10 best football movies all fans must watch

The Damned United
Michael Sheen plays the role of Brian Clough

When it comes to movies, there aren’t many regarding football that have gone onto become blockbusters and smash box office records. It is surprising considering the following the sport has and the storylines there have been.

For the fans of the beautiful game, though, you don’t need a billion-dollar movie, so here are ten football movies that you must watch:

#1 The Damned United

Peter Morgan's adaptation of David Peace's novel ‘The Damned Utd’‘ tells the story revolving around Brian Clough (Michael Sheen) and his time as manager of Leeds United in 1974. Director Tom Hooper captures the emotion of football, both on and off the pitch.

The movie also unravels Clough's relationship with Don Revie (Colm Meaney), his successful predecessor at Leeds, who was criticized for his physical and aggressive approach at the club by Clough.


#2 Escape to Victory

Escape to Victory
Michael Cane appears in the role of John Colby

Directed by John Huston and based on the movie Two Half Times in Hell by Zoltan Fabri, Escape to Victory is a drama with football playing a major part in the story that sees a team of Allied prisoners face a German side in an exhibition match which they see as a perfect opportunity to escape captivity.

The film features the likes of Bobby Moore and Pele and various Ipswich Town players, while Michael Cane portrays English captain John Colby, a professional footballer for West Ham United before the war. He refuses to use the match as an escape route despite being urged to do it by his superior officers and goalkeeper Sylvester Stallone.

#3 The Game of Their Lives

The Game of Their Lives
The Game of Their Lives was released in 2005

Based on the book by Geoffrey Douglas of the same name, the movie is based on a true story of the US soccer team who beat England 1-0 during the 1950 FIFA World Cup. The team who went into the match as underdogs, had players who played their heart out for their side and their family traditions are also depicted in the film.

Gerard Butler plays the lead Frank Borghi, one of the group members who hailed from St. Louis. The film was directed by David Anspaugh and was released in 2005.

#4 United

The Munich air disaster killed the hopes of a great footballing side

Released in 2011, United is based on the true story of the legendary Manchester United side under Matt Busby who were known as the 'Busby Babes' and the events leading up to the 1958 Munich air disaster which left the team shattered, and the story thereafter.

Jimmy Murphy's (David Tennant) relationship with youngster Bobby Charlton (Jack O'Connell) is the central theme of the film and the impact of the disaster which took the lives of many senior players is told by director James Strong in an emotional way of storytelling.

#5 Green Street Hooligans

Green Street Hooligans
The intense violence of hooligan firms is effectively portrayed

Lexi Alexander's take on football hooliganism is the violence-filled story of Matt Buckner (Elijah Wood) who gets involved in the 'Green Street Elite', a West Ham United football firm. Green Street Hooligans sheds light on the extreme fan fights and the electrifying atmosphere during football where brawls are a common thing.

Throughout the film, fights occur between various firms of various football clubs regarding different problems that fail to be resolved.

#6 Fever Pitch

Fever Pitch
Romance and football come together in this 1997 movie

This 1997 movie directed by David Evans is a loose adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel Fever Pitch: A Fan's life. The story surrounding Arsenal's 1988/89 season where they won the First Division title is brought into focus along with the character of Paul Ashworth, a teacher, played by Colin Firth, who is obsessed with football.

The final game of the season against Liverpool where a last minute goal gave Arsenal the victory needed to clinch the title is outlined brilliantly.

#7 Pele: Birth of a Legend

Pele: Birth of a Legend
The story of one of the game’s greatest ever players

Starring Kevin de Paula as the legendary Brazilian footballer Pele, the film renders the story of a young boy, who under Vicente Feola (Vincent D'Onofrio) leads Brazil to World Cup glory in 1958 and narrates the relationship between him and his father.

The rise of Pele, from a boy who played in the streets to the epitome of the sport, is packaged by directors Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist in traditional fashion.


#8 The Football Factory

The Football Factory
Football and hooliganism

Tommy Johnson (Danny Dyer) is a 29-year-old football fan who is a member of a Chelsea hooligan firm. He is arrested for assaulting Stoke City fans and starts thinking about his life during a fight with a Tottenham Hotspur firm.

There is a sense of extremism and violence throughout the film which speaks volumes about the nature of hooliganism. It is based on John King's novel of the same name and directed by Nick Love.

#9 A Shot at Glory

A Shot at Glory
Former Rangers footballer Ally McCoist plays a key role in the film

Gordon McLeod (Robert Duvall) is the coach of fictional Scottish club Kilnockie FC who desperately brings in Jackie McQuillan (Ally McCoist) from Arsenal in his search for success.

McQuillan is a talented footballer but his personal side is a different story that Gordon must manage if he is to reap the full potential of the player.

#10 Goal

The first movie in the trilogy

Footballers often face the problem of prioritizing their career over family matters. Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker) has to decide between making the most of his footballing skills and his father's need for him to look after his family. After receiving the backing of his grandmother, he makes the Newcastle United first XI and forms a partnership with teammate Gavin Harris (Alessandro Nivola).

It was the first of the three movies which were released as part of the trilogy


Quick Links

Edited by Staff Editor
Be the first one to comment