A Catalan Dream: Football Artistry and Political Intrigue
Author: Tim Hanlon
Publisher: Peakpublish ISBN: 9781907219153, 312 pages Format: Paperback
In 2003, Barcelona was in full crisis on and off the pitch with the team struggling in the league and the protests of fans leading to the resignation of the president. A new radical board led by the charismatic Joan Laporta was ushered into power with a landslide election victory and a dramatic recovery unfolded. With enterprising new marketing strategies, Barcelona fully exploited its potential financially, while the club returned to the pinnacle of the European game with their unique brand of swashbuckling football, forged from Johan Cruyff's innovative approach as coach in the early 1990s. The enigmatic Ronaldinho instigated the turnaround and helped the club to European success before he was superseded by homegrown players like Leo Messi and Andres Iniesta, led by coach Pep Guardiola, the iconic figure of Cruyff's side. Problems were never far away, though, as Catalan politics threatened to sidetrack the team and vendettas came to the fore. Barca had a major impact on the Spain national team, which adapted their style of quick passing football and they had eight players in the World Cup winning squad in South Africa.
Tim Hanlon is a freelance journalist who has been covering Spanish football for the British media for over ten years. Based in Barcelona he has written for the Press Association, AFP and regularly for national newspapers in the UK as well as well as providing analysis for Spanish radio. He was ideally located to witness the turnaround of FC Barcelona into one of Europe's finest ever club sides and his exclusive interviews with players, coaches and boardroom members gave him the insight which provides the basis for the acclaimed 'A Catalan Dream: Football Artistry and Political Intrigue'.
Hanlon's second book 'El Dorado: The story of Spanish football's golden generation' focuses on the Spain national team and explores the history of a side which was for so long the underachievers of world football and now aims to add a second consecutive World Cup in Brazil to the two European Championships they have already won in their dominance of the international game.