Piotr Stokłosa on Spalony

Piotr Stokłosa talks about ‘Spalony’, the rise and fall of legendary Polish footballer Andrzej Iwan (ghosted by Krzysztof Stanowski). “It is … sad, but also funny, terrifying, but hopeful. A touching story about football and life.”

My favourite sports book was only published in Poland, but could be interesting to readers from all over the world. It’s called Spalony – which means ‘offside’ but also ‘burnt-out’ – and is the biography of Andrzej Iwan, the Polish footballer from 1970s and 80s.

First of all, this is the story about a very talented guy who could be considered one of the best Polish players of all time. He won his first title with Wisla Krakow when he was only 18 and made his debut in the Polish national team at the 1978 FIFA World Cup. The beginnings were promising, but then everything went wrong. Alcohol and gambling led him to suicide attempts.

This book is about Iwan’s success and failure. It is really well written – sad, but also funny, terrifying, but hopeful. It is a touching story about football and life.

Piotr Stokłosa runs a sports book blog

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