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5 best football movies/documentaries of all time

Norwich City vs Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Norwich City vs Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Abhinav Anand
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Sport might arguably be the purest form of entertainment, but visual media has the ability to create magic of its own.

Football is the most followed sport in the world, and various films and documentaries have attempted to prominently feature the game. There have been some iconic football films over the years, and they are still remembered fondly by fans.

Watching movies is fun, and watching football movies makes it even more enjoyable for an ardent fan. On that note, here's a look at the five best football movies/ documentaries of all time.


#5 The Goal! series

Newcastle United vs Southampton - Premier League
Newcastle United vs Southampton - Premier League

Newcastle United recently announced that they had signed young Mexican attacker Santiago Munoz on loan from Santos Laguna. Social media erupted after the news of the acquisition.

That's because Goal! follows the career of Santiago Munez, a fictional immigrant living in the United States who aspires to become a professional footballer. Munez reaches England with difficulty and joins Newcastle United on trial. He evolves from a reserve team player to a first-team regular, eventually helping Newcastle United secure Champions League football.

The Goal! series then sees Munez move to Real Madrid, where he plays a key role in Los Blancos' Champions League triumph. The series balances Munez's professional and personal life well, and several real-life football stars like David Beckham also feature in the series.

The first Goal! movie is still remembered fondly, so Munoz's move to Newcastle United has once again reignited fans' passion for the series.


#4 The Damned United

Derby County vs Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship
Derby County vs Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship

Directed by Tom Hooper, who would go on to make movies like The King's Speech and Les Miserables, The Damned United is based on David Pearce's book 'The Damned Utd', covering Brian Clough's spell as manager of Leeds United.

Clough's stint with Leeds United was short and littered with controversies. Clough was renowned for his outspoken nature. So his appointment as Leeds United manager was received with surprise, especially given how much he had criticised the team's style of play.

Clough would last only 44 days at Leeds United. The Englishman alienated players in a bid to outperform Leeds United's former manager Don Revie, with whom Clough did not enjoy a good relationship. Clough is portrayed masterfully by Michael Sheen, and the film was received extremely well.


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#3 Escape to Victory

Sylvester Stallone starred in Escape to Victory alongside Michael Caine.
Sylvester Stallone starred in Escape to Victory alongside Michael Caine.

Escape to Victory boasted an extremely talented cast, including Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Max von Sydow.

The film follows an Allied prisoners of war team who plan an escape during a football match against a German team. Led by John Colby (Michael Sheen), their captain and coach, this team, which features stars like Pele and Bobby Moore as well, plots an extravagant plan to escape despite immense difficulties.

Stallone and Caine are excellent as Captain Robert Hatch and Captain John Colby, respectively. The film is a necessary reminder of why football is adored across the world, and how the sport can play an important role in unifying the masses.


#2 Sunderland 'Til I Die

Sunderland vs Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi-Final 2nd Leg
Sunderland vs Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi-Final 2nd Leg

Sunderland 'Til I Die has been received well ever since its release in 2018, and fans are eagerly awaiting more.

The first season follows Sunderland AFC during the 2017-18 season. Sunderland have just been relegated from the Premier League to the Championship. The 'fly on the wall' docuseries shows viewers how a professional football club is run, and why fans are the heart and soul of the sport.

Sunderland were abysmal in the 2017-18 season, and were once again relegated, this time to League One. The second season of the series follows Sunderland's stint in League One, under new owner Stewart Donald.

Sunderland 'Til I Die' portrays the frustrations of the fans extremely well, while also displaying how the club completed a few deals. It is an exhilarating watch, and doesn't pull any punches.


#1 All or Nothing- Tottenham Hotspur

Dinamo Zagreb vs Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Leg Two
Dinamo Zagreb vs Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Leg Two

The 'All or Nothing' series has so far covered Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, and both seasons have been received well.

The Tottenham Hotspur one was narrated by renowned actor Tom Hardy. It covers Tottenham Hotspur's 2019-20 season. That campaign saw the club sack fan-favourite Mauricio Pochettino and replace him with the charismatic and mercurial Jose Mourinho.

Tottenham did not enjoy a good 2019-20 campaign. With the COVID-19 outbreak bringing the world to a halt, football was no exception.' All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur' gives fans many memorable moments, and Mourinho, as expected, is the show-stealer.


You may also like: 5 greatest player-manager relationships of all time.

Edited by Bhargav
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