World Class

World Class

Purpose, Passion, and the Pursuit of Greatness On and Off the Field

Hardcover

June 4, 2024 | ISBN 9780593726761

Ebook

June 4, 2024 | ISBN 9780593726778

About the Book

“This collection of Grant’s work is a great testament to not only what he did when he was here, but what he’s still doing to impact others.”—LeBron James

The definitive collection of beloved late journalist Grant Wahl’s work—a masterclass in the art of sportswriting

After Grant Wahl died of an aortic aneurysm at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, collapsing in his press seat during a quarterfinal match, tributes to Wahl poured in from around the globe. Wahl was beloved for good reason—he was kind, generous, and unflinching in the face of injustice. He was also one of the best sports journalists of his generation.

Spanning four decades of storytelling, World Class collects for the first time the finest writing of Grant Wahl, from op-eds for his college newspaper to twenty-five years of reporting at Sports Illustrated to his deeply personal work for Fútbol with Grant Wahl on Substack. Wahl was the multi-tool modern sportswriter: clear and direct; able to write long, short, or in between; cosmopolitan; socially aware.

Arranged thematically, World Class demonstrates how Wahl’s career aligned with the evolution of sportswriting. Included are explorations of soccer subcultures from Buenos Aires and F.C. Barcelona to the dusty sandlots of Nacogdoches, Texas, as well as accounts of trophy lifts that have a first-draft-of-history definitiveness. Some pieces capture prodigies early in their careers, like LeBron James and Landon Donovan; others lift the voices of the women athletes to whom Wahl paid early attention—stars like Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe. The book showcases the daring and important positions Wahl took in Qatar in the weeks before he died, supporting migrant workers and LGBTQ+ people.

More than a collection of Grant Wahl's best work, World Class is a portrait of a journalist at the height of his powers, always evolving with the times, revealed by the stories he found and the unflinching way he told them.
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Praise for World Class

“You can’t talk about the history of U.S. soccer without including Grant Wahl. His legendary career and fearless advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community will be a legacy that lives on through this anthology and beyond.”—Megan Rapinoe

“For me, Grant Wahl’s Sports Illustrated cover story was the moment everything started. The time that we shared when I was in high school for that story was pretty special for myself and my family. Wahl was always energetic, always had a smile on his face, and always wanted to do right by his interview subjects. This collection of his work is a great testament to not only what he did when he was here, but what he’s still doing to impact others.”—LeBron James

“Grant Wahl’s job was to write about sports, but his art was to reveal what matters most in life. This anthology is a collection of brilliant storytelling and timeless wisdom about excellence from a world-class professional. He was the best of us, and his work lives on to make us all better.”—Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Potential and Think Again

“Some of the best, most compelling sportswriting I’ve ever read.”—Clint Smith

“I hesitate to call this collection sportswriting at its best, because I think it is just writing at its best. To me, Grant Wahl was an anthropologist, and sports was his lens for studying humanity.”—David Epstein, New York Times bestselling author of Range and The Sports Gene

“Every word in this book surges with his energy and enthusiasm and love. I was one of the luckiest people in the world to get to know Grant. I miss him. But he’s here in this wonderful collection of his best work.”—Joe Posnanski, New York Times bestselling author of Why We Love Baseball

“A titan of the American game.”—Brendan Hunt

“Grant Wahl was—and his work and legacy remain—world class. Wahl was all class and tops in class, with few peers matching his quality, rigor, vigor, and unswerving honor. He also considered the entire planet his beat, going wherever the story took him. Damn, we miss him.”—Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated writer and 60 Minutes correspondent
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About the Author

Grant Wahl
Grant Wahl was one of the world’s leading soccer journalists. He was the owner and creator of the Fútbol with Grant Wahl website and podcast, did television work for CBS Sports, and produced documentary films. His book The Beckham Experiment was the first soccer book to make the New York Times bestseller list. Wahl spent twenty-five years at Sports Illustrated, where he wrote more than three dozen cover stories. He covered thirteen World Cups (eight men’s, five women’s). Grant Wahl died in 2022. More by Grant Wahl
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About the Author

Dr. Céline Gounder
Grant Wahl was one of the world’s leading soccer journalists. He was the owner and creator of the Fútbol with Grant Wahl website and podcast, did television work for CBS Sports, and produced documentary films. His book The Beckham Experiment was the first soccer book to make the New York Times bestseller list. Wahl spent twenty-five years at Sports Illustrated, where he wrote more than three dozen cover stories. He covered thirteen World Cups (eight men’s, five women’s). Grant Wahl died in 2022. More by Dr. Céline Gounder
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