The greatest football films of all time

With sport taking a backseat as the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have been left searching for things to fill the time.

Sport was something we followed to get lost in, to forget any problems we may have. 

In football, those 90 minutes were the only thing that mattered in the world and if your team lost, it had the ability to ruin your whole weekend. 

However, the beautiful game has been put on pause and we all need something to fill the void.

With this being the case, we’re going to talk about the best football films of all time.

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Mike Bassett: England Manager

An underdog story of a manager very much underserving of the biggest job in England, getting the call to try and lead a nation to the trophy that hasn’t come home since 1966.

The perfectly cast Ricky Tomlinson oversees comical disasters and gaffes enough to make you belly laugh. An obsession with playing 4-4-2 and an unwillingness to hear otherwise becomes the focal point.

Redemption does come in the end with a respectable Semi Final exit to Brazil and all by playing “Four, Four ******* Two”

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Goal Trilogy

The Goal film series grossed $35million, gaining a cult following in the process. A hugely successful franchise that follows Mexican up-and-comer Santiago Munez.

Spotted by a Newcastle scout, he makes the journey to England and although struggling with the North East England weather, slowly finds his feet to make a name for himself among the Geordie faithful. 

After success with Newcastle, the second film follows Munez and his dream move to Real Madrid. The sequel is littered with star names from across the footballing world including David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane, showing that not only did this series attract a huge audience but it caught the attention of the biggest and best in football.

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Looking for Eric

Directed by Ken Loach, it’s a film largely based away from the pitch and more about how football can provide you with an escape from the toil and drudgery of life. 

Manchester United and Cantona obsessed Eric Bishop is descending into chaos due to a strained relationship with his ex-wife, a dead-end job and a deviant son. However, a turning point in his life comes via his son’s Marijuana stash and a hallucination featuring his hero.

It’s an epic story about the trials and tribulations of life alongside a fantastic performance from one of the game’s most iconic characters.

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The Damned United

A must-watch that follows the fascinating and explicit story of Brian Clough’s time at Leeds United.

An already unpopular figure at Elland Road after his criticism of Leeds’ physical style of play under previous manager Don Revie – Clough takes a job that was a poisoned chalice from the beginning.

Featuring an incredible performance from Michael Sheen, the film does a fantastic job of telling one of the most infamous stories in English football.

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Football Factory

Danny Dyer takes on the lead role of Tommy Johnson in this cult film that follows a darker side of the beautiful game.

After having an epiphany during a fight with the Tottenham hooligan firm, Tommy begins to question his life choices.

An ongoing battle between the Chelsea and Millwall firms leaves Dyer’s character in a tricky predicament, as he ultimately has to decide whether to continue down this same road.

If you’re looking for something a little different, take a look at the best sports documentaries on Netflix right now.

Featured image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing / Buena Vista International