Who’s better: Ronaldo or Messi? Ask any football fan and they’ll have an opinion.
For the best part of the last decade football has seen a personal rivalry unlike any seen before. Cristiano and Leo. This is their definitive story, from children kicking a ball halfway around the world from each other to their era-defining battle to be number one.
One the preening adonis, a precision physical machine who blows teams away with his pace and power. The other a shuffling genius, able to do things with a football that seem other-worldly. Their differences seem to tap into something fundamental about football and indeed life.
Between them they have scored over a thousand goals, won the Ballon d’Or nine times and redefined modern football. For the past eight seasons they have shared the accolade of best footballer in the world and arguments rage over which one deserves the title of greatest player of all time. Cristiano and Leo by Spanish and South American football expert and journalist Jimmy Burns is the essential book to understand the defining players of a generation.
A thoroughly researched dual biography by the great Jimmy Burns (Simon Kuper, author of The Football Men)
I am eating up this book. The verve with which Burns writes about the power politics and rich supporting characters like Florentino and Ferguson makes it a captivating read. (Richard Fitzpatrick, author of El Clásico: Barcelona v Real Madrid, Football’s Greatest Rivalry)
Praise for La Roja: There is so much people don’t know about Spain and Spanish football, and that is not a bad thing for as long as a complete writer like Jimmy Burns brings his unique vision to it. La Roja fills a hole in the knowledge of both Spain and Spanish football, as it goes beyond the football to explain a country, a society and its transformation through, thanks to and despite the beautiful game. (Guillem Balague, author of Brave New World: Inside Pochettino’s Spurs )
Praise for Maradona: The Hand of God: Those who have an interest in the sociology of football, in modern Argentina and in the “story behind the headlines” will admire Burns’ disturbing book which easily transcends the normal confines of sports journalism. (The Economist)
Praise for Barcelona: A People’s Passion: Burns’ strength lies not just in his compulsive, well-told story of the club’s evolution, but his notable grasp of Catalan history. (Sunday Times)