From the publisher:
What makes the number-ten jersey so special? It's merely material and thread - the number only used for administrative purposes. Yet the number ten represents much more than football. Those wearing it carry the weight of expectation for club and country.
Andy Bollen forensically examines the world's greatest players - from Puskas to Pele, Maradona and Messi - and asks, what makes them tick? How did they reach legendary status? He explores how their will to win at all costs comes from their desire to overcome adversity - escape poverty, rejection or horrendous injury. Bollen scrutinises the illustrious players who wore the number-ten shirt, discussing the lives, careers and mindsets of the classic playmakers. Theirs is a unique mentality, a twisted logic and drive.
Part brilliance, part elegant brutality, they are required to deliver an artistry, genius and creativity. Their play is elevated to a work of art, then, with great devilment, they are capable of wilfully slashing and destroying it.
Andy Bollen is an author, comedy writer and drummer. He has written five books including A History of Scottish Football in 100 Objects, Fierce Genius: Cruyff's Year at Feyenoord and A History of European Football in 100 Objects. He has written comedy for BBC TV and radio for three decades. He also writes for football periodical Nutmeg, The Set Pieces, The Guardian, the Sunday Mail, Glasgow Herald, Scotland on Sunday and New York Times.