From the most unlikely underdog stories to heartbreaking tales of near-misses and “what-ifs?”, sport is packed with incredible stories, all completely unique in their own way.
Now more than ever, audiences can witness those stories in incredible detail, as clubs and organisations allow camera crews more access than ever before.
We’ve done the legwork and picked out five of the best sports documentaries available to stream on Netflix right now.
Last Chance U
The series follows a group of young athletes, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, facing what is most likely their final opportunity to make it as professional athletes.
Combining a relentless intensity and the sheer emotion that comes with such high stakes, flash points are a regular occurrence throughout.
Even without a shred of NFL knowledge, it’s dangerously easy to get lost in each series. There’s plenty happening off the field to make sure of that.
Calling the show a redemption story would be too simplistic, as a lot of the time, it’s not the case. Instead it’s real life, sometimes things don’t work out and that’s what this is about.
Bobby Robson: More Than a Manager
Featuring some of the game’s most iconic figures, including Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola, and José Mourinho retelling heartwarming stories about the great man, the documentary does a stellar job of painting a glowing picture of Sir Bobby.
While Robson’s mistreatment at Barcelona is certainly a tough watch, the film as a whole pays a fitting tribute to one of the most beloved figures to ever grace the touchline.
Strap in, it’s an emotional one.
What begins as an investigation into the effectiveness of doping tests in sport becomes a potentially full-blown international incident.
Bryan Fogel links up with Russian scientist Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory, who creates a plan for him to take a banned substance in a way that would prevent it being detected.
During their time together, the terrifying scale of a Russian state-sponsored doping programme emerges, and Fogel quickly realises that Rodchenkov’s life could be in danger, following the suspicious deaths of two of his associates.
First Team: Juventus
Juventus are a club that have always attracted worldwide attention, making it no surprise that Netflix’s behind-the-scenes look into their operations was a hit with football fans everywhere.
Aside from the abundance of stunning cinematography, the series does an excellent job of capturing a club still steeped in tradition, along with fascinating insight into the personal lives of some of the game’s biggest names.
Gigi Buffon, Paolo Dybala, and Gonzalo Higuaín all feature prominently as they share their own experiences of what it means to be a Juventus player.
Sunderland ‘til I die
Netflix’s deep dive into Sunderland F.C. explores in great detail just how much a football team can mean to a local community.
After back-to-back relegations between 2016 and 2018, Sunderland found themselves in the third tier of English football, seemingly coinciding with the city itself falling on equally hard times.
Whatever team you support, the highs and (mostly) lows captured throughout will resonate deeply with any football fan.
Drive to Survive
From the first season, Drive to Survive has gripped viewers with its dramatic storytelling and behind-the-scenes footage.
Unsurprisingly Netflix have revisited the series twice since then, meaning you’ve got three seasons to get stuck into.
Whether or not you have an in-depth or fleeting interest in the sport, the high-tension narrative makes for consistently tense viewing.
Featured image credit: Netflix