Football Films: The Top 10 Football Movies

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If it’s not enough for you that King Football is already very often represented on the world’s screens, you can go one better with films. Of course, Hollywood and co. have long since discovered the topic for themselves. Over the years, some very exciting football films and documentaries have been released that shed a different light on this popular sport.

The Best Football Films

When it comes to predicting favorites, the best Bundesliga odds from well-known betting providers and sports betting portals usually help. Not so with these films, however, because in the end, it’s all about your own taste. But if you’re interested in football and good films, you can’t go wrong with these top 10 films. An overview of these football movies can be found in this top 10.

Football is the most popular sport in the world, so it’s no surprise that there are various films on the subject. Some of them are fictional feature films, others are based on biographies and then there are also exciting documentaries that reveal glimpses behind the scenes.

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Pele: Birth of a Legend (2016)

Even if you’re not a fan of the sport, most people will have heard of Pelé, who many consider to be the best footballer of all time. Pelé was a Brazilian footballer who managed to win the World Cup three times with Brazil. In ‘Pele – The Film’ from 2016, the rise of the star is shown and how he got to the first World Cup in 1958.

The film was made by Jeff Zimbalist, who not only directed the film but also wrote the screenplay. Kevin de Paula can be seen in the leading role of Pele. His cast includes Seu Jorge, Diego Boneta, and Vincent D’Onofrio. The film shows how the young player gradually improves and makes his way up the Brazilian football ladder.

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

The film ‘Kick It Like Beckham’ is already a modern classic. It was released in cinemas in 2002 and was a real surprise success at the box office. The film is about young Jesminder Bhamra, who grew up in London. She loves playing football and sees David Beckham as her role model. But her parents are against her lacing up her football boots. They have traditional expectations of their daughter.

The film shows the difficult path, Jess, as Jesminder is called, has to take on her way to realizing her dream. Parminder Nagra took on the leading role. Keira Knightley and Jonathan Rhys Meyers can be seen in supporting roles. The screenplay was written by Gurinder Chadha, who also took a seat in the director’s chair. Interestingly, the film was marketed in the USA as ‘Move it like Mia,’ as European football and David Beckham were not very well known there.

I Am Zlatan (2021)

Zlatan Ibrahimović is also one of those players that very few people outside of football need to be introduced or explained to. He has made football history in many ways, playing for FC Barcelona, Juventus Turin, AC Milan, and Manchester United, among others. He is not only known for his directness but also for his spectacular goals, which characterize him as a perfect athlete.

I am Zlatan’ shows how he made his way from a young player to Ajax Amsterdam, which was definitely not the easiest path. He didn’t just make friends along the way, but thanks to his perseverance and quality, he managed to become a superstar. The film was directed by Jens Sjögren. Dominic Andersson Bajraktati, Granit Rushiti, and Čedomir Glišovič can be seen in the leading roles.

Ted Lasso (TV Series 2020–2023)

Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) has no idea about football. The American actually coaches a college football team and is nevertheless recruited to a rather mediocre English Premier League team. Once in England, Ted not only has to convince the team and the fans but also himself and his boss.

It goes without saying that this provides plenty of material for numerous side-swipes and humor interludes. The quarrels that Ted faces are the highlight of the series. An insider tip if you’re looking for a series that combines football with a good dose of humor.

Goal (2005)

The young Mexican Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker) sees only one chance to escape the ghettos of Los Angeles: He dreams of a great career as a professional footballer. In fact, the British talent scout Glen Foy (Stephen Dillane) discovers Santiago’s extraordinary talent and gets him a trial training session with an English club.

Against his father’s wishes, Santiago goes to Europe and tries his luck at Newcastle United. However, the road to the professional league is tougher than expected.

Hardly any other film has such cult status among football fans as ‘Goal.’ The story of Santiago Munez emotionally depicts the rise of a young man from the working class to football stardom. Even though two more sequels followed, the original remains unrivaled.

Looking for Eric (2009)

Eric is fucked! Nothing is going according to plan at work and certainly not at home with his two stepsons. But this would probably all be bearable if the football fan hadn’t made his biggest mistake 25 years ago and dumped the love of his life, Lily.

There is only one man who can get Eric’s life back on track: Eric Cantona, the legendary Manchester United striker. Instead of hanging on the poster on the wall, the Frenchman is suddenly sitting in the kitchen with his namesake.

In ‘Looking For Eric,’ British directing legend Ken Loach uses the world of football to draw attention to social problems in the UK. The football star Eric Cantona proves here that he is also a great actor and the combination of comedy and tragedy makes this film a very special work with political explosive power.

Hooligans (2005)

Shortly before completing his journalism degree, Matt Buckner is expelled from the elite Harvard University through no fault of his own and decides to travel to London to visit his sister Shannon, who lives there. Thanks to Shannon’s husband’s brother, Matt gains access to the hooligan fan organization of the West Ham United football club.

This world is characterized by brutality and uncompromisingness but also by an unprecedented bond with one another. After a short time, Matt succumbs to the fascination of open violence and enjoys testing his own limits. However, the other hooligans are reluctant to accept him into their group.

Similar to ‘Goal’, this film enjoys cult status among football fans, only this time the focus is not on goals but on the so-called third half. With this extremely brutal film, Elijah Wood finally shed his reputation as a softie actor, which he had built up thanks to his role as Frodo in ‘Lord of the Rings.’

Diamantino (2018)

2018 World Cup final in Russia: Portugal was 1:0 down against Sweden when superstar Diamantino was awarded a penalty. Diamantino misses the penalty that would have meant extra time for his team, while at the same time, his father dies in front of the TV at home.

Diamantino’s money-hungry twin sisters now see their chance to exploit their brother even more than before. But the superstar ends his career and decides to adopt a refugee. Disaster is imminent because the Portuguese secret service is monitoring Diamantino on suspicion of money laundering.

‘Diamantino’ is by far the craziest football film of all time. The eponymous main character is a Cristiano Ronaldo satire, and the directing duo Daniel Schmidt and Gabriel Abrantes display a very quirky sense of humor. Above all, the film looks into the confused psyche of a football genius whose mental abilities are rather limited, which is why he tries to make sense of the world with a lot of imagination.

Offside (2019)

Female football fans in Iran: A woman disguised herself as a man and tried to get into a football stadium. But before the game starts, she is arrested at a checkpoint and taken to a fence near the stadium.

She is just one of many to be dealt with in this way, as she meets a whole group of female football fans here. After the game, she will be handed over to the vice squad. But before that, they will be tortured …

‘Offside’ is a film by Jafar Panahi released in 2006. For almost 40 years, women in Iran were denied access to football stadiums; only recently have they been allowed to cheer on their teams in the stadium. The film contrasts the world of football with human and women’s rights and, therefore, fits in very well with the current debates surrounding the World Cup in Qatar.

The Emperor (2022)

This German film is dedicated to the life and impressive career of football legend Franz Beckenbauer. In the beginning, Beckenbauer was seen as a revolutionary on the pitch, fighting against outdated structures and wanting to introduce new strategies. It goes without saying that he caused offense. But then success followed success – also in his private life …

‘Der Kaiser’ may not be the best football film of all time, but it is a loving tribute to a professional sportsman of a kind that is not often seen. Convincing to watch the fun-loving Beckenbauer: Klaus Steinbacher, who even received an international award for his performance.

Conclusion

King football also cuts a fine figure on the big screen and offers the perfect complement to the matches you can watch every week. Football films also show the things that happen off the pitch and are, therefore, particularly exciting.

You can see that before every success there are also failures and a lot of work. In this respect, the films and documentaries are of great value and can be educational, especially for a younger audience. If you love football and films anyway, you can’t go wrong with these football movies.

Claire S. Allen
Claire S. Allen
Hi there! I'm Claire S. Allen, a vibrant Gemini who's as bold as my favorite color, red. I'm a fan of two cool things: strolling the streets in a red jacket and crafting articles that connect with readers. With my warm and friendly personality, Claire is sure to brighten up your day!
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