Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football by Jonathan Wilson

By Jonathan Wilson

From the war-ravaged streets of Sarajevo, the place turning up for education concerned dodging snipers' bullets, to the crumbling attractiveness of Budapest's Bozsik Stadium, the place the likes of Puskas and Kocsis masterminded the autumn of britain, the panorama of jap Europe has replaced immeasurably because the fall of communism. Jonathan Wilson has traveled broadly in the back of the previous Iron Curtain, viewing existence past the autumn of the Berlin Wall in the course of the lens of football. the place as soon as the state-controlled groups of the jap bloc handed their manner with crisp efficiency—a kind of communist model of overall soccer—to enormous good fortune at the eu and foreign phases, this day the attractive video game within the East has been unfolded to the unfastened marketplace, and through the quarter a feeling of chaos pervades. the specter of totalitarian interference now not continues to be; yet as a substitute mafia keep watch over is usually followed with a crippling loss of money. Jonathan Wilson is going looking for the spirit of Hungary's Golden Squad of the early Nineteen Fifties; charts the disintegration of the football superpower that used to be the previous Yugoslavia; follows a sorry story of corruption, mismanagement, and Armenian cognac during the Caucasuses; reopens the case of Russia's maximum football participant, Eduard Streltsov; and talks to Jan Tomaszewski approximately an autumn evening at Wembley in 1973.

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My reading would be of no consequence. Essence jumped to my mother’s side. “I could read, Mrs. Mathison,” she gushed. “I think your work is amazing. In fact—” My mom barely gave her a glance. “All right, Essence. ” Essence’s smile faltered. “Um, okay, Mrs. Mathison. ” Essence looked like she wanted to take my mother right up to the baptismal waters and introduce her to some redemption. But she took the script. The two of us got up on the stage, towering over the pews. I tried not to think about performance night, when they would be filled and each line I spoke would be a nail pounding into my throat.

We crested Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, where the past met the present in a violent tumble of brownstones and mansions, transients and transplants, infinite varieties of colors and art and self-expression. We nearly collided with pedestrians, odors exotic and taboo, and a thousand visual feasts. “That’s my parents’ restaurant,” he shouted, pointing to Café Shiraz, a hole-in-the-wall place with cinnamon and garlic scents emanating from the open door. ” He grasped my hand with his nimble and smooth one.

Instead, I grabbed my stuff and dashed to the front desk. ” The last of the molasses cookie popped into Mrs. Crooker’s mouth while she thumbed through her sketchbook, and I suddenly realized I was starving. Again. “I’m not feeling so good. ” Her eyes never strayed from the book as she handed me a pass. “I want you to do this assignment at some point, Rand. ” I shrugged and made tracks for the nearest bathroom. My hands trembled as I opened the package, so much that I almost dropped it onto the tiny beige floor tiles.

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