Englands group teams for world cup 2014 the literature of our opponents

Well as many of you that follow the blog know I am a huge football fan and as I type the world cup groups for 2014 Brazil are being drawn live on tv so as we wait and see if it runs smoothly .We sit with baited breath as the draw carring on who will England get  ? I will of course  nearer the  time I may do another post about the Literature of the other teams in the world cup like I did four years ago. But for  today I focus on the three teams that England face in the world cup we will be playing


garden of silica

Well I ve not many Uruguaian  books under review just one Garden of Silica by Ida Vitale the well known Uruguainan poet .Other well known writers from Uruguay are Eduardo Galeano and Juan Carlos Onetti are probably the two most well known to us in English .I will be reading one or more before June .As for the players of Uruguay well Diego Forlan played for united that I support and of course Luis Suarez is very well know to most English football fans

Costa Rica

cadence of the moon

Óscar Núñez Olivas is the only name I know of in English easily available I will be looking more in depth at this I have on a couple of occasions when Costa rica first qualified to find a book from there and the Olivas on a year of reading was the only one that jump out more research may turn up another .As for players I had to look up their national team and find a player I knew well .Then saw there captain is a Fulham player Bryan Ruiz and scored this blinding goal .


parrots Flippo Bologna

Well the relief I ve a lot of Italian books under review on Winstonsdad .I had two in my top ten books this year ten by Andrej Longo and the parrots by Flippo Bologna .I m sure next year will have more italian books to add to the 23 under review on the blog .As for a player it has to be the bad boy of Italian football the former Manchester city player Mario Balotelli.So as they call him some super Mario goals .

Well we have the heat of the Amazon   and not the  easy group ,but it could be worse and I can’t wait for the games .Come on England#

How was your Draw for the world cup ?


As Ghana play today and hopefully get through to the next round I ask Kinna who lives in Ghana to do the Ghana writers post for me ,many thaks Kinna and best of luck for the black stars .

World Cup of Writers – Ghana


I’m Ghanaian by birth and so I’m quite familiar with the writers of my country.  I will discuss some of my favorites. I consider Efua Sutherland as the mother of Ghanaian writing.  She was a dramatist and her plays, Edufa and the Marriage of Anansewa, are masterpieces and quite representative of African drama.  Then there is Ama Ata Aidoo, a novelist, dramatist and poet.  Aidoo’s books include Changes, Our Sister Killjoy and No Sweetness Here. All really good. Her play, Anowa, is an excellent exploration of Ghana’s role in the Slave Trade.   Next, Ayi Kwei Armah, the novelist.  His novel, The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born is also a favorite of mine.  I also like the works of Kojo Laing.

Among the ‘younger writers, I love the works of Nii Ayikwei Parkes – his latest book is Tail of the Blue Bird. Amma Darko, who in Faceless, explored the plight of street children in Ghana.  Others include Mohamed Naseehu Ali, his book The Prophets of Zongo is a good read. I know of two writers who write mysteries/crime drama, a rarity among African writers.  They are Yaba Badoe, her book is True Murder.  The other is Kwei Quartey and his book is Wife of the Gods.

World cup memories – 

 Ghana’s national soccer team is known as the Black Stars.  Although, we’ve been quite a force on the African continent, the country qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 2006. We played well and managed to get out of the group stages into the round of 16.  The most memorable game was the final game in the group against the United States. Ghana won the match 2-1.  Unfortunately, we faced Brazil in the round of 16 and were sent home. 


world cup or writing nigeria

Sorry been a while since posted one of these ,Englands poor start has put dampers on world cup a bit .


The most well-known Nigerian writer is probably Ben Okri a huge favourite of my self famished road is a true masterpiece of african magic realism ,now there is also Biyi Bandele that i am just reading he is based in the uk his Burma boy follows a young man in the second world war in Burma and a Nigerian N.C.O sergant ,I ve also Kachi A Ozumba on my T.B.R pile ,I ve also enjoyed Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche her collection of short stories thing around the neck .T.M Aluko has also written a number of books also Ogail Ogali has written a lot of books ,I feel Nigeria as the largest country in africa population wise has loads of stories to tell us in the future .

World cup memories –

I first remembered them in there first world cup in 94 in the usa ,a great team that managed to qualify for last sixteen after beating Bulgaria and Greece in qualifying ,they had star striker daniel Amokochai ,who later played for Everton in the premiership ,I remember their great goal celebrations ,In 98 they knocked spain out in group stages ,also had Tarbio west playing a huge defender with wonderfully coloured braids .

i m linking this to Amy reads Nigerian challenge .

World cup of writing – team ENGLAND


GOALKEEPER – CHARLES DICKENS ,the keeper on the whole is a giant and has generally a lot of experience and a pair of safe hands ,so my No1 is mr dickens are greatest novel writer a man of the people his books still ring  as true today as the day they were written .so dickens is our David James .

RIGHT BACK – W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM ,now like keeper in england the right back tends to stick around in the team from Kenny Samson to Gary Neville ,so Maugham seems an ideal fit not a huge star but in a lot of ways he has huge influence ,he is books were beautifully written and his autobiography is one of the best guides to writing ever written by a successful writer .

CENTRE BACK 1-PATRICK HAMILTON ,now there are two types of centre backs the graceful and the bruiser ,now bruiser suits Hamilton he wrote about dark bars and rough nights in seedy london so he is our enforcer at the back .our terry butcher of writers

CENTRE BACK 2-H G WELLS , the godfather of modern sci-fi and a great storyteller he wrote books on a lot of subjects and has influence most sci-fi writers and george Orwell whois own name is an homage to H G so Wells is are graceful intelligent defend the writers Rio or ledley king  .

LEFT BACK -PATRICK NEATE ,left backs tend to be fanciful and stylish ,so Patrick Neate seems a perfect fit a writer with playful stories and a real passion for the written word he started book slam who’s podcasts i listen to ,so our writing Ashley Cole is mr Neate .

RIGHT WINGER- WILL SELF ,now our last right-winger was Beckham so will self fits him perfectly a ambassador for the written word with real flair and a ability to keep in the public eye ,from Dorian to the book of dave Will always impresses with his clever word man ship just like Beckham .

DEfENSIVE MIDFIELDER – Agatha Christie the mistress of crime would be great as see had a wonderful eye for detail and ability to solve a case so like Barry or Hargreaves an ability to keep control of the game is essential with put showing off and that is just what Agatha did in her wonderful books spinning the story without being to showy

PLAYMAKER-J G BALLARD – now our lampard has to be Ballard he was the master of the spectacular stories from a interpretations of his Saigon childhood and war to environmentalism in drowned world ,consumerism and high-class living in super Cannes ,JG books where fast paced and wonderfully weaved and that is what a playmaker should do so Ballard is the writing Lampard .

LEFT WINGER – GEORGE ORWELL ,now who else could i pick the troubled england position by a writer that troubled minds with his forward thinking and ability to pass politics to everyman through his novels ,so our Arraon Lennon is Orwell a man who always wrote from the heart and this is what we hope Lennon does .

STRIKER -IAIN MCEWAN now he is our tall writer always dependable like McEwan his writing is spectacular but he is consistent he has wrote books that sell well for lit books his latest is his best in a while ,so the writing peter crouch is McEwan tall thin and always there .


STRIKER -WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE now our bard fits Rooney perfectly the plays he wrote still have great meaning ,they sum up england to a tee and ask any one name an english writer they ll say Shakespeare ask any football fan name an english player nowadays they’ll say Wayne Rooney our goal threat and one of the best players england has ever produced .

MANAGER -ITALO CALVINO ,like our current manager a master of tactics the italian writer Calvino wrote great plots and clever words play and in a number of different way just like Fabio Capello seems to be doing at the moment .

so there is my 11 hope it helps non football fans understand a bit there other halfs passion and maybe why people love the game so much ..



loads but here we go in no order really ,Beckham scoring against Greece to help us qualify in 2006 a wonderful goal that set dreams alight ,linaker goals in Italia 90 ,Gazza tears at the same world cup ,Pearce missing then scoring penalties Keegan missing out an early memory ,Platt performances in 90 ,Beckham in 2006 like a man restored after the disgrace of being sent off .all back to new orders world in motion or three lions from baddle and skinner .


world cup of writers U.S.A


Now like australia it is really hard to name all the amazing writers from the U.S  so i m, going to name some of my favourites here ,classic wise there are two that leap out to me Walden Henry David Thoreau ,his account of spend a year (well more actually ) in a log cabin by a lake ,this book is about the simple life being a good neighbour and caring for the natural world and probably one of my ten desert island books if i had to choose ten books ,as fresh today as when it was written. the other is twain not so much the finn and sawyer books thou they are great his innocent abroad is a wonderful glimpse at travel in the europe at 1860’s . Now slightly more up to date is Steinbeck ,no Fitzgerald is a good writer but in my opinion Steinbeck is the better writer and seems to have caught the depression era so wonderfully ,my favourite is cannery row a tale of down and outs struggling to get by ,but doing so .then there are the giants of post war literature mailer ,Updike and Roth i have enjoyed books by all these writers mailers naked and the dead is one of the best fictionalized accounts of ww2 ever written ,Updike rabbit series paints the post war years so well through one mans life-like him or loathe him or both rabbit is one of the best american characters ever written ,Roth’s plot against america is well wroth reading as a great alternate history ,now some other favourites writers and my favourite books  include – Raymond Craver (elephant ), Paul Auster (mr vertigo ),Jonathan Letham (motherless Brooklyn ) .I like a lot more but these are ones i have really enjoyed .

the walden cabin

World cup memories –

I can’t start talking about usa in world cup without mentioning Alexi Lalas ,the long red-haired player from the 90’s  ,he stared in the 1994 world cup ,a lot of the us players over the years have played in europe ,Cobi Jones from 1994 played for Coventry and numerous others ,i remember the game in france 1998 were America played Iran an amazing swapping of gifts and a good tempered game shows the power of football at its best bring these two polar opposite countries together for 90 minutes

Alexi Lalas

world cup of writing australia


Now there are loads of australian writers available in england to many to list so i m highlighting some of my favourites and some i m going to read in next twelve months ,I ll start with what many consider the original australian classic and a book i start reading on my e reader but have decide to actually buy a copy of ,its Marcus Clarks -for the term of his natural life ,the account of richard Devine a man from a well to do family that ends up being transported to Tasmania ,the account is partially based on real accounts of the time ,this book is very powerful ,the next is Patrick White and his book the solid mandala a tale of two brother that are polar opposites personality wise and is told in different chapter by each brother a truly wonderful book by a somewhat overlooked writer ,tim Winton is a writer who’s books i have so enjoyed in the last few year ,breath a story of surfing and growing up was wonderful ,his masterpiece cloud street i have yet to read but always need a rainy day book .David Mahlouf is another writer that writers beautiful books ,Peter Carey I ve read most of Peters books my favourite is true history of Kelly gang ,Carey’s books have a wonderful way of mixing history and fiction ,they tell of high adventures at times and always different ,now  I  intend to read the slap soon Christopher Tsiolkas novel that follow events at a bar b q and an event that affects people at the bar b que ,Peter Careys new novel and nick caves second novel .


Now australian football at world cup for many years was effected by their inclusion for many years in the Oceania qualifying group which lead to them playing the 5th place team in south american group which was a hard task and lend to australia missing a number of world cups .they have played in two world cups 1974 were they got knocked out first round and 2006 in germany where they got through qualifying to play in last 16 ,the best game for me was a 2-2 draw in the last group game against Croatia as a number of players on both teams could have played either country so it was a grudge match so to speak and end in a draw send Croatia home and australia to a very close game against eventual champions italy .

2010 team

world cup of writing – Japan

The writers –

Now suppose the first place to start is with Haruki Murkami ,he is the most well-known contemporary Japanese writer ,I ve read a number of his books the novel  south of the border west of the sun i really enjoyed ,also his non fiction collection of writing about running what i talk about when i talk about running with its Raymond Carver inspired title ,Gave a wonderful insight into the modern Japanese Psyche and the man himself ,other writers i ve read include Yukio Mishna’s the sailor who fell from grace with the sea which i didn’t enjoy so much but has stuck in my mind for a time after i read it .the female writer banana Yoshimoto whose kitchen I read years ago ,a family drama set in nineties Tokyo ,she is a firm favourite of a twitter friend and writer Dan Holloway one of the year zero collective .i also have a collection of short stories which featured 25 story’s from early to mid twentieth century japanese writers ,there are a lot of new writers appear from japan that i shall be reading future and people like endo .

short japanese story collection

World cup memories –

they have played last three world cup with 2002 being the only time they progress ,they had a wonderfully talented midfielder called hidetoshi Nakata he was dubbed the David beckam of japan and supported a very jazzy haircut ,they pull a big  victory over russia in 2002 which was a mild shock as they were thought to be the outsiders in their group .

hidetoshi nakata

world cup of writer Paraguay


Now this was a struggle to find some so there isn’t many names and be truthful I ve not read any but will try to after reading up about some books from Paraguay ,the main writer that has got regontion abroad is Augusto Roa Bastos who was part of the latin american boom and wrote a highly regarded novel i the supreme ,a fictionalized account of a 19th century dictator in Paraguay the book is available on the dalkey archive press .there is a poet called Renee Ferrer de Arrellaga  here is a poem extract

  El eco de los pájaros The echo of the birds
  se ha vuelto ceniciento. has turned the colour of ash.
  De los árboles cuelga la amargura del duelo; From the trees hangs the bitterness of the duel;
  y en la trémula línea del silencio, and in the flickering line of the silence,
  calado de abandono, fret with abandonment,
  asumo I assume
  la soledad sin término. unending solitude

there is also a modern-day sci-fi writer called jeu Azarru ,who writes cyber punk and short stories .

World cup memories –

I remember them in france 1998 ,mainly because of their free kick and penalty taking goal keeper Jose Luis Chilavert a cult figure in his homeland ,he even scored 4 goals in qualifying for 2002 world cup ,at moment Roque Santa Cruz is there best known player he plays for Manchester city ,Paraguay has qualified for 7 world cups and reach 2nd round 3 times .


World cup of writers – Argentina


Well to talk about writers from Argentina there is only really one place to start and that is Jorge Luis Borges ,the godfather Latin american writing ,He was one of the most talented and innovated writers ,with stories that where surreal at time, alternate histories ,magic realism and with some of his very short stories you could even say he event flash fiction before it was invented .In later life he went blind and had people to read to him ,now one of these readers near the end of his life was Alberto Manugel who went on to become a writer as well ,his novel Stevenson under the palms is a favourite of mine ,he also writes non fiction books about reading ,writers the art of reading and his latest is about the time with Borges .Ernesto CHE Guevara was from Argentina as well and wrote his motorcycle diaries about a bike trip through Argentina and the surrounding countries which is a good read as you see the incidents that from the opinions in the later life of che .On my T.B.R pile i have a Julio Cortazaar a writer how’s style bridges the latin american magic realism and stream of conciousness of europe where he spent a long time I ve autonauts of the cosmonauts a book about a trip round france as made for the cosmopolitans.Another writer that i want to read is Cesar Aira his ghost is set in Buenos Aires and follows a daughters obsession with a ghost .other writers include Manuel Puig  Juan Filoy and Luisa Valenzulea .



My earliest memory of a world cup is the 1978 final in Argentina ,not so much the match as the stream of white streams surrounding what seemed a very lively crowd ,Argentina have a fine world cup history having won it twice at home in 1978 and then 8 years later in mexico they also came second in 1990 .I can ‘t not mention a couple of england Argentina relate incidents the infamous Maradona hand of god goal and the Beckham sending off in 1998 .Maradona did then go on to score one of the greatest solo goals of any world cup in that match against england .Maradona is one of the types of players Argentina produces time and time again small highly skilled attacking midfielders or strikers  from  Mario Kempes , Ossie Ardilles to Carlos Tevez at the moment . the will as ever be worth watching and as a number of the first team just won the champions league with inter Milan ,could be in with a chance .

the winning goal in 1978

What writers from Argentina do you know ?

world cup of writers -Slovenia

The writers –

Now ,I have read one Slovenian writer to my knowledge and that is the political thinker Slavoj Zizek his first as tragedy the as farce ,I ve look round the net found a couple of other book reviewed by the complete review the Cartier project byMiha Mazzini and also mocking desire by Drago Jancar .Ljubljana the capital of Slovenia is world book capital this year a link here to translate first page of the site . there is a list of more books on the site .There is a few new writers to me I ll be looking up and reading in future .

Learn Slovenian

Ljubljana � World Book Capital 2010

The world cup –

Slovenia as a separate country is a relatively new country having been part of the former Yugoslavia ,their other world cup appearance was in 2002 when they got knocked out in the group stage my main memory was the talents of their star player  Zlatko ZAHOVIC a playmaker in the typical Balkan playmaker role of Boban or  Prosenscki in the past .


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