Several readers have asked me to share recommendations of what gift ideas would be perfect for soccer fans this time of the year, especially those who follow English Premier League teams, so here are 9 great holiday gifts for you, or for the soccer fan in your life.
Editor’s note: I included a variety of different gift suggestions based on the type of present but also a variety of prices, from stocking stuffer ideas to higher priced items.
1. “Foul! The Secret World Of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals.” Judging by the title, you would have thought that Andrew Jennings‘s explosive book about FIFA would have been written and published in 2010. Except that “Foul! The Secret World Of FIFA” was published in 2006. Glad to see that FIFA has made some positive steps to correct things. Not! Without getting too political, the book is a must-read for soccer fans who are curious about what goes on inside FIFA’s extravagant headquarters in Switzerland, as well as the evidence that reveals how corrupt many of its committee members are including sadly some who are still in power. The book has been so popular than it’s now out of print and only used copies are available, but the book is worth every penny.
Foul! The Secret World Of FIFA, Amazon.com, From $20
2. Football Manager 2011. Few soccer simulation games are as exhaustingly accurate as the king of all football games, Football Manager. The latest version adds several exciting enhancements to the classic soccer game which thrusts you inside the world of a football manager. Get a feel for what life is like for a Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger or Chris Hughton. Or start in a different or lower league and try to rise to the top of the Premier League. It may give you a better appreciation for how tough a gaffer’s job is. Read EPL Talk’s review of Football Manager 2011. And watch a video of Football Manager 2011.
Football Manager 2011, Amazon.com, $39.95
3. FIFA 11. The number of people raving about FIFA 11 the past two months has been deafening. And yes, it’s that good. Improved graphics and gameplay make this the leader in soccer video games. The best word to describe FIFA 11 is authenticity. The game exudes an authentic version of reality by providing new features such as the ability to control the goalkeeper, 360 degree dribbling (watch out Samir Nasri) and much much more. Read EPL Talk’s reviews of FIFA 11 here and here.