Browse all

The 10 films to survive the first weekend without football

If you are afraid of not being able to stay without a ball, here are some good alternatives

The 10 films to survive the first weekend without football If you are afraid of not being able to stay without a ball, here are some good alternatives

It is considered the most difficult sport to film, but between documentaries and fiction films, football stories have been told many times by the cinema. Films where stories of footballers, coaches and fans seen through historical periods, existential dramas and very different sports backgrounds. We have made a selection of those that will always remain current:

VICTORY (1981)

French ''allies'' played by Pele, Bobby Moore, Ossie Ardiles and Sylvester Stallone and trained by Michael Caine are captured by the Nazis and, for reasons that have never been clarified in a particularly precise way, they must face a selection of the Reich army in a glamorous Paris. Legend has it that Stallone's contract stipulated that he was the hero who would save the allies from the Germans, scoring the winning goal. Too bad that his role on the field was the goalkeeper and a scene would come out to the limit of the credible.


The great British obsession with football receives a profound satirical inclination in this fake documentary in which the manager of the English national team is unexpectedly taken by a heart attack that causes the immediate search for a replacement. Most people who seem qualified for the position have common sense to decline, and therefore responsibility lies with Mike Bassett, played by Ricky Tomlinson, a manager rather than having built up his reputation as a coach by bringing his third-class team to the victory of the Mr. Clutch Cup. Through a series of risky choices Bassett passes from being the image man of the rebirth of the national team to becoming the most hated man in England, especially for the press and fans.


GOAL! (2005, 2007, 2009)

This is the story of Santiago Muñez, a boy who escaped from Mexico and moved to Los Angeles with his family, chasing the goal of getting into football that matters. Through a series of vicissitudes, Saints will succeed season after season (and film after film) to raise the bar more and more, going from English to Spanish football. The trilogy ends with the advent of the 2006 World Cup in which Santi will not be able to participate, but will be replaced - as the protagonist of the film - by his best friends and former teammates Charlie Braithwaite and Liam Adams.



The first film on the list that looks at football from the fans' point of view or, to be more precise, from that of the hooligans. It tells of an American university student, Matt Bucker, played by Elijah Wood, who is unjustly expelled from Harvard and flees to his sister's home in England. Once there, he befriends his brother-in-law and is introduced to the underworld of English football hooliganism ''by defending'' the colors of West Ham United. It is a representation of the ''ultras'' culture, in which the main character learns to fight and defend himself for those who become his "friends".



Fever Pitch, based on the Nick Hornby novel, arrives on the big screen with the character Paul Ashworth, played by Colin Firth, who tries to juggle his true passion in life, Arsenal, and a new romantic relationship. The film is set during the 1988-89 season, in which the Gunners will win the championship, and has a focus on the protagonist's agony status, who is unable to prioritize his two fixations. Despite his connection with football, Fever Pitch is a romantic comedy with a sports background, the emblematic phrase of which is ''Life becomes complicated when you love a woman and love eleven men''.



Brian Clough is a former Derby County footballer and historical coach, who has a visceral hatred of Leeds United, due to the violent style of play and his historic coach, Don Revie. Clough's hatred has deep roots: Rather than being disappointed with a defeat - predictable due to the Derby's poor technical value - Clough tied the lack of handshake at the end of the match by the opposing coach. Since then, Brian and his assistant Peter Taylor have been working around the clock to build a competitive team that can beat Leeds.



The improbable ride, which will end in the semifinal against West Germany, of the English national team during the 1990 World Cup of Italy, is narrated, giving a socio-political glimpse that exploited the successes of the national team to try to reunite a divided country . The docu-film is based exclusively on archival material collected in those days, much of which unpublished. There are the most representative and most touching moments of that adventure, the tears of Paul Gascoigne - to name one above all - and of course the management of the Hooligans phenomenon by Thatcher and the Italian authorities.



A comedy about two girls of different origins who go against the rules to achieve the same goal. The film explores the growing world of English women's football and follows two eighteen year olds with their heads turned to professional football. For one of the characters, whose ultra conservative Indian family will never understand his talent, the road to success will be more complicated than expected. The result is a mix of themes such as racial integration, love and friendship drawn from the personal background of the Anglo-Indian director Gurinder Chadha.



It is the story of the difficult transition from childhood to adulthood of a boy, a fan of City and not of United, bullied by his companions in the suburbs of Manchester. Jimmy dreams of becoming a professional footballer and achieving success but a series of events (and appearances) will put him on the wheel. When a bizarre old woman takes him to his poor home to escape the hateful companion Gordon, Jimmy finds a magical pair of old football boots that will bring him luck and help him gain self-confidence and make his dreams come true.



Tommy Johnson is a thirty-year-old Londoner with few prospects: a precarious job as a florist, without a girlfriend and with a grandfather hero of the Second World War who tries to convince him to follow him to Australia, where they both have relatives, to change life. His great passion is for football and in particular the violent aspect: he belongs to the headhunters, the firm of the supporters of the Chelsea team, who have a historical rivalry with the bushwackers, Milwall fans. The story takes place within a reality made of thefts, alcoholism, drugs, delinquency and above all violence, from which none of the components of the firm seems to want to detach.