Every World Cup year sees a new edition of Uruguyan journalist Eduardo Galeano’s unforgettable collection of short pieces on football and its relationship with the planet. Football in Sun and Snow is not just about the game, although, of course, it is all about the game.

Open at random, and there will be a nugget. Such as Ferenc Puskas scoring a goal off a free-kick for Real Madrid, being told by the referee that it wouldn’t count because he hadn’t blown his whistle. This time Puskas waited for the whistle, and took an identical free-kick which also ended in the net.

Galeano roams both history and geography, allowing, like a great journalist, the facts to speak for themselves. His genius lies in the facts and details he picks. And in the fact that he never stops pointing out that football should be about footballers first, and a spectacle for spectators only afterwards.

Originally published in 1995. Translated from the Spanish by Maureen Freely, published in 1997.