TITLE  = Stamping Grounds: Liechstenstein's Quest for the World Cup
AUTHOR = Charlie Connelly
PRICE  = 7.99 pounds list (EUR 12.43)
SIZE   = 326 pages
YEAR   = 2002, Little&Brown
SOURCE = www.amazon.co.uk
RATING = 4 1/2 stars

The great Charlie Connelly once again embarks for foreign shores, this time an almost unbelievable adventure of following Liechtenstein's quest for the 2002 World Cup. OK, it's not that dramatic, since the result is a foregone conclusion. And you can't wonder whether this whole thing was the result of Connelly losing a pub bet. Nevertheless, a well-written, amusing account of the campaign. Connelly went to all the matches, and you can't help but admire his account of the games and his hope against hope that Liechstenstein might get a result. Obviously with a population about half the capacity of Old Trafford, this is going to be a tall order. (All the more amazing that they've produced a Serie A player, Mario Frick of Verona.)

Much of the book concerns Connelly's general impressions of the tiny country, and he spins his views on the local politics, economic, society. In that sense, it is one of the best books ever on Liechtenstein, not that there is much competition. At times he appears to try to be too funny, but in general his good sense of humor is spot on.

Overall, this is another excellent effort by Connelly, and is a welcome addition to the soccer library.