiming his throne as one of the game’s all-time greats.
  • Personal Insights: Pelé bares his heart, sharing not just his victories but also the challenges he faced both on and off the field.
  • Legacy: Understand the impact he had on soccer and culture globally.

In this book, your admiration for Pelé’s skill on the field will soar to new heights as you read about his incredible accomplishments. You’ll get a front-row seat to his life experiences, never-before-shared stories, and significant events that shaped his illustrious career. It’s not only about sportsmanship: it’s a testament to perseverance and the spirit of determination.

Cherish Pelé’s narrative in a format that’s as engaging as the man himself. If you’re eager to grasp the essence of his influence in soccer, grab your copy and relive the inspiring tale of Pelé: The Autobiography. Let the passion for soccer consume you through the words of this unparalleled icon.

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Pele: The Autobiography
  • Pelé (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages – 05/08/2007 (Publication Date) – Simon & Schuster…

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I Am Zlatan: My Story On and Off the Field

  • Author: Zlatan Ibrahimović
  • Co-contributors: Ruth Urbom (Translator), David Lagercrantz (Contributor)
  • Genre: Sports Autobiography

Step into the larger-than-life world of Zlatan Ibrahimović with the Autobiography “I Am Zlatan.” Your journey through the pages of this book takes you on an inspiring ride from his humble beginnings to becoming one of soccer’s most enigmatic stars.

  • From Humble Beginnings: Discover Zlatan’s early life as an outsider in Rosengård and his metamorphosis into a soccer prodigy.
  • Raw Talent and Grit: Be enthralled by his unorthodox playing style and witness the tenacity that drove him to succeed against all odds.

As you read, you’ll learn about the personality quirks and philosophy that make Zlatan a one-of-a-kind soccer player. His story is not just about sport but also about an immigrant kid who, through hard work and self-belief, achieved extraordinary success.

  • Streetwise Soccer: Zlatan’s technique is infused with streetwise verve and unique trick plays that dazzle fans and foes alike.
  • International Phenomenon: Follow his path to becoming an international sensation, including his rise through the European soccer leagues and his captivating off-field persona.

Experience the emotional highs and lows, the behind-the-scenes drama, and the unmatched audacity of a star who rose from obscurity to global fame. I Am Zlatan is an autobiography that’s as bold and impactful as the man himself.

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I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Author) – James Hillier (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 11/24/2016 (Publication Date) – Penguin Audio (Publisher)

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Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography

  • Author: Alex Ferguson
  • Position: Former Manager of Manchester United
  • Publication Year: 2013
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Imagine reliving the greatest moments of Manchester United through the eyes of its most decorated manager. In “Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography,” you get an exclusive look into the life of Sir Alex Ferguson, the mastermind behind the team’s formidable success during his legendary tenure.

Your journey through this autobiography will reveal:

  • Personal insights into Ferguson’s early life in Scotland.
  • An intimate view of his player and managerial career.
  • The strategies and leadership qualities that made him successful.

Dive into the management philosophy that Ferguson cultivated en route to becoming one of the most revered figures in British soccer. Your understanding of the beautiful game will deepen as you explore his relationships with iconic players, the evolution of the club under his watch, and his thoughts on the modern game.

Highlights to anticipate in this autobiography include:

  • Ferguson’s candid thoughts on the complexities of managing elite soccer players.
  • His perspective on the rivalry with Liverpool and Manchester City.
  • Reflections on retirement and the transition out of management.

Ferguson’s work is a must-read autobiography that’s not just for fans of Manchester United, but for anyone interested in the strategic and psychological aspects of leading a top-flight soccer team. Your bookshelf will be incomplete without this testament to a remarkable career in soccer.

ALEX FERGUSON: My Autobiography: The autobiography…
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Ferguson, Alex (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 417 Pages – 10/24/2013 (Publication Date) – Hodder &…

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Andrea Pirlo: I Think Therefore I Play

  • Insight into Milan: You’ll be captivated by the details of Pirlo’s last meeting with Milan’s Adriano Galliani, a turning point in his career. This marks the beginning of a new chapter for Pirlo post-Milan.
  • Champion’s Words: Feel the thrill of soccer’s pinnacle moments through the recollections of a World Cup winner. Experience the highs of lifting the trophy in Berlin and understand the emotions involved in such a significant achievement.
  • Pirlo’s Evolution: Trace Pirlo’s journey from his early days at Brescia all the way to his storied tenure at Juventus. You’ll gain a unique perspective on his growth both on and off the field.
  • Personal Revelations: Pirlo shares his inner thoughts, making the book a deeply personal narrative. His contemplative and refreshing style will provide you with a look into the mind of a soccer philosopher.
  • Critical Acclaim: Critics have hailed the book for being an engaging read, with remarkable insights into the sport from someone who has never played outside his home country, yet captures the global essence of the game.

In “I Think Therefore I Play,” Andrea Pirlo invites you into his world, and you’ll come away with a profound appreciation for his contributions to the beautiful game. This book isn’t just for the avid soccer fan; it’s for anyone who appreciates a narrative that reflects a devotion to craft and an understanding of what it takes to be a true maestro of the midfield.

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I Think Therefore I Play
1,996 Reviews
I Think Therefore I Play
  • Pirlo, Andrea (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 200 Pages – 10/01/2015 (Publication Date) – BackPage Press…

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Luis Suarez: Crossing the Line – My Story

Published: November 1, 2014
Format Availability: Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle
Author: Luis Suárez
Rating on Goodreads: 3.90 (based on 764 ratings)

You’ll find yourself immersed in the intriguing journey of Luis Suárez, a prominent figure in the world of soccer, depicted in his autobiography, Crossing the Line – My Story. This read offers a firsthand look at the life of a young boy whose passion for soccer began in the Uruguayan countryside and followed him to the bustling life of Montevideo.

Key Highlights:

  • Suárez’s early love of soccer
  • The obstacles he faced moving from the countryside to Uruguay’s capital
  • His rise from a local club to European prominence
  • Candid insights about his controversial moments on and off the field

The narrative presents an honest confession of his highs and lows, both personal and professional, including the events leading to his renowned move from Ajax to Liverpool, skillfully orchestrated by Kenny Dalglish. You can expect a gripping tale of determination, the raw emotion of soccer at its core, and the undeniable spirit that characterizes one of soccer’s most gifted players.

Your eye-opening journey through the pages of Suárez’s life story will leave you with a unique understanding of the man behind the headlines and the undying spirit of an athlete who consistently strives to overcome challenges.

Luis Suarez – My Story: Crossing the Line
  • Suarez, Luis (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages – 09/08/2015 (Publication Date) – Headline…

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Red: My Autobiography – Gary Neville

  • Author: Gary Neville
  • Publishing Date: 2011
  • Genre: Sports Autobiography
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Imagine reliving the glorious years of Manchester United through the eyes of a club legend—because that’s exactly what you get with Gary Neville’s Red: My Autobiography. This book captures the essence of Manchester United’s success from a player who didn’t just witness it but was instrumental in its happening. Neville’s candid narrative takes you on an exhilarating journey, from his passionate beginnings to becoming one of the most decorated English soccer players.

In Red, your admiration for Neville’s career will deepen as you explore his:

  • Heartfelt Dedication: Discover Gary Neville’s unwavering commitment to the game and Manchester United, which is evident throughout his story.
  • Tactical Insights: Gain unique perspectives on pivotal matches and behind-the-scenes strategies from the stalwart defender’s point of view.
  • Personal Growth: Follow his evolution from a young talent in the famed ‘Class of ’92’ to his role as a mature team leader.

You’ll find yourself riveted by his honest reflections on key moments and personalities that shaped his two decades at the top.

With a rating of 3.97 on Goodreads, this autobiography isn’t just for Manchester United fans; it’s a must-read if you’re eager to understand the devotion and determination that define a true soccer great. Your passion for the beautiful game will be reignited as you turn every page of this compelling account.

Red: My Autobiography
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Neville, Gary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 324 Pages – 09/01/2011 (Publication Date) – Transworld…

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Carlo Ancelotti: Quiet Leadership: Winning Hearts, Minds and Matches

  • Author: Carlo Ancelotti
  • Genre: Autobiography/Sports
  • Publication Year: 2016

Discover the compelling story of a soccer management legend in Carlo Ancelotti’s autobiography. “Quiet Leadership: Winning Hearts, Minds and Matches” gives you an exclusive peek into the professional life of Carlo Ancelotti, who has managed top European clubs including AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich.

Key Highlights:

  • Leadership Philosophy: Ancelotti unveils his unique approach to leadership, which is less about grand speeches and more about building personal relationships.
  • Career Insights: Follow his journey as a manager and learn from his experiences, mentors, and the occasional mistakes that shaped his career.
  • Inside the Dressing Room: Get a front-row seat to the dynamics of the famous dressing rooms Ancelotti has led.
  • Player Perspectives: The book includes comments from notorious players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Andrea Pirlo.

An enticing read, this autobiography is not just about soccer tactics; it’s about the man himself and his approach to leading teams to victory with poise and respect. You’ll unravel the quiet power behind Ancelotti’s leadership, one that has inspired countless players and led to numerous unforgettable victories.

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Carlo Ancelotti: Quiet Leadership: Winning Hearts,…
  • Ancelotti, Carlo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 09/01/2017 (Publication Date) – Portfolio…

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Pep Guardiola: Another Way of Winning: The Biography

Dive into the mind of the tactical genius with “Pep Guardiola: Another Way of Winning: The Biography” by Guillem Balague. This is not just a book; it’s your backstage pass to the life of Pep Guardiola, one of the most forward-thinking soccer managers of our time.

  • Author: Guillem Balague
    Get a detailed account from the renowned Spanish soccer expert.
  • Initial Release: 2012 Explore Guardiola’s journey right from the beginning.

With every page you turn, you’ll feel the intensity and dedication of Guardiola’s approach to the beautiful game. You’ll be exhilarated by the detailed narration of how he transformed FC Barcelona into what many will argue as the greatest club side ever, securing thirteen trophies in four years.

  • Barcelona Tenure:
    • 2008-2012
    • 14 trophies including La Liga and UEFA Champions League
  • Coaching Philosophy: Emphasis on possession-based play and pressing.

The book also covers his success at Bayern Munich, winning the Double twice, and setting up the foundations for future triumphs. With personal anecdotes and tactician secrets, your admiration for Guardiola will soar as you witness his relentless quest for perfection. Whether you’re a die-hard soccer fan or a budding coach, this biography is your chance to peek into the mind of a soccer legend.

Pep Guardiola: Another Way of Winning: The…
  • Balague, Guillem (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 496 Pages – 06/25/2019 (Publication Date) – Weidenfeld &…

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Forward: A Memoir

In “Forward: A Memoir”, you’ll dive into the life of Abby Wambach, an iconic figure in soccer. Her book isn’t just for sports enthusiasts; it’s a profound story of courage that transcends the field.

  • Author: Abby Wambach
  • Genre: Biography/Autobiography
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What You’ll Uncover:

  • Personal Struggles: Wambach’s journey is as gripping off the field as it is on. You’ll witness her battles and triumphs, both personal and professional.
  • Unrivaled Honesty: Abby’s candid narrative is refreshing. She dives into her life with a raw and unfiltered look at her experiences.

Highlights:

  • Read about Wambach’s beginnings in Rochester, New York, and her meteoric rise to become a world-class athlete.
  • Discover the depths of resilience and redemption through her eyes.

Why You Should Read It:

  • It’s more than a sports story. It’s a testament to Abby’s fearless approach to life’s challenges and heart.
  • You’ll be inspired by her heroism, on and off the field.

Your takeaway will be more than just soccer wisdom; it’s life lessons from one of the world’s most revered athletes. Abby Wambach’s “Forward: A Memoir” is an invigorating read that will leave you motivated and moved.

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Forward: A Memoir
  • Wambach, Abby (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages – 06/13/2017 (Publication Date) – Dey Street Books…

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My Life in Red and White

You’ll be captivated by “My Life in Red and White,” the profound autobiography of the revolutionary soccer manager, Arsène Wenger. This is a story told in his own, authentic voice, detailing his illustrious tenure at Arsenal.

  • Inside Scoop: Discover never-before-shared insights into Wenger’s personal life and professional ethos.
  • Legendary Successes: Relive the dizzying heights of Arsenal’s “Invincibles” season under his leadership.
  • Management Philosophy: Wenger reveals his unique principles of leadership and team management that can apply both on and off the field.

Through these pages, you’ll understand Wenger’s passion for soccer, his innovative strategies, and the discipline that made him a household name.

Whether you’re a soccer aficionado or a fan of gripping life stories, “My Life in Red and White” offers the excitement of match-day with the wisdom of a seasoned leader. Your appreciation for the beautiful game is sure to deepen after reading about the life and times of one of soccer’s most respected figures.

To dive deep into this iconic soccer manager’s story, check out the paperback edition of the book which offers both entertainment and inspiration through Wenger’s storied career.

My Life in Red and White: The Sunday Times Number…
  • Wenger, Arsene (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 340 Pages – 05/27/2021 (Publication Date) – W&N (Publisher)

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Leading: Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United

Discover the trials and triumphs of one of soccer’s most iconic figures in Leading: Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United. In this gripping autobiography, you’ll explore the mind of Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary manager who reigned over Manchester United for over two decades.

  • Authorship: At the helm is Sir Alex Ferguson himself, with the aid of renowned author Michael Moritz.
  • Inside Stories: Get exclusive insights into the dressing room dynamics, high-pressure decisions, and the strategies that led to numerous victories.

Experience the management philosophy that transformed Manchester United into a soccer juggernaut. Ferguson reveals how his unique leadership style and vision guided the team to countless trophies, including an exceptional treble in 1999.

  • Personal Growth: Learn lessons of resilience and adaptability; hallmarks of Sir Alex’s storied career.
  • Beyond Soccer : Ferguson also sheds light on his challenges and accomplishments outside the soccer world.

Revisit groundbreaking moments, from intense clashes with rival teams to nurturing some of the finest talents in soccer. Sir Alex shares stories of mentoring greats like Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham, emphasizing the importance of developing both the player and the person.

Grab your own copy of this remarkable journey and let yourself be captivated by the narrative of a true soccer maestro.

  • Publication Date: Embrace a piece of sports history published by Hachette Books, September 20, 2016.
  • Page Count: Dive deep into 416 pages of pure soccer and leadership gold.

This is your playbook to master the art of leadership, whether you’re a soccer fan or seeking inspiration to elevate your own game in life and work.

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Leading: Learning from Life and My Years at…
  • Ferguson, Alex (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages – 09/20/2016 (Publication Date) – Hachette Books…

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Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade | + posts

Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.

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Soccer Products FAQ

Can I Use Running Shoes for Soccer? 

You can play soccer in running shoes, but you won’t have the best performance unless you wear cleats or soccer boots.

Why are soccer balls black and white?

Soccer balls are traditionally black and white because when soccer was first shown on TV it was in black and white, so the mix of black and white on the balls helped viewers see the ball easier. 

How hard and what pressure should a soccer ball be?

The FIFA regulations say that the soccer balls should have a pressure between 8.81757 psi (0.6 atm) and 16.1655 psi (1.1 atm). If you’re playing soccer with friends, then opt for a pressure amount from the lower range.

What is the size of goals in soccer?

5-A-Side has dimensions that are 12-ft wide by 6-ft high. Such soccer goals are for under-7 and under-8 soccer games
7-A-Side has dimensions that are 12-ft wide by 6-ft high again. Such soccer goals are for under-9 and under-10 soccer games
9-A-Side has dimensions that are 16-ft wide by 7-ft high. Such soccer goals are for under-11 and under-12 soccer game
11-A-Side or full-size soccer goal has dimensions that are 24-ft wide by 8-ft high for the under-15 and over. Whereas, for the under-13 and under-14, it is 21 ft wide by 7-ft high

What is the soccer ball size and weight for each age group?

Size 1 - 3 years or under - 18 to 20 inches - 195 to 205 grams
Size 2 - 3 to 5 years - 20 to 22 inches - U4 - 250 to 280 grams
Size 3 - 5 to 8 years - 23 to 24 inches - U5 to U8 - 300 to 320 grams
Size 4 - 8 to 12 years - 25 to 26 inches - U8 to U12 - 350 to 390 grams
Size 5 - More than 12 years - 27 to 28 inches - U12 to Pro - 410 to 450 grams


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