By Guillem Balague
The definitive biography of Cristiano Ronaldo, named Football Book of the Year at the Cross Sports Book Awards 2016Fully updated to include the 2015-16 seasonCristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers of all time, a dream he pursued from the age of just twelve when he left his humble origins on Madeira behind.It wasn't long before he had the biggest clubs in Europe knocking on his door, but it was Manchester United who won the race for his signature. Under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo developed into the complete footballer and athlete, winning three league titles and a Champions League along the way.He then became the biggest galáctico of them all when he transferred to Real Madrid for a record-breaking fee. However, he has endured a difficult relationship with managers, teammates and the fans - and his time at the club has often been overshadowed by his fierce rivalry with Barcelona and Lionel Messi.Guillem Balagué, respected football journalist and expert on the Spanish game, provides the definitive account of what has made Ronaldo the player and man that he is today.
By Roland Lazenby
Shortlisted for the 2017 Cross Sports Book Awards Best Biography of the YearBryant is one of basketball's greatest-ever players, a fascinating and complicated character who says he knew when he was a boy that he would be better than Michael Jordan.Aloof and uncompromising, Bryant is the grand enigma of American professional basketball, easily the most driven player in the history of the sport, the absolute master of study and preparation. But his career has also been one of almost constant conflict: with his teammate Shaquille O'Neal; with Phil Jackson, coach of the championship-winning Lakers team that Kobe led; with the law; with his wife Vanessa; and with so many of his contemporaries, opponents and teammates.Comprehensive and unflinching, Showboat unravels the conundrum that is Kobe Bryant.
Making it Happen
By Carl Hester, Bernadette Hewitt
Carl Hester is one of the greatest ever equestrians, leading Great Britain to Gold Medal victory at the London 2012 Olympics. In these vibrant memoirs, he tells the incredible story of the passion for horse-riding which revolutionised his life and made him the champion he is today.Carl grew up on the remote Channel Island of Sark, moving to the UK mainland at the age of 16 to work with horses, mainly as a way to leave home. He could never have predicted what a great affinity he would have for dressage. Carl's career enjoyed a stratospheric rise as he progressed from working as a groom/rider to riding international dressage horses full time for renowned owners Dr and Mrs Bechtolsheimer, to training his own horses, and other top riders, to international success.Carl's early career revealed someone capable of monumental achievements. He provides a rare insight into both the people and the horses that drove him to victory, initially the skewbald mare Jolly Dolly on which he won the 1985 Young Riders Dressage Championship. During the early 1990s he rode in the World Championships, the European Championships and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, becoming Great Britain's youngest ever rider to compete in the Games. His riding skills have increased with age, culminating in the hugely successful years as part of the Gold Medal teams that won the 2011 European Dressage Championships and, of course, that made history at London 2012. He achieved both feats on the same extraordinary horse, Uthopia, while as a trainer he produced the even more remarkable combination of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro.A first-class sportsman and a witty and engaging writer, Carl now offers his admirers the opportunity to read an intelligent, humorous and, above all, inspiring account of his life - from the ups and downs of his career to the motivations and techniques which have helped him to win 66 national titles, represent Team GB at four Olympic Games, two World Championships and seven European Championships, and become one of the best riders - and horsemen - in the world.
The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman
By Patrick Barclay
The definitive story of the father of modern football, Herbert Chapman.Herbert Chapman, the boss of the all-conquering Arsenal team of the 1930s, was the father of modern football management. A relative journeyman as a player, he moved into the dugout aged 29 with Northampton Town, before building a multiple-title-winning team with Huddersfield in the 1920s. It was at Arsenal, however, where Chapman would leave an indelible mark on the landscape of football. Patrick Barclay's poignant and detailed biography weaves Chapman's story into the momentous times through which he lived, including the tragedy of the First World War, the subsequent Depression and the rise of fascism. Deeply influential on Arsenal successors such as George Graham and Arsène Wenger, he also pioneered changes in the game's scenery and tactical approaches. As Sir Matt Busby later remarked, Herbert Chapman changed the game of football.
The Death of Marco Pantani
By Matt Rendell
The intimate biography of the charismatic Tour de France winner Marco Pantani, now updated to include the 2014 and 2015 investigation into Pantani's death.National Sporting Club Book of the YearShortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 'An exhaustively detailed and beautiful book . . . a fitting, ambivalent tribute - to the man, and to the dark heart of the sport he loved' IndependentOn Valentine's day 2004, Marco Pantani was found dead in a cheap hotel. It defied belief: Pantani, having won the rare double of the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in 1998, was regarded as the only cyclist capable of challenging Lance Armstrong's dominance. Only later did it emerge that Pantani had been addicted to cocaine since 1999.Drawing on his personal encounters with Pantani, as well as exclusive access to his psychoanalysts, and interviews with his family and friends, Matt Rendell has produced the definitive account of an iconic sporting figure.
By Guillem Balague
The story of one of the greatest footballers of all time, Barcelona and Argentina's Lionel Messi.'I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine football and his name is Messi' Diego MaradonaDespite all the fame and adulation, remarkably little is known about Lionel Messi, the modest and intensely private footballing genius. Just how did the boy from Rosario, Argentina, become the world's greatest player?Guillem Balague has had unprecedented access to Messi's inner circle: his coaches, team-mates and family. In addition, Pep Guardiola has provided exclusive analysis of the player. The result is an authoritative and compelling account of the wonderful mystery that is Messi.'I can tell my grandkids one day that I coached Lionel Messi' Pep Guardiola
By Jon Spurling
From Herbert Chapman to Arsène Wenger, this is the definitive history of Arsenal's time at the famous Highbury stadium.After several years of sitting in Highbury's local pubs and cafés with a Dictaphone, Jon Spurling has pooled hours of interviews with fans, programme sellers, local publicans and even those who dug the foundations of the Laundry End (and later cleared rubbish from its terraces) to meticulously construct the biography of the ground and chart the ups and downs of one of England's greatest league clubs. Spurling has also spoken to numerous players: the late greats of yesteryear (Ted Drake, George Male and Reg Lewis), as well as legends of a more recent vintage - from Bob Wilson, Charlie George and Malcolm MacDonald to Anders Limpar and various legends of the Wenger era, including Patrick Vieira. Written in the year that Arsenal moved to the Emirates, Jon Spurling has produced the definitive account of the club's 93 years at Highbury.
Space Below My Feet
By Gwen Moffat
A classic mountaineering memoir by one of the UK's foremost female climbers.In 1945, when Gwen Moffat was in her twenties, she deserted from her post as a driver and dispatch rider in the Army and went to live rough in Wales and Cornwall, climbing and living on practically nothing. She hitch-hiked her way around, travelling from Skye to Chamonix and many places in between, with all her possessions on her back, although these amounted to little more than a rope and a sleeping bag.When the money ran out, she worked as a forester, went winkle-picking on the Isle of Skye, acted as the helmsman of a schooner and did a stint as an artist's model. And always there were the mountains, drawing her away from a 'proper' job.Throughout this unique story, there are acutely observed accounts of mountaineering exploits as Moffat tackles the toughest climbs and goes on to become Britain's leading female climber - and the first woman to qualify as a mountain guide.
Countdown to Lockdown
By Mick Foley
See the world through the eyes of champion wrestler Mick Foley as he looks back on his days in the WWE.As one of the most bizarre and fearless stars of wrestling in recent times, Mick is known for taking extraordinary risks to remain at the peak of his game. COUNTDOWN TO LOCKDOWN is a no-holds-barred, behind-the-scenes account of his mental and physical preparation for the TNA Lockdown - in many ways, the most important wrestling match of his career. This is placed in context by Foley's memories, thoughts and opinions of WWE as well as his life outside the ring, from the Benoit deaths and the 'Royal Rumble' to Sierra Leone and his meeting with former president, Bill Clinton.Full of action from inside the ring, the drama of his last days with the WWE, Foley's trademark humour as well as an industry insider's view of professional wrestling today, Foley's many fans will not be disappointed.
Pushing the Limits
By Casey Stoner
The two-time World MotoGP champion's own explosive storyShowing anything is possible when determination meets talent, two-time World MotoGP champion Casey Stoner shares his incredible journey from Queensland toddler with an extraordinary ability on a motorbike, to his decision to retire at twenty-seven with nothing left to prove.For the first time, he tells of his early family life, the development of his riding skills and why his parents decided to sell everything and travel from Australia to Europe to chase the dream and support his aim to become World Champion when he was only fourteen years old.As fearless with his opinions as he is on the racetrack, Casey includes all the highs and lows of his life so far: the real reason he left for Europe so young, his thoughts on racing as it stands today, the riders' hierarchy, the politics of racing, the importance of family, his battle with illness and why he decided to turn his back on a multimillion-dollar contract when he was still winning. And he will let us in on some of the new goals he has set for himself.PUSHING THE LIMITS is a unique and remarkable account of self-sacrifice and tenacity to succeed against the odds, the uplifting story of a young Australian who took on the world on his terms, his way ... and won.
By Ronnie O'Sullivan
World snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan's frank and honest account of his astonishingly dramatic life.Running is my drug. To be honest, drugs (and alcohol) used to be my drug, but now I've got the healthiest addiction going.Running is what has helped me fight my demons, win five world snooker championships, and cope with all the crap life's thrown at me. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and in this book I look at everything that hasn't killed me, but has had a good go - my addictive personality, depression, my dad's murder conviction, the painful break-up with the mother of my children, the difficulty of balancing family life with that of a sportsman. Those are the downers.But it's also about the great things in my life - my kids, snooker, my dad's release from prison, great mates who have helped me, and the psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters who has taught me how not to run away from life when it gets tricky.For the first time, I explain some of my madder moments - why I walked out in the middle of a match against Stephen Hendry, why I sat with a wet cloth over my face in a match against Mark King.This is a book about what it takes to be a champion - the sacrifices you have to make, the obsessive practice, the selfishness. Finally, it's a book about what it's like to get the buzz. and I hope anybody who's ever got the running buzz will relate to this.
By Guillem Balague
'Pep' Guardiola has transformed Barcelona into arguably the greatest club side of all time, and this entertainingly perceptive biography explains how.Guardiola spent the majority of his playing days with Barca and was an integral part of Johan Cruyff's European Cup-winning 'dream team'. But it was on retiring from playing that he really made his mark on the club. After travelling the world, he became a coach of the Barcelona reserve team, and a year later, in 2008, he was appointed the first-team manager. The club went on to win an unprecedented 13 of the 16 competitions they entered under his leadership, and he became the youngest ever manager to win the Champions League. Then, at the end of the 2012 season, after having been awarded the FIFA WORLD COACH OF THE YEAR, he resigned following four years of unprecedented achievement. He immediately became the most sought-after free-agent in football, and his next move was keenly anticipated.Some call Guardiola's influence on Barca revolution, others evolution. Whatever the answer, the impact he has had goes beyond football. He represents a style, a club, a country and even old-fashioned values, at a time when they seem so scarce. Guillem Balagué's insightful book reveals how Pep Guardiola's Barcelona played the 'Beautiful Game' - and won.
By Charles Williams
A masterly portrait of cricket's supreme batsman and Australia's greatest hero.Uniquely among biographers of Don Bradman, Charles Williams sets his subject's cricketing achievements within the context of a crucial period in the history of modern Australia, a time when, as the country felt her way towards something that the world would recognise as 'nationhood', Bradman became a focus for national aspirations, a figure of unique status.Brilliantly revealing the phenomenon of Bradman's cricketing genius - and the tensions that genius created for the man, his family, team-mates and the game's administrators - Williams' story is as much about Australia as it is a great Australian.