SOCCER LOVERS BOOK REVIEW: Goal!
Intimate portraits and interviews with every living FIFA World Cup™ Final scorer from World Cup Photographer Michael Donald
This book is a joy to read or flip through. Phenomenal pictures and behind the scene conversations with the men who changed the lives of countries — by scoring on the pitch when it really counted. And, as Iniesta and Gotze say, “They just managed to do the right thing at the right time.”
Award-winning sports photographer Michael Donald has spent six years tracking down the 34 living members of an exclusive club: the only people to have scored in a World Cup Final. The book includes the story of what happened in each World Cup, what happened to the players afterward and what they do today. Beautifully illustrated, with fascinating text and the backing of FIFA, Goal! is a unique soccer book that captures the essence of the ultimate sporting achievement.
Diane Scavuzzo interviewed Donald over the phone from his London home to learn a bit more about the making of this new book GOAL!
“Most people think the number of men who have scored in a FIFA World Cup Final is in the hundreds but there are only 29 alive,” said Micahel Donald. “The goal of the book was to go inside the World Cup and to see how the world has changed over the decades and find out more about these remarkable players.”
“I do not speak any foreign languages and only two of the World Cup Final scorers spoke English — I had the help of a local translator with most of the professional soccer players I spoke with. So, I would sit down with a local producer and explain my questions. I find that people are the best speaking in their own language.”
GOAL! was written by Michael Donald
We wanted to know who was the most inspiring, who was the most memorable and who was the most difficult. Here is what Donald told us:
“The most inspiring was Jose Luis (Tata) Brown who represented the Argentine National Team and scored in the 1986 World Cup played in Mexico. Brown — or Tata as fans called him — had no swagger. Nothing but gratitude — and he told me he couldn’t believe his luck when he scored — He is really a humble man. Tata even cried during the interview, said Donald.
“Who is the most difficult? Well, I probably shouldn’t say,” said Donald. “But in 1978, I was 12 years old — and, at that age you are old enough to understand soccer and I remember absolutely everything about the FIFA World Cup in ’78 and Mario Kempes — Kempes was the one person I was looking forward to meeting most, and perhaps because of this great build up, I was a bit disappointed.”
“Of all the people I interviewed, Paul Breitner was very memorable. Breitner is a force of nature – really outspoken and single-minded – he is a very kind and gracious man — and a very clever, articulate person,” said Donald.
“The most delightful were Andres Iniesta and Mario Gotze — both were incredibly humble, very helpful, and incredibly gracious,” said Donald. “Both former pros told me they were ‘Blessed with scoring in the World Cup” — and that they simply managed to do the right thing at the right time.”
Congratulations for doing the right thing at the right time. When you are playing in the World Cup, representing your country — that is an amazing accomplishment.
From all the way back to the Uruguayan Alcides Ghiggia in 1950 through to the last World Cup goal by Mario Gotze in 2016, this is a fascinating book on the men who made a difference for their countries and scored in the World Cup Final.
Scoring in the World Cup is a dream.
From Amazon: Photographer/author Michael Donald’s intimate portraits are accompanied by an interview with the player that not only relives the moment but gives the fascinating player insights into the occasion, from the music they played on the bus to the stadium, to the meal they ate afterward.
Bio on Author: Michael Donald is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker. He shoots commissions for The Sunday Times, the Telegraph, the Observer and the Guardian, and his work has been published the world over. He has also had work exhibited in Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Paris, the National Portrait Gallery in London and at the permanent Centenary Exhibition in Belfast’s City Hall.
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Available on Amazon.