The Beautiful Game has been the subject of a few movies over the years. Some classics, some absolutely dreadful…some worth a watch, some not even worth mentioning (not looking at anyone in particular).
1981’s Escape to Victory had a great cast such as Pelé, Sly Stallone, Bobby Moore, Ossie Ardiles and Michael Caine to name but a few. Some people don’t really like it – I think it’s a classic. The movie was was mostly inspired by the true story of when Dynamo Kyiv’s players who, when Ukraine was occupied by the Germans during World War II, defeated German soldiers. While some of Kyiv’s players were sent to concentration camps, some did survive.
There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble is a movie about a young boy’s dream to one day play for Man City with the help of an ex-star players boots. It’d be unlkely for any young City fan to play in the current money-infested squad, but the movie has a superb soundtrack from Manchester bands like The Stone Roses. Fever Pitch was a fantastic 1997 movie starring Colin Firth as an Arsenal fan in the 1988-89 season and the unforgettable climax featuring that goal from Michael Thomas.
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My personal favourite is the unique Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. Made by Scottish artist Douglas Gordon and French filmaker Phillipe Parreno, it was made via 17 synchronised cameras focussing purely on the genius that is Zinedine Zidane for an entire Real Madrid match against Villareal (or it would have been a full match if Zizou didn’t get sent off in the dying minutes). Added with a phenomenal soundtrack from the great Mogwai, it’s one I fully recommend. I remember buying it on DVD when it came out in 2006 for €25, much to my then-girlfriend’s bemusement. Fair enough, I don’t expect anybody with zero interest in the genius that is Zidane to understand but it is most definitely better than that Bend It Like Beckham for sure.