Top 10 Football movies every super fan should watch

Carolina

Carolina

Carolina, a resident of Argentina is a movie buff through and through. She enjoys nothing more than binge-watching the latest Netflix series and is a big fan of their 'Originals' line. Her favourite movie is Frozen and she's a big fan of The Good Place & The Dragon Prince.

In this guide I’m looking at the best football films going. If you’re looking for American Football this guide isn’t for you, these are all about what you’ll call ’Soccer’.

Football is the most popular and biggest sport in the world.

Every four years, the World Cup becomes the most important sports event, and the world is paralysed to follow it. Couple that with leagues like the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and others and you’ve got a massive following.

Although Football has worldwide popularity, movies about the sport began to flourish mostly in the 2000s.

The reason?

Hollywood isn’t interested in Football much since it isn’t the most popular sport in the US. And, to be honest, most of the movies inspired by football come from England or other European countries.

Here’s a list of the top 10 football movies to enjoy this sport from another point of view.

Best Football films of all time

  1. Montevideo Taste of a Dream
  2. Bend it like Beckham
  3. The Damned United
  4. Gracie
  5. United
  6. Lessons of a Dream
  7. Offside
  8. The Game of their Lives
  9. Kicking & Screaming
  10. Victory

How to watch this selection

Before we delve straight into the list of films, it’s worth knowing where you can watch these.

Almost all the movies listed below are available on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

However, they may not be available in your region. For this, you’ll need to use a VPN app which lets you hop regions with your regular account.

I recommend using ExpressVPN as they work with most regions of Netflix and the US Amazon Prime service. There are other choices like NordVPN and CyberGhost that can be worth considering so you’re free to choose.

Sign up, download their app, connect to the relevant country and enjoy unlocking all these movies and more.

Right, enough of that, on with the movies.

Watch these movies

30-day money back guarantee

1) Montevideo Taste of a Dream (2010)

(Adventure, Comedy, Drama) 140 min.

A Serbian movie about the Yugoslavian team on their journey to the first World Football Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930.

The movie is the first part of a two-part series. The second movie is See You in Montevideo.

Hand drawn football

The story revolves around the formation of the Yugoslavian team to be part of the first World Cup and deals with all their upside downs on their way, including personal issues, politics, and romance.

Where to watch : Unknown

2) Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

(Comedy, Drama, Romance) 112 min.

Produced, written, and directed by Gurinder Chadha (Beecham House), and starred by Parminder Nagra (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean), it’s a family romantic comedy revolving around women and football.

Jess (Nagra) belongs to a very conservative Indian family living in London, and she is forbidden to play football even though she’s already 18 years old.

When Jules (Knightley), the English friend of the same age, sees her playing for fun she gets impressed by her incredible skills and convinces her to join a semi-professional team.

This forces Jess to hide her football practice from her family, and at the same time, she will be dealing with her romantic feeling for her coach Joe.

Where to watch : Netflix DE

3) The Damned United (2009)

(Biography, Drama, Sport) 98 min.

Inspired by actual events, the movie tells the controversial story of Brian Clough during his 44 days as the coach of the English football team Leeds United.

This sports drama movie was directed by Tom Hooper (The Danish Girl) and adapted by Peter Morgan (The Queen) from David Peace’s bestselling novel The Damned Utd.

The novel is mostly a fictional account from the author’s interpretation of Brian Clough’s short but problematic term as a coach.

Where to watch : Amazon Prime

4) Gracie (2007)

(Biography, Drama, Sport) 105 min.

Set in 1978, in New Jersey, the US, a time when organised women’s football or ’soccer’ was still very rare. Nothing like the recent success for the US in France at the Women’s World Cup.

The story revolves around Gracie, a teenager who loves football as much as her three brothers and her father, who happens to be a coach.

Her enthusiasm is always stopped due to the fact she is a girl, and only her older brother Johnny supports her.

Line drawing of a women kicking a football

After Johnny’s tragic death in a car accident, Gracie finds herself coping with grief and she wants to replace her brother in the team he played for.

Where to watch : Amazon Prime

5) United (2011)

(Drama, History, Sport) 94 min.

A British television film based on the true story of Manchester United’s Busby’s Babes and the aftermath of the 1958 Munich air disaster.

The Busby’s Babes were young players who emerged from the Manchester United’s youth team and became the first team under the management of Matt Busby from the late 1940 and throughout the 1950s.

In the Munich air disaster in February 1958, eight of the players of the team, between 21 and 28 years old, lost their lives.

Two other players who were seniors at that time got injured in a way they never were able to play again.

The movie mostly focuses on the relationship between assistant manager Jimmy Murphy and the young player Bobby Charlton, one of the survivors from the plane tragedy.

Where to watch : Youtube

6) Lessons of a Dream (2011)

(Drama, Sport) 113 min.

This German production is loosely based on the life of German football pioneer Konrad Koch at the end of the 19th century.

Football on green banner

The movie is about Koch, interpreted by Daniel Brühl, being one of the first English teachers in the German empire and how he introduced his students to football, a new sport unknown outside of the UK at that time.

Of course, this way of introducing his class to the English culture upset his conservative colleagues, parents, and authorities.

Where to watch : Unknown

7) Offside (2006)

(Comedy, Drama, Sport) 93 min.

An Iranian comedy sports film that shows how women are discriminated in the sports world in Iran.

The movie directed by Jafar Panahi is about a group of girls that wants to watch a qualifying match for a World Cup, but they’re forbidden by law because of their gender.

So, in order to attempt to watch it, they disguise themselves as boys.

With a hint of humour, the film shows the reality women live every day. Even though the movie was entirely shot in Iran, it was banned there.

Where to watch : SBS On Demand (Connect to Australia with ExpressVPN)

8) The Game of their Lives (2005)

(Drama, History, Sport) 101 min.

Directed by David Anspaugh and based on the true story, the movie tells how the 1950 US football team beat England 1-0 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Football with green banner background

The film stars Gerard Butler, Wes Bentley, and Jay Rodan. Besides showing how this team of underdogs won over one of the most talented teams in the World Cup, the story is about the family traditions and passions that influenced the players of the group.

Where to watch : Netflix Mexico

9) Kicking & Screaming (2005)

(Comedy, Family, Romance) 95 min.

In this comedy, a father (Will Ferrell) takes on the coaching duties of his son’s ’soccer’ team, and he realises he is so competitive and dysfunctional like his football enthusiast and coaching father (Robert Duvall) was with him in his childhood.

But, when he must train his son’s ’soccer’ team, he will find out that the rival team is the one coached by his father.

Where to watch : Netflix Australia

10) Escape to Victory (1981)

(Drama, Sport, War) 116 min.

Also known as Victory, is a war drama movie starred by Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, and Pelé.

The story is about a group of allied prisoners of war who are interned in a German prison camp during World War II. The team agreed to play an exhibition match against the German National Team in the Nazi-occupied Paris.

In the meantime, the French resistance and British officers prepare a plan to help them escape. The movie also stars professional football players from around the world. In the same way, the footballers had to learn how to act, the actors had to learn how to play football.

One of my favourite football movies of all time.

Where to watch : Amazon Prime

11) One Night in Istanbul (2014)

(Comedy, Sport) 93 min.

OK, I know we said the Top 5 football movies but I ’t help throwing in a bonus one.

One Night in Istanbul follows the story of Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League Final. It’s not so much about the game itself but a story of fans trying to get to the game.

Drawing of golden football cup

It’s nothing particularly special, but if you’re a Liverpool FC fan, then you’ll enjoy this comedy film with the theme of one of football’s greatest ever comebacks.

Where to watch : Amazon Prime

What were the most successful football films?

Since football movies aren’t so popular in the sports subgenre of films, only a few were mildly successful at the box office.

Kicking and Screaming is the highest grossing movie in the genre, with a total of $52,842,724. Of course, this film has a couple of advantages, like famous Hollywood stars such as Will Ferell and Robert Duvall, and the family-centred story.

Football whistle

She’s the Man is in second place with a total grossing of $33,741,133. A comedy about a girl who replaces her brother in his boarding school football team.

And in the third place is Bend It Like Beckham, a British comedy about an Indian girl with very conservative parents who don’t allow her to play organised football.

Which football films are based on true stories?

There are several films based on true stories, both movies and documentaries alike.

Besides the ones mentioned on this list, some other movies such as Heleno, the biography about the tragic life of Brazilian soccer player Heleno de Freitas; Pelé: Birth of a Legend, a biographical film portraying the life of the iconic Brazilian football player.

Drawing of football player kicking ball

As regarding documentaries, Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, that covers the whole match Real Madrid vs Villareal that took places on April 23 2005, all from the perspective of the football superstar Zinedine Zidane.

Argentina Fútbol Club, about the rivalry between the two most famous Argentinian soccer teams: Boca Jrs and River Plate. Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story, about the rising of DeMerit career as an underdog in the US till his recognition as a World Cup player in England.

Are there any Manchester United films?

United, the film which is mentioned in the top 10, about the Busby’s Babes and their tragic ending in the Munich air disaster in February 1958, it’s a must-see for any Manchester United fan.

The Class of ‘92 is a cinematic documentary about the rising to global sports stardom of six extremely talented young Manchester United football players: David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes & Phil and Gary Neville.

Best is a biographical movie about the life of former Manchester United legend, George Best. There’s also a documentary about him, George Best: All By Himself.

Manchester text in handwriting style

In the documentary genre, we can also find Manchester United: Beyond the Promised Land, the covers the fortunes of the team during 1999/2000 season after they won the treble.

Life of Ryan: Caretaker Manager, a biographical documentary about Ryan Giggs as the manager of the team during 2013/14 Premiership season, after having been one of the greatest players for the team.

Summary

If football is one of your sports passions, and you also enjoy watching sports movies, this top ten of football movies is for you.

As one of the most popular sports in the world, football doesn’t have so many films as other sports have.

Anyway, in this selection, you’ll find a mixture of fictional films and documentaries that will give you another point of view about this exciting sport that has become a massive passion around the world.

Crack open a beer, get yourself some snacks and sit back and binge watch a couple of these movies.

Don’t forget you an unblock most of them on Netflix and Amazon Prime by using a VPN such as ExpressVPN.

Watch these movies

30-day money back guarantee

Illustrations © Rommma, Jazzanna & Gleb Akhmedkhadzhaev | Dreamstime.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts