This book The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro is generally regarded as a top soccer book, written by an American. In fact, it is written by the same person that just came out with this book on Sarah Palin, "Rogue" I believe is the name, I have no idea of how much of this book on Palin is true. We all have a right to our past personal life but "The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro" I would think does give one some valuable insights into the Italian soccer game as the little team of Castel di Sango advances from their lower league. If memory serves me correctly, I think Castel di Sangro actually makes it to Serie B not Serie A so I don't believe they were up in the top flight with teams like AC Milan and Roma and the rest.
Castel di Sangro Calcio is an Italian association football club from Castel di Sangro in the Province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo. Their moment of greatness came in 1996, when they were promoted to Serie B, a noteworthy accomplishment for a team coming from a town of only 5,500 residents. Even greater, they were able to survive in that league another year. The story of their first season in Serie B is chronicled in the book The Miracle of Castel di Sangro by Joe McGinniss.<sup id="cite_ref-nytimes_1-0" class="reference">
Castel di Sangro is in the province of Abruzzo. This is the same area of Italy where Dean Martin's ancestry hails from, Martin who was a famed singer in America along the lines of say, Frank Sinatra and Martin of course, made movies with Jerry Lewis. Dean Martin himself was born I believe in Steubbenville Ohio. Abruzzo I have to add in, is basically a land with a harsh environment and somewhat barren.
This book is worth reading and I have seen is usually included in lists of "best soccer books" though usually down a ways, I think FourFourTwo listed it in about 18th spot. I would say for Italian soccer, try also "A season in Verona" I believe. Of course, "Winning at all costs" by John Foot is a bit of an encyclopedia on Italian soccer history but "Miracle of Castel di Sangro" provides that sortof light reading many of us enjoy. There is a book on Portsmouth who never did much and then were promoted and I believe won the FA Cup a few years ago that would seem to have a similar type of plot concerning American soccer er I mean English football. The McGinnis book should probably be called humourous reading as well.
Castel di Sangro has since gone way south as a team in the leagues, here is the Soccerway page for the club.