The soccer World Cup is upon us! On the pitch it has been scintillating tournament thus far, with Lionel Messi carrying Argentina, Tim Howard carrying the United States, Arjen Robben carrying the Netherlands, and James Rodriguez carrying Colombia. Meanwhile British Airways carried the English squad on their early journey home and rumors of Cameroonian match-fixing have carried the day in the global media.
While players from around the world have provided us with dazzling moments of skill, stamina, and sangfroid, things haven’t been so pretty off the field. For anyone who wants to better understand the seamy machinations thrumming behind the World Cup’s spectacular outer shell, Dave Zirin is your guy. His new book Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Struggle for Democracy is indispensable reading.