There’s no question sportsmen lead some interesting lives… From early days trying to make a name for themselves to hitting the big time and riding that wave of success. They become our heroes, our legends, our icons and our role models. While they are not without their faults, they do possess knowledge that they can impart to both budding talent and dreamers alike.
The autobiographies listed below are of five of the most well-known and respected athletes of their generation who have all dedicated their lives to sport.
1. All Round View and Pakistan: A Personal History by Imran Khan
Even though the skipper wrote his first memoir Imran: the autobiography of Imran Khan in 1983 at the tender young age of 31, his most memorable literary account has to be All Round View, written in 1988 at the peak of his career. Though a young Imran was still four years shy from a remarkable World Cup victory that made him an overnight superstar All Round View provided a first-hand account of his upbringing, his cricket career and the politics of the sport.
2. Controversially Yours by Shoaib Akhtar
He is known as a tear-away fast bowler and for scaring the sh*t outta batsmen with his fierce pace and reverse swing. Controversially Yours by Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar talks about his humble beginnings, his glorious cricket career, the many injuries he suffered, the price of fame and the controversies that come with it. In a refreshingly candid memoir about his peers and the Pakistan Cricket Board, the absolutely sensational read addresses issues surrounding match fixing, ball tampering and of course the bureaucracies of the sport. A must-read for cricket fans.
3. A Boy from Bolton: My Story by Amir Khan
Amir Khan is a role model for all young and aspiring boxers. Born into a family of immigrants from Pakistan, Khan grew up in Lancashire and became a hard-working and hard-hitting boxer. At just 17, he won honors at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and won his first fight the next year as a professional boxer in an astonishing 109 seconds. The book is an interesting take on his personal, professional and religious life as a young boxing prodigy.
4. On the Line by Serena Williams
Tennis legend Serena Williams is one of the top tennis stars in the world. The 18-time Grand Slam champion wrote On the Line in 2009, when she earned a No. 1 World Ranking for the third time in her illustrious career. The book tells of how she started playing at a young age with an adult-size tennis racket, her sister getting shot, her fitness regimen and how she climbed her way to the top of the tennis ladder. “Hold serve, Hold serve, Hold serve. Focus, Focus, Focus. Be confident, Be confident, Be confident. Hold serve. Hold, Hold, Hold. Move Up, Attack, Kill. Smile. Hold!!!”
5. I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Zlatan Ibrahimovic
An international bestseller about quite possibly the most controversial player in football, I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Swedish sensation Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a rollercoaster of entertainment. Like him or not, Zlatan tells it exactly how it is. From his early days at Malmo to his turbulent period with Spanish giants Barcelona playing under former manager Pep Guardiola. This brutally honest, no-holds-barred account tells us exactly why the often misunderstood raging bull has been crowned ‘the bad boy of football’.
“What did she get for an engagement present? Whaddaya mean, present? She got Zlatan!”