Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski

Nate Silver would appreciate this duo's cold, calculated, but plenty readable examination of the myths surrounding soccer. For example, they debunk a pair of ideas that have plagued soccer for decades: the best soccer players in the world come from hard-drinking, blue collar backgrounds, and must give up traditional school in order to join a pro team's academy system as teenagers. Soccernomics also gets deep into an examination of a Billy Beane-style "Moneyball" strategy that appeared in English soccer 30 years ahead of its debut in Major League Baseball via the way the famed management team of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor bought, groomed and sold players starting in the mid 1960s.