Football, often referred to as The Beautiful Game, is the most popular sport in the world, a sport that has seen rivalries stem from petty issues to local sectarianism, that has seen blood baths as well as coming together of people in the face of tragedy. Many of the world’s foremost directors have tried to capture the passion and devotion attached to football on celluloid and the following list includes some of the best movies on football.
Goal! The Dream Begins: Released in 2005, this movie tells the story of a young footballer of Mexican origin living in the United States of America, who is scouted by a former English footballer for Newcastle United. The scout recommends the young player, Santiago Munez to his former club, and gets him a trial there. After impressing on trial, Munez gets picked for a game against Fulham Football Club and earns his team a penalty. In his second match against Liverpool, Santiago scores a last minute penalty for The Magpies to earn them a 3-2 victory and a place in the UEFA Champions League. The film has seen various cameo appearances from some of the top players of world football including David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Raul and others.
Goal II! Living the Dream: The second part of the Goal! Trilogy sees Santiago Munez transferred to Spanish giants Real Madrid where he becomes a bench warmer rather than a regular starter. Unlike the previous film, which was based on Santiago and his struggles to get a contract at Newcastle United, this film focuses on his frustration of not making it to the Real Madrid starting lineup and his off field problems. The film ends when Santiago finally gets his shot at glory as Real Madrid entertain Arsenal in the final of the UEFA Champions League. But disaster strikes as Real are down 2-0 and after Gavin Harris pulls one back, Santiago levels the game with seconds to spare and David Beckham curls a free kick to win the Champions League for The Whites.
The Damned United: This biopic about the legendary English manager Brian Clough is one of the best movies on football. Clough is still regarded as the best manager the England national team never had and the film follows his development as a manager, starting from Derby County which he takes to Championship glory to his torrid time at Leeds United. The film ends with credits of what Clough achieves with Nottingham Forest, a small provincial side which he led to two back to back wins in the European Cup.
United: This BBC documentary-drama about the legendary Busby Babes of Manchester United Football Club is a brilliant version of the true story about the Munich Air Disaster which took the lives of eight first team player of Manchester United and ended the playing careers of two other players. The film mainly focuses on the events through the eyes of Bobby Charlton who would go on to become a legend for The Red Devils, overcoming the shock and trauma of the tragedy.