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Building Europe with the Ball

Turning Points in the Europeanization of Football, 1905–1995

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Edited By Philippe Vonnard, Grégory Quin and Nicolas Bancel

Since 1990, football history has become increasingly important within the field of sport science, yet few studies have centred on the Europeanization of the game from the interwar period onwards. This period saw the creation of a sovereign institution dedicated to European football, the establishment of specific rules about players’ transfers and contracts and, in particular, the development of competitions.
This book examines the development of European football between 1905 and 1995 from a transnational perspective. It offers a space for discussion to both early-career and established historians from a range of different countries, leading to a better understanding of the crucial turning points in the Europeanization of the game. The volume aims to promote valuable new reflections on the role of football in the European integration process.
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Nicolas Bancel, Grégory Quin and Philippe Vonnard: Introduction: Studying the Europeanization of Football in Historical Perspective

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NICOLAS BANCEL, GRÉGORY QUIN AND PHILIPPE VONNARD

Introduction: Studying the Europeanization of Football in Historical Perspective

In April 2005, UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations), the governing body of European football, presented a project called ‘Vision of Europe’, which proposed a strategy for the ‘direction and development of European football over the next decade’.1 At the same moment, in the field of sport history, the focus on Europe became increasingly important. Despite a number of earlier published volumes on the professionalization of football, the development of its institutions and its mediatization, this was the beginning of a new era, since most previously conducted research had been carried out within a national framework, and even edited collections for the most part assembled groups of national studies.2 In the meantime, the development of cultural, global and postcolonial history helped to broaden analytical frameworks and opened new perspectives for football historians, especially promoting projects on global exchanges in sport.3

The idea was not to exclude the national perspective, but to enlarge it.4 In this sense, research soon focused on the role of sports organizations5 and the networks that exist between international sports leaders.6 Researchers also tried to revisit specific historical periods such as the Cold War, when sports fields were not only places of confrontation7 but also sometimes areas of exchange.8 Through those works, even though they were not fully focused on a continental framework,9 historians have opened some new perspectives,...

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