Top 5 Films About Football

Traditionally, football does not necessarily translate well to the silver screen *ahem* Goal *ahem*, however, every once in a while, a director scores a goal with a fantastic film about everyone’s favourite sport. Below are our top 5 films about football!

Escape To Victory – John Histon (1981)

First in our list of films about football, is this classic tale of the beautiful game meeting World War II. Escape to Victory saw Michael Caine team up with the likes of Pele, Bobby Moore, Ossie Ardiles and Sylvester Stallone to escape from their PoW camp. In a classic match that saw the prisoners take on the German/Nazi national team, we are treated to an iconic moment as Pele scores the winner with an overhead kick… a moment that has been reciprocated thoroughly in football films since.

Mike Bassett: England Manager – Steve Barron (2001)

Ricky Tomlinson’s Mike Bassett isn’t the best of managers, and when he finds himself being called upon to be the manager of the England national team, he struggles immensely with the pressure of an under-performing team and a media baying for blood, and after losing to both Poland and Belgium, the fans turn on him too. Despite meaning to be an exaggeration of England’s failings at major tournaments, the film actually comes very close to the numerous failings of the England team every two years. Despite not showcasing the beauty of the game, the sheer amount of cringe-worthy moments are enough to make our top 5 films about football.

The Damned United – Tom Hooper (2009)

Brian Clough is renowned as being one of the greatest English managers of all team, some call him the greatest English manager not to manage the England national team. This story focuses around Clough’s controversial 44 day stint in charge of English champions Leeds United, and the relationship between Michael Sheen’s Clough and his assistant/best friend Peter Taylor, played by Timothy Spall. This real life success story highlights the same sentiments as Leicester’s Premier League glory – anything is possible in football – that is why The Damned United makes our list of top films about football.

Next Goal Wins – Mike Brett, Steve Jamison (2014)

Next in our top 5 films about football is a documentary highlighting the work of Dutch coach, Thomas Rongen, with one of the world’s worst national teams; American Samoa – the team who famously lost 31-0 to Australia. Set against the backdrop of the qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil,we follow the American Samoa team on their quest for their first ever win in football.

Ronaldo – Anthony Wonke (2015)

Cristiano Ronaldo. You either love him or you hate him. However you feel about him, there is no doubting that he is one of the greatest footballers of all time. Anthony Wonke has provided us with a behind-the-scenes look at a year in the life of the Portuguese captain’s life. What we are treated to is an analysis on his personal life, family life, what pushes him to greatness, and the big one… his rivalry with Lionel Messi. The amount of insight into one of the world’s greatest ever players is truly remarkable, and so, Ronaldo takes it’s place in our top 5 films about football.

Bendtner Released By Wolfsburg

Nicklas Bendtner has been released by Wolfsburg. The one time Arsenal prospect has failed to impress at the German club and subsequently has seen his time at Die Wölfe cut short by a year.

Nicklas Bendtner

Since signing a contract in 2014, Bendtner has appeared 31 times and has scored just three goals… not exactly what Wolfsburg need to mount a challenge on the impenetrable force that is Bayern Munich. The 28-year-old ‘burst’ on to scene as a youngster at Arsenal where he made 108 appearances. At first, the Dane received a lot of interest around the world, and looked to be a promising striker for the Gunners, but, after only scoring 28 goals for them, the North London outfit decided to cut their losses, sending him out on loan to Birmingham City, Sunderland and Juventus until his contract came to an end.

Bendtner-Juventus

Some sympathy has to be shown for ‘Lord Bendtner’ as he has always been the butt of the joke in the media and has been relentlessly trolled on social media due to his lack of success at Arsenal. Although, it is pretty hard to feel sorry for a man who is married to a Danish princess and has been getting paid ludicrous amounts of money his whole life!

12-Caroline-Fleming-and-Nicklas-Bendtner-ELLE

Who knows, we may yet see Nicklas Bendtner in the Premier League again if some brave manager feels to give him a second coming… or he could simply retire and enjoy his life as a member of the Danish royalty.

The 5 Shortest Managerial Reigns in Football!

So, legendary Egyptian striker Mido has been sacked by his club, Zamalek SC after only 37 days! Even though the ex-Tottenham, West Ham, Middlesbrough, Wigan and Barnsley striker lasted less than 2 months at the Egyptian club, we have rooted out 5 men who’s reign was even shorter at their respective clubs!

5) Paul Hart – Queens Park Rangers (2009/10): 28 days


After falling out with ‘superstar’ Adel Taarabt, Hart decided to leave QPR by mutual consent with owner Flavio Briatore after less than a month.

4) Micky Adams – Swansea City (1996/7): 13 days


Adams was promised funds to build a new squad with the Welsh club, however, when no money materialised, he left… pretty simple that one.

3) Martin Ling – Cambridge United (2009) 9 days


Not everyone gets along with their boss… this can most certainly be said for Martin Ling and Cambridge chairman George Rolls! After not being able to reconcile their differences, Ling left the Conference side.

2) Dave Bassett – Crystal Palace (1984) 4 days


It’s true that Bassett never actually signed a contract at Crystal Palace, however, he did try his hand at managing the team in training… a taster session if you will. After 4 days he decided it wasn’t for him, and packed his bags.

1) Leroy Rosenior – Torquay United (2007) 1o minutes


Amazingly, Leroy Rosenior was the manager of Torquay United for a mere 10 minutes! He signed on as manager the same day that the club was being taken over by a consortium of locals; and after less than an hour, Rosenior was gone as the consortium wanted their own man to take charge.

Anglo-French Solidarité at Wembley

When England take on France this evening at Wembley, it is expected that the English fans will sing the French national anthem, Marseillaise, in ‘solidarité’ with the French fans. This is, of course, being done to show respect for the lives lost in the series of attacks in Paris last Friday night.

As well as the singing of the French national anthem, captains Wayne Rooney and Hugo Lloris will lay flowers down and a minute’s silence shall be observed to honour the lives of the 129 people who died last week. To further show the support of the English people to the French, the Wembley arch will be lit up in blue, white and red – the colours of the French flag – during the game, following the stadium displaying the French flag and motto ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’ this week.

After fears this weekend that the match would be called off amid security fears, FA chief Martin Glenn stated that the match would go on, and claimed that this event “is a chance to demonstrate terrorism can’t win.” This event is a great chance to highlight to the world not only the unity of football fans, but the support humanity will provide in the aftermath of such horrific events.

Top 10 Best-Selling Player Shirts (2014/15)

Last week, Kitbag.com released their official numbers for shirt sales of footballers worldwide. The list reveals some very interesting facts about world football, including the continued dominance of Lionel Messi, the commercial success of the Premier League and the amount of commercial power behind a certain Premier League club.

For the second year running, Lionel Messi is the biggest shirt-seller in the world. The man many regard as the best in the world continues to dominate shirt-sales, although his ‘nemesis’ Cristiano Ronaldo has moved up from 4th to 2nd in the chart due to his record-breaking year with Real Madrid. Expect Ronaldo to take over at the summit next year, with his popularity continuing to grow due to his recently released documentary, ‘Ronaldo’, a series of chat-show appearances, and, of course, his recent accomplishment in becoming Madrid’s all-time top goal-scorer!

It is a great tribute to the commercial power of the Premier League that out of the Top 10 Best-Selling Shirts, 7 of the players ply their trade in England. Despite the lack of success in Europe in recent years, the popularity of the Premier League is clearly as strong as ever. Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City each have 1 player in the top ten, and Manchester United have 3 – more than any other team – which brings us on to our next point… the successful business of Manchester United.

Memphis Depay didn’t even make it into the Top 100 last season whilst he played for PSV Eindhoven, however, this year he finds himself in 3rd place, behind only Ronaldo and Messi. At the age of 21, expect Memphis to feature regularly in this list in the next 10 years – assuming he manages to get over his poor form in recent weeks. Another Summer signing for United, Bastian Schweinsteiger, finds himself 4th in the list, up from 31st last season. The German has been a popular player in the footballing community for many years however his move to Manchester has skyrocketed his popularity in terms of shirt-sales. The huge leap up the chart for the 31-year-old could suggest that Manchester United are a stronger team than Bayern Munich in terms of marketability – although business aside, in terms of football, there’s no doubt who is the better team!

1) Lionel Messi 
Club: Barcelona
Country: Argentina
2013/14 Position: 1

2) Cristiano Ronaldo
Club: Real Madrid
Country: Portugal
2013/14 Position: 4

3) Memphis Depay
Club: Manchester United
Country: Netherlands
2013/14 Position: N/A

4) Bastian Schweinsteiger
Club: Manchester United
Country: Germany
2013/14 Position: 31

5) Eden Hazard
Club: Chelsea
Country: Belgium
2013/14 Position: 12

6) Wayne Rooney
Club: Manchester United
Country: England
2013/14 Position: 9

7) Neymar
Club: Barcelona
Country: Brazil
2013/14 Postition: 2

8) Sergio Agüero
Club: Manchester City
Country: Argentina
2013/14 Position: 22

9)Alexis Sánchez
Club: Arsenal
Country: Chile
2013/14 Position: 6

10) Phillippe Coutinho
Club: Liverpool
Country: Brazil
2013/14 Position: 38