Monday, November 17, 2008

The Best Soccer Movies Ever

Here's my list of the Best Soccer Movies Ever in no particular order.

ESPN Films 30 for 30: The Two Escobars (SE)
While rival drug cartels warred in the streets and the country's murder rate climbed to highest in the world, the Colombian national soccer team set out to blaze a new image for their country. What followed was a mysteriously rapid rise to glory, as the team catapulted out of decades of obscurity to become one of the best teams in the world. Central to this success were two men named Escobar: Andrés, the inspirational captain of the National Team, and Pablo, the infamous drug baron who pioneered the phenomenon known in the underworld as "Narco-soccer."

The Great Match
This film tells the adventurous story of three heroes, none of whom have ever met, but who nevertheless have two things in common: firstly, they all live in the farthest-flung corners of the planet and, secondly, they are all three determined to see on TV the final in Japan of the 2002 World Cup between Germany and Brazil.

Offside puts most of the action at a large soccer stadium in Tehran, Iran, where a group of young women--banned from the game on the sole basis of their sex--have been captured by stadium guards after sneaking inside.

Kicking It
In the summer of 2006, thousands of players around the globe were training hard to compete in the World Cup...The Homeless World Cup.

Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team
Documentary chronicling the rise of U.S. women's soccer. Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, and other players are profiled.

Goal! - The Dream Begins
The exploits of a young Mexican-American who gets a dream opportunity to try out at Newcastle United.

A Shot at Glory
Robert Duvall plays Gordon McCloud, the manager of a second tier Scottish soccer team.

Once in a Lifetime - The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos
The rise and fall of the N.Y. Cosmos against the backdrop of N.Y. City in the 70's.

Shaolin Soccer
A young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage

As allied POWs prepare for a soccer game against the German National Team to be played in Nazi-occupied Paris, the French Resistance and British officers are making plans for the team's escape. With Sylvester Stallone, Pele, Michael Caine, Bobby Moore, and others.

The Cup
While the soccer World Cup is being played in France, two young Tibetan refugees arrive at a monastery/boarding school in exile in India. Its atmosphere of serene contemplation is disrupted by soccer fever.

Green Street Hooligans
A wrongfully expelled Harvard undergrad (Elijah Wood) moves to London, where he is introduced to the violent underworld of football hooliganism.

The Miracle Match
Based on a true story, this film tells the tale of the 1950 US soccer team who, against all odds, beat England 1 - 0 in Brazil. The story is about the family traditions and passions which shaped the lives of the players who made up this team of underdogs.

Mean Machine
A funny Burt Reynolds, Longest Yard knockoff where a former soccer star is jailed for assault and leads a group of inmates in a match against prison guards.

Honorable Mention:
The Firm/Elephant
Bend It Like Beckham
Kicking and Screaming

Feel free to contribute if I left out your favorite footy film.


  1. Deutschland: Ein Sommermaerchen (Germany: A Summer Fairytale) is a great soccer documentary. Follows the German team from training camp to their loss to Italy to their third place win. Unfortunately, no English subtitles at this time.

  2. Hot Shot

  3. you forgot There's Only One Jimmy Grimble

  4. The Football Factory

  5. Hi Steve,

    Google brought me to your blog and I'm SO glad I followed your recommendation for the The Two Escobars, I LOVED IT, it was a captivating, enthralling, poignant movie. Thank you soo much for this post.


  6. you forgot the damed united

  7. I didn't forget, this was posted in 2008 before The Damned United was released. One of these days I'll get around to updating these older posts. Thanks.

  8. mean machine was released years before longest yard so it is not a knock-off.

  9. Longest Yard was originally released in 1974. Mean Machine came out in 2001.