Eduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow is one of the most lauded books written about soccer to this day. Rather than providing a standard ‘nuts and bolts’ account of the game, forcing the reader to sift through countless names, dates and statistics, Galeano instead provides his readers with 150 short sketches about the game. With topics as broad as “the Ball” and as specific as the “Goal by Atilio,” these sketches lay out a sweeping account of soccer’s history. But at as the “Author’s Confession” makes clear, these fragmentary sketches are also a biographical account of the history of the game seen through Galeano’s own eyes, focusing on the important events that shaped his understanding of the game.
Andi Thomas, a sportswriter for sbnation.com, provided an excellent reflection on the importance of Soccer in Sun and Shadow after Galeano passed away at the age of 74.
And this summer, Lenora Todaro reflected on the sadness of watching the World Cup in the wake of Galeano’s death.
As you read, you might want to see if you can find videos of some of the goals or incidents described; you can also check out these previous blog posts that include videos of some of the goals described by Galeano himself.
Students, as we read the first have of Galeano’s this week in “Soccer Politics,” pick your favorite sketch and analyze its style and structure here in the comments section. What makes this particular sketch insightful, funny, or moving? Can you find other information about the incident or player he is describing? How does the sketch teach you to think about or see soccer in a different way?
Please post your responses by Wednesday, January 23rd by 5 p.m.