FourFourTwo: Soccer’s sociologist: David Goldblatt’s unique view of the world – and the United 2026 World Cup bid

If you’re serious about your knowledge of the global game, chances are you have a well-thumbed copy of David Goldblatt’s “The Ball is Round” on your bookshelf. It’s perhaps the definitive history of world soccer, and certainly the first to truly chronicle not just how the game came to be, but what it came to mean everywhere it was played.

For his latest project, Goldblatt is producing podcasts with Al Jazeera’s Jetty platform on the global culture of the game, from the starting point of Eduardo Galeano’s maxim, “Show me how you play and I will show you how you are.”

The show features sit-down interviews with the likes of Werner Herzog and John Foot — the latter being the author of the book on Italian football, “Calcio”, who, along with Goldblatt, unpicks the current state of an Italian system that somehow failed to send a team to the World Cup.

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Jordan Bailey