Essential reading for soccer fans as the 2022 World Cup approaches, this lively and lyrical book is "an ideal guide to the world's most popular sport" (Simon Kuper, coauthor of Soccernomics). Soccer is not only the world's most popular game; it's also one of the most widely shared forms of global culture. The Language of the Game is a passionate and engaging introduction to soccer's history, tactics, and human drama. Profiling soccer's full cast of characters—goalies and position players, referees and managers, commentators and fans—historian and soccer scholar Laurent Dubois describes how the game's low scores, relentless motion, and spectacular individual performances combine to turn each match into a unique and unpredictable story. He also shows how soccer's global reach makes it an unparalleled theater for nationalism, international conflict, and human interconnectedness, with close attention to both men's and women's soccer. Filled with perceptive insights and stories both legendary and little known, The Language of the Game is a rewarding read for anyone seeking to understand soccer better—newcomers and passionate followers alike.