Jimmy Nielsen’s performance on the pitch has been exceptional. The 35-year old goalkeeper has the all-time M.L.S record for goals against average (1.03). He has played over 100 games for Sporting Kansas City, with 40 shutouts. He has earned his nickname “The White Puma.”
Like many great athletes, Nielsen decided to write an autobiography sharing his life story. The new book, Welcome to the Blue Heaven, is a page-turner that readers of all ages will enjoy. The Nielsen book was published by Ascend on May 15 and is just under 250 pages. And while it is not a bestseller, it is still a great read.
My recent picture w/ Jimmy
While many fans will know a great deal about Nielsen’s MLS statistical performance, they will know far less about his life off the field. For starters, the White Puma talks about his gambling problems which takes him all the way back to causal betting with his grandmother as a young child. He also details the non-MLS parts of his career. We learn entertaining facts such as Jimmy’s suspension from the U-21 Denmark National Team. Finally, the White Puma also discusses moving to the Midwest and how Kansas City has welcomed him such as the infamous supermarket incident where other customers rushed to help Nielsen when he dropped his groceries.
Given the strength of the Neilsen book, it is worth asking how it compares to other sports autobiographies. In my opinion, this book is better than David Beckham’s Beckham: Both Feet On the Ground. It is much better than Lance Armstrong’s My Journey Back to Life –and a lot more factual. It falls a touch below Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson because Jackson has experiences as a coach and player than are unsurpassed.
Should you read this book? If you like soccer, you will love this book. If you like hearing the story of a person that turned his life around, you will love this book. If you respect excellence, you will love this book.
The statistical performance of Neilsen on the pitch speaks for itself. With his new book, the White Puma takes us beyond the statistics for a fun summer read before we head back to school. If we had a rating system at myespenforkids.com, I would give it the highest score.