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.