Football is one of the biggest sports in the world and attracts fans from every corner of the globe. It is no wonder that it dominates all aspects of life, whether it’s people watching the news to find the scores from the weekend, or people otherwise signing up to new betting sites. Football really captures people’s hearts and imagination.
This imagination is what inspires film writers to make films about the sport. There are a wide range of stories available and many are explored on this list, but no matter what, they really do keep you glued to the screen.
In no particular order, these are the best five football films that you can get your hands on.
1. Mike Bassett: England Manager
This hilarious mockumentary follows a man (played by Ricky Tomlinson) as he surprisingly becomes England’s manager despite being not-so-great at his job. He leads England to a disastrous qualifying campaign but still manages to qualify for the World Cup.
Along the way, Mike has bust-ups with fans, journalists and his coach. With players in the mockumentary parodying England internationals such as David Beckham, Stuart Pearce and Paul Gascoigne, you get quickly attached to the England side as if they were real.
England needed a manager and Bassett answered that call in a hilarious fashion.
A true feel-good story about the son of a Mexican immigrant who was looking for the American Dream. Santiago Munez is spotted by a former Newcastle United scout who is over in America. He manages to get the current manager to take a chance on the inexperienced Munez who does not have a club.
Munez has to fight for his place in the reserves and has to deal with English life, but he eventually finds his way into the Newcastle first team.
When you have had your fix of the first film on the list, the good news is that an equally impressive second film is just a click of a button away.
3. Damned United
England had one of the most charismatic managers ever in Brian Clough so there is no wonder that his short stint as the Leeds United manager was made into a book first and then into a film. Brian Clough (played superbly by Michael Sheen) embarks on an epic journey to Leeds United following fantastic success with Derby County. However, as Leeds had previously been Clough’s arch nemesis, he is not scared to speak his mind about the man he replaced, Don Revvie, and his brand of football with Leeds United.
This is a superb tale about one of the best football managers the game has ever seen.
4. Bend It Like Beckham
A tale about a young female Sikh who only wants to play football. However, she is faced with barriers relating to her gender and religion, along with her parents forbidding her from playing for the local side. She ignores all of that and becomes one of the best players on the team.
Starring Keira Knightly, Parminder Nagra and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, the film finds the trio embarking on an epic journey taking on the world of women’s football.
This is a British feel-good film and you even get a glimpse of the legendary David Beckham.
5. Green Street
This is a gritty hooligan film that follows the West Ham ICF (Inter City Firm) as they fight their way around the country. With Elijah Wood playing the American new boy, you see how the passion for football can easily overflow into violence every weekend, with the actual playing of the game taking a step back in this London-based film.