Summer reading 2016: Sport

Simon Kuper picks his books of the year so far

Illustration by Luis Grañena of a family packing their things onto a car and leaving London
©Luis Grañena

We’ll always have Paris

‘Since that sleepless night of June 23, I feel less British and less likely ever to move back’

England suffer second exit from Europe

Hodgson goes way of Cameron after worst embarrassment since 1950

©Luis Grañena

The fan who came in from the cold

‘Klopfleisch spent match days standing beside the Wall, listening to the sounds from the stadium in West Berlin’

Euro 2016: England dull but Wales shine

Hodgson makes changes as Slovakia draw allows Welsh to top group

Michel Houellebecq at home, Paris, 2014
©Barbara d’Alessandri/Starface

Interview: Michel Houellebecq

The French writer says he’s the world’s best living novelist. Now he has curated a show of his own photographs

Euro 2016: England get foot in next round

Wales lose to a lucky England team that failed to outplay them

©Luis Grañena

Football and England’s secret Europhilia

‘Football reveals a confused and surprisingly warm English-European relationship’

How English football upped its game

The England-Wales clash is more of a friendly given the intricate ties

England give away victory at last gasp

England 1 (Dier, 73 mins) Russia 1 (Berezutski, 92 mins)

Euro 2016 – How to deal with the French

Visitors to the football competition might need a user manual

Football’s tour de France

With Euro 2016 set to kick off in France, Simon Kuper examines the country’s fraught relationship with its national football team and gives his alternative guide to the host cities

The rise and fall of a prototype Trump

‘Tymiński promised Poles that if he became president, the country would “be better in a month”’

The new French royalty

‘In a nod to modernity, the peasants in their exurbs are now allowed to elect the monarch, whose title is “president’’’

How to live to 100 and be happy

‘Many young people are working out how they want to spend the next seven or so decades’

The psychic cost of leaving London

‘Find a mate, then leg it before you’re sharing your bedroom with a baby’

How England won the World Cup in 1966

Was it down to stamina, ability or just good luck? And why has it never happened again?

Satisfaction v populism

‘The dominant western political mood is, “Things are OK really, not that I care much” ’

The simple truths of language

‘Impenetrable language thrives best in zones where people have an incentive to bore the public away’

Football managers: a career of two halves

‘It’s hard to be a pioneer twice, especially when you have to win a match every three days’


Simon KuperSimon Kuper joined the Financial Times in 1994. He wrote the daily currencies column, before leaving the FT in 1998. He returned in 2002 as a sports columnist and has been there ever since. Nowadays he writes a general column for the Weekend FT on all manner of topics from politics to books, and on cities including London, Paris, Johannesburg and Miami.

Simon was born in Uganda and grew up in London, the Netherlands, the US, Sweden and Jamaica. He studied at Oxford, Harvard and the Technische Universität of West Berlin. He now lives with his family in Paris. His first book, Football Against the Enemy (1994), set him on a path of writing about the world with an anthropologist’s eye.


To receive an email alert for Simon Kuper, sign up at the top of any his columns.