Stamping Grounds follows the Liechtenstein national football team through their defeat-strewn qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup. Drawn in a group with Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria and mighty Spain, it was hard to see the principality’s part- time players scoring even one goal, never mind adding to its meagre international points total. So what motivates a nation of 30,000 people and eleven villages to keep plugging away despite the inevitability of defeat?
Travelling to all of Liechenstein’s qualifying matches, Charlie Connelly examines what motivates a team to take the field dressed proudly in the shirts of Liechtenstein despite the knowledge that they are, with notably few exceptions, in for a damn good hiding.
Sampling the delights of Liechtenstein’s capital, Vaduz, such as the Postage Stamp Museum, the State Art Museum and, er, the Postage Stamp Museum again, Connelly provides an evocative and witty account of the land where every year on National Day the sovereign invites the entire population into his garden for a glass of wine.
Whilst a probing comment on contemporary football Stamping Grounds is also a hilariously funny travel book.
Not only a quirky and enjoyable quasi-travel guide and footballing odyssey but essential reading…Connelly has produced a damned good read…charming, off the wall and well worth a tenner.
Unlike the Liechtenstein team, Connelly hits the back of the net…he has a relaxed style and an intelligent eye for people.
A wonderfully recondite book.
The best book yet written about Liechtenstein football
Charlie Connelly’s hilarious account of following the Liechtenstein national team should be swallowed whole in one sitting.
For all those people who might be just a tad jaded by the World Cup, this book is the perfect tonic.