The Football Book Tag (Original)

Hello everyone and cheer up! It’s international football season, aka the best season!

With the Euro starting tonight and the Copa America on Monday, I’m shifting into intense football fan mode. My books are already side-eyeing me because they know that June won’t be their lucky month either. The plan for the next month is to eat, work, watch the games and sleep (the last one is optional of course- I do have to stay or wake up ungodly hours for the Copa America). I haven’t decided who to cheer for yet, but I’m always cheering against England :).

I’ve been looking for a tag to do in order to celebrate but I could only find one about American football. So, I decided to create my own. I present to you the Football Book Tag!

1. The beautiful game: A book with beautiful design

Football is called the beautiful game and rightfully so if you ask me. It is so much more than a sport and it has inspired beautiful fan cultures around the world. So, for this question, we have to choose a book that is beautifully designed.

I chose to go with this edition of Pride and Pejudice by Jane Austen which comes with nineteen letters from the characters’ correspondence, written and folded by hand. It shows that it is made with lots of care and love and it’s truly gorgeous!

2. Chants, Songs and Anthems: Favourite poem or poetry collection

From the official competition songs to club anthems and chants, the football world is -surprisingly- full of poetry. So, for this question, we have to name a poem or poetry collection we love.

For me, that’s The Monogram by Odysseas Elytis. It is a beautiful love poem and it is my favourite not only by this particular poet but my favourite poem in general. I highly suggest you read it (I believe there’s an english translation available online), it’s very touching.

3. Red Card: A trope you loathe

The red card in football is shown as the ultimate penalty when a player does something against the rules of the game. Said player is then sent away from the field. Which trope would you show a direct red card?

I’d definitely show it to love triangles. I’ve had enough of them, I don’t want to read about or watch a single love triangle ever again. Society has grown past the need for love triangles.

4. National Teams: A book from your country

I have talked about many Greek books on here, so today I’ll mention one I haven’t talked about yet. The Jasmine Isle by Ioanna Karystiani is a modern Greek novel set in the island of Andros that tells the tragic story of Spyros, a sailor, and Orsa. Orsa is forced by her mother and society to marry a man she doesn’t love and watch the man she loves marry her sister. The book, which has been adapted in a beautiful movie Little England, gives an insight to the lives of the wives of sailors and the domestic life on Greek islands in the 30s and 40s.

(the movie is available on youtube for free with english subs)

5. Transfer Season: An author you’d like to see write in a different genre

Transfer season is a stressful period for football fans, since we all have an opinion on which player should transfer to our club. What if we could transfer authors from one genre to another? What transfer would you make?

Personally, I’d like to see Madeline Miller write a fantasy book (Yes, mythology books are a different genre from fantasy because I said so). I love her prose, but I’m not always a fan of the way she portrays Greek mythological figures. So, I’d be interested to read and enjoy her writing in a more “free” fantasy setting.

6. World Cup: Recommend a translated novel

I’ve talked about Dostoyevsky quite a lot, so I’ll turn to a different country for this question and not talk about Crime and Punishment again. Currently I’m all about Italy (thanks, Måneskin!), so I will recommend The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Set in 1937 the book follows Brother William of Baskerville as he arrives at a Benedict abbey to investigate the monchs accused of heresy and ends up investigating seven bizzare deaths instead.

7. Euro 2004: A book that took you by surprise

Obviously, I couldn’t talk about football without mentioning Euro 2004 aka the European championship my national team won against all odds. Greece took the world by surprise that year. What’s a book that had the same effect on you?

For me, that book would be The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I had no idea what to expect when I first picked it up and I remember being continuously blown away by it. I hadn’t read anything like it before and it really stuck with me.

8. The Hand of God: A book that employs the deus ex machina trope

In football “the hand of God” refers to this goal scored by Diego Maradona during the Argentina v England quarter finals match of the 1986 World Cup. Maradona scored using his hand and his goal should’ve been disallowed but the referees didn’t have clear view of it. So, it counted and led Argentina to a win. It is one of the most iconic goals ever, so I couldn’t not include a question about it.

For this one, I chose to go with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, because the use of this trope in it is quite interesting. I won’t go into spoilery details, but this is the only book I’ve read where the deus ex machina trope is invoked purposefully (re sponsors) and is actually meaningful for the plot and not a cheap trick on the author’s side.

9. El Clásico, Der Klassiker, Superclásico: Favourite classic novel

In many countries, the biggest football derby is called “The Classic” (In Greece we call it “the mother of all battles” and “the derby of the eternals” because we’re dramatic like that). To honour these fascinating rivalries, I thought I’d choose a book from classic literature.

In literally no one’s surprise, I picked Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It is my favourite classic novel and the only one I’ve read (and watched its adaptations) so many times. Truly a classic.

10. Flags, Banners, Chants and Flares: Favourite piece of fan-created book content

Football would be nothing without the fans and the atmosphere they create at every game. Inspired by the loyalty, creativity and dedication shown by football fans, I thought it’d be a great idea to share a piece of art- any kind- created by fans inspired by books.

One of my favourite pieces of fanart I’ve seen recently is this drawing of Wonder Woman inspired by Greek culture. I love all the details the artist has put in it and it’s nice to see your culture actually depicted through a character inspired by it. I just love it!


I mainly created this tag for myself, but I will tag Line @First Line Reader and Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner, who I know are interested in the sport, each to a different degree (you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to, of course). But, anyone who finds this interesting is welcome to do it!

Do you plan on watching any of the upcoming football competitions?

I’d love to hear your opinions on this tag! What would be your answers?


  1. A post about Eurovision and now a post about football? You’re spoiling us Nefeli 😉 I love the creativity of the themes behind each prompt, and I’m definitely going to do this tag! Maybe when the tournament is over and I miss it (and have time).

    And thank you for telling us what the Greek derby is called because that made my day 😂

    I also love how you don’t know who you’re supporting, only that it’s not England 😄 Just promise me you won’t pick Sweden. Pretend it’s Eurovision.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha thank you! I’m looking forward to reading your answers whenever you decide to do it!

      I’ve never rooted for Sweden and they don’t even have Zlatan so you don’t have to worry about me supporting them 😝.
      Now that it’s been a week, I can say that I support Italy and Croatia as always, I want North Macedonia and Finland to have a good time, and I’m also rooting for Denmark. They deserve good things after that horrifying incident with Eriksen (thank God he’s better now!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m very glad to hear you reassure me about Sweden 😄 And Italy is on fire as almost the only team at this point. I agree with you on Croatia because they have Modric. Also, any support for Denmark is highly appreciated! It’s been an emotional tournament so far to say the least.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course I’m doing this!! I was actually also toying with the idea of coming up with a soccer related tag to satisfy my Euro fever, but you beat me to it and came up with much better prompts than I ever would habe been capable of! 😍 So now I get to be lazy and just do this one – hopefully quickly, because if Germany falters and gets kicked out by that horribly difficult group we’re in, I don’t want to wallow in my disappointment too much 😂 We don’t need a repetition of that last World Cup, and besides, I was already sad enough when my enthusiastic cheering on of Turkey led to one of the biggest opening match defeats in UEFA history… Oops 😁

    Also, you’re really making it hard to stick to my “you only need one copy of a book” philosophy – that Pride and Prejudice edition sounds amazing! *stares dreamily into space* And my mom has also been telling me I need to read The Name of the Rose for ages, so I might really have to do it some day…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Naemi! I’m excited to read your post (which I’ll do after posting this answer) and see how you answered my ptopmts!

      Germany is in the death group indeed. It would be extremely funny if Hungary ended up on top somehow, you have to admit that 😂. As for Turkey, they did so well in the nations league I don’t know what happened and they failed like that here.

      That copy of Pride and Prejudice is incredible. An exception from this philosophy would be deserved 😉.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. […] tagged me in (thank you!) Please go and check out her post and give her all the love ❤ I believe Nefeli over at BiblioNebula was the one who invented this tag so also please go and show some love […]


  4. […] The Football Book Tag (Original): I also created my very own tag this year. Granted, it’s for a limited audience, but I’m so grateful to all who chose to do it! I had so much fun creating it and I hope you had fun reading and taking part in it, too. Also, if you haven’t done it and you wish to, you’re more than welcome! […]


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