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As one of the world's most popular sports, soccer is bound to the be the topic of many popular movies. Filmmakers portray the beautiful sport in many different ways, allowing sports fans to view their favorite through the vision of different directors, minus being cliche or simple.
Look no further for the greatest soccer movies ever made. With both documentary and drama styled movies, the choice is yours as to which order you will binge watch. Don't forget your popcorn! Plus, any of these movies would be a great gift for the soccer fan in your life.
Bend It Like Beckham
One of the most heart-warming soccer movies, Bend It Like Beckham follows Jess Bhamra, who adores the game of soccer. However, she is not allowed to play on a team, due to her parent's strict rules. Jules Paxton sees her when she is casually practicing on her own and wants her to join her semi-pro team. How will she keep this from her parents?
The title refers to the world famous soccer player, David Beckham, of course. Earning over $76 million, the movie was one of the most successful soccer movies. It even inspired a stage musical version, which opened in London at the Phoenix Theatre in 2015.
Escape to Victory
This British-American film is well known among soccer films and sports movies in general. The movie highlights Allied prisoners paths, in a German prison camp during World War II. Not your typical soccer film! The head of the German POW Camp organizes a soccer match between Nazi and Allied players. Who will win?
Professional soccer players like Osvaldo Ardiles, Paul Van Himst, Bobby Moore, and Kazimierz Deyna even make an appearance in the theatrical movie. With great attention, the film was even entered into the Moscow International Film Festival.
Much like Escape to Vicotry, Mean Machine, a British drama film, is one of the most interesting soccer movies on this list. As a remake of The Longest Yard, the setting is a British prison with only the worst criminals. Danny Meehan leads a soccer match that not only includes the prisoners but the guards as well. To prove dominance, who will win?
The Football Factory
In a reattempt to better the interpretation of soccer in the worldwide famous picture Green Street, The Football Factory portrays the dark side of the sport. For example, drugs, theft, and racism are all relevant within the soccer community.
Both written and directed by Nick Love, the sports drama film was first produced in 2004. Starring Tamer Hassan, Danny Dyer, Frank Harper, Neil Maskell, Roland Manookain, and Dudley Sutton, the film follows the British soccer fans and the struggles in their day to day life.
Different than most popular soccer movies, Maradona is a documentary, featuring the life of Diego Maradona, an Argentine soccer player. The star famously led the Argentinean team to victory in the 1986 World Cup. Directed by award-winning filmmaker, Emir Kusturica, the documentary did wonders for the soccer community and the appreciation for the sport, as well as the players.
Mike Bassett: England Manager
The Football Association's national team manager Phil Cope, played by Malcolm Terris, dies of a heart attack. The Association frantically tries to find a suitable replacement, ultimately hiring Mike Bassett, played by Ricky Tomlinson. However, he does not make great decisions off the bat, causing the team to lose their first two matches. Will he be able to redeem himself?
This satirical comedy film was directed by Steve Barron, and released in 2001. There was even a TV series to follow the movie titled, "Mike Bassett: Manager."
Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait
One of the most personalized soccer movies, Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait gains the perspective of Zinédine Zidane during the intense La Liga match between Real Madrid and Villareal, in April of 2005. The documentary film was filmed in real time and was featured in the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2006.
Goal! The Dream Begins
Santiago Muñes has always dreamed of playing professional soccer. Though he is a Mexican cook in Los Angeles, a talent scout offers him a once in a lifetime opportunity. However, he must find his own way to England in order to try out. The Newcastle United team awaits him, as well as Gavin Harris, who will eventually treat him like a brother.
Directed by Danny Cannon, the movie has expanded into a trilogy of films to tell the rest of Muñez's story. This includes Goal! II: Living the Dream and Goal! III: Taking on the World. This alone shows how successful this film was among the best soccer movies.
The Damned United
Originally written as a fiction biographical novel, The Damned Utd by David Pearce is based on Brian Clough's career as a football manager of Leeds United, for 44 days. BBC Films produced the adaptation in 2009, titled The Damned United, directed by Tom Hooper. It grossed a total of $4.1 million worldwide, and was nominated for a British Independent Film Award and an ALFS Award.
To end the list, Fever Pitch is definitely one of the most romantic soccer movies. The film follows the story of Paul Ashworth, played by Colin Firth, as he begins a new relationship. However, during the same time, the soccer team he obsessively follows, Arsenal, has made it to the final game of the season, against Liverpool. How will this pressure affect his new relationship? Will they win the title?
The film was also remade into a movie about the World Series instead, in 2005, starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, titled the same.