Sports and films serve as the two most audience drawing entertainment modes in the world. When these two come together, sparks fly, although sometimes, they also bomb terribly. This is just the first list in this series, and what better way to start this series other than the sport which dominates the whole world. So, here we are with the list of Top 10 Greatest Soccer Movies of All Time, hope so you enjoy it to the fullest.
Greatest Football Films of All Time
10. United (2011)
Starting the list of top 10 greatest soccer movies of all time is the 2011 British television film ‘United’. Going back to 61 years, the true chilling story of the Busby Babes and the Munich air disaster of 1958, still is one of most unfortunate incidents in sports history, and the one that shocked the entire world.
The film tells the story of Manchester United’s “Busby Babes”, and how it coped up with the plane crash that killed seven members of its team. A heartbreaking tale, this film shows how unpredictable the world can be and how one never gives up!
9. Linha de Passe (2008)
Four half-brothers and their mother trying to barely survive with a pinch of football between them! The 2008 Brazilian film ‘Linha de Passe’ comes at number nine on our list. The four brothers, out of which two share a passion for football, over the course of times, realises how poverty and football shape their life and future!
Directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas, this film was nominated for ‘Palme d’Or’ and won the ‘Best Actress’ award for Sandra Corveloni at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
8. Shaolin Soccer (2001)
A band of brothers uses their martial arts skill in football and intends to master it. Can they do it? Next up at number eighth on our list of top 10 greatest soccer movies of all time is the 2001 Hong Kong film ‘Shaolin Soccer’. It tells the story of bringing glory to Shaolin Kung fu and how to do that by using football as a bridge.
Directed by Stephen Chow, who also acted as the lead character in the film, it went on to win 14 international and national awards and earn 42 million USD, and is the highest earning film on this list.
7. Guys and Balls (2004)
We often stereotype that a gay person can never find sports appealing. But what happens when a team made full of gay players compete against a team of straight football players? The 2004 German-American film ‘Guys and Balls’ comes in at number seven on this list. Directed by Sherry Hormann, this film tells the story of a gay football player, who after being fired from his team for homophobia, arranges a team of gay players to take on the team that fired him.
The film went on to become one of the best sports-comedy films of all time, with an underlying social message. What worked for the film was that it dealt a serious issue with humour and satire, thereby strengthening its core message.
6. Next Goal Wins (2014)
The soccer world declared a team as the weakest team in the world on 11th April 2001. American Samoa after losing to Australia in a landslide score of 0-31, was deemed by many as the world’s weakest football team. Can it change the shame that world brought out to it into glory? Landing at number six on our list of top 10 greatest soccer movies of all time is the British documentary film ‘Next Goal Wins’.
After 13 years of public shame, legendary coach Thomas Rongen is brought out to train the team, as it prepares itself to qualify for the 2014 football world cup. This is the ultimate underdog story. You never lose hope, is what this film about.
5. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
A young Indian-British woman falls in love with one of the most handsome footballers, David Beckham. But, she falls not because of his looks, but for his football skills. Yes, you heard that right! At number five, comes the 2002 British-American-Indian-German film ‘Bend It Like Beckham’. The film tells the struggle story of a young Punjabi woman coming out as a football player to her family and seeking acceptance for the same.
Directed by Gurinder Chadha, this Golden Globe-nominated film boasts of some great hilarious moments highlighting the stereotypes against Asian people in the west and the stigma of being a woman football player.
4. Montevideo: Taste of a Dream (2010)
Go back 89 years in football history – The year is 1930 – and the world is getting ready for its first football world cup. No one counted Yugoslavia among the big names of that tournament. However, they defeated the fan-favourites Brazil and eventually made it to the semi-finals. Uruguay then defeated them who eventually became the winner.
In the fourth spot on our list of top 10 greatest soccer movies of all time we have the 2010 Serbian film ‘Montevideo: Taste of a Dream’. This movie won the ‘Audience Choice Award’ at the 33rd Moscow International Film Festival. It takes us back to the period when a country was slowly becoming a force to reckon with. Its journey, and it doesn’t disappoint!
3. Looking for Eric (2009)
Can football serve as the guide for someone’s personal life? Can someone find respite and the answers to all his struggles? Is it possible to solve the problems through a 90-minute game and the ones who play it? In the third spot on our list of top 10 greatest soccer movies of all time we have the 2009 British-French film ‘Looking For Eric’.
French football legend Eric Cantona plays himself in this movie. Steve Evets played the role of a guide to Eric Bishop whose personal life is hanging on to a cliff.
2. Offside (2006)
Imagine being in a place where your sex would determine whether you get to see a football match or not! Can a group of women still make it into the stadium? The second greatest soccer movie of all time is the 2006 Iranian film ‘Offside’. It is inspired by director Jafar Panahi’s own daughter who attended a football match without caring about the ban. This film tells the story of how several women try to watch a World Cup qualifying match. Irrespective of the law forbids women to enter any stadium.
The film won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. The filming took place at the backdrop of an actual match. The story derived from the 2006 World Cup qualifying match between Iran and Bahrain, which Iran won. Panahi later said that he had two scripts in mind based on the outcome of the match.
1. The Damned United (2009)
English football player and manager Brian Clough’s management of Leeds United in 1974 is undoubtedly one of the most talked about stories till date in sports management history. The greatest soccer movie of all time is the 2009 British film ‘The Damned United’, based on the 2006 novel ‘The Damned Utd’ by David Peace.
Directed by Tom Hooper, in the film Clough was portrayed by Michael Sheen. The film narrates the story of how one man changed the future course for his team.
Which one is your favourite in this list of top 10 greatest soccer movies of all time? Let us know in the comments below.