Break out the Popcorn: Football Movies You Should Watch If You Love Football

Movies are gifts that keep on giving. There is a wealth of information that one can get from football movies, if you really know where to look. Those that love the sport of football will have their own collection of go-to movies.

What is great is that there is no short supply for football movies now. More and more studios are realizing that there is indeed a massive market out in the world for football fans. In light of this, today we will be taking a look at some of the football movies that you should watch if you truly love the beautiful game.

Here are some of them:

When Saturday Comes (1996)

You may recognize the lead of this move, a very young Sean Bean. The story follows the recruitment of a young and talented factory worker into the fast world of football. The character later makes it into the Sheffield United Football Club.

Not only does it provide a sort of positive feel to light the spark of interest for potential football heads, it is also a fairly good representation of how players were found back then. Non-league teams often recruit talented athletes which later end up playing for bigger teams later on. This movie is certainly a great way to get your initial interest in football alive.

Bend It like Beckham (2002)

While most people dismiss this one as an outright ‘chick flick’, you would be surprised at the insight that this movie can bring even the crankiest football fans can appreciate. The story follows two teen girls whose football journeys are hampered by their culture and their gender.

While we would like to believe that football is a magical world wherein there is a spot for everyone, we know that this is simply not true. In fact, there have been riots when the first black players joined the field. As a sport that was predominantly male, the introduction of women has always been a point of soreness for some.

This film helps to showcase the struggle that the females have when it comes to joining and maintaining football. It emphasizes that while the girls may have all the talent necessary to be successful, they are often bogged down by circumstances beyond their control.

The Damned United (2009)

A film that is not without controversy to be sure! This biographical film chronicles the time wherein Brian Clough was made the manager of Leeds United. This film details the volatile nature of the manager and the calls that turned Leeds’ locker room into one of the most toxic places you could be.

This is a good film to watch if you really want to see the dynamic of a football team in the midst of its struggle to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. Every team will have its own dynamic when it comes to the people in the team and who is leading. This film helps to show how the sides can clash and how the results are not always positive.

It gives a very humanizing approach to a genre that is often populated underdog stories. We like this particular piece of cinema as it provides a very gritty look at the ugly side of football.

United (2011)

While not exactly about the sport itself, this film is a great piece of cinema to watch if you are a football fan. This film discusses the time when Manchester United suffered a tragedy when several of their players will killed following a plane crash in Munich.

This film helps to showcase the perseverance of United and the fans that adored the team. While there is some controversy regarding the film, we like the fact that it galvanized people enough to try to find the real details behind the tragedy. It was not just another film that talked about a sad event and moved on. People actually cared about the tragedy enough to truly lend a voice to those who were not properly represented in the film.

The Miracle of Bern (2003)

While several liberties were taken regarding the ‘miracles’ presented in this film it should not take away from the actual miracle. The film is set in 1954 where the FIFA World Cup was about to come to a head. The climate of the film was the ongoing recovery of Germany from the stain of the Nazi rule.

The German team won the World Cup against a team that everyone believed would win. It was an incredible upset and a wonderful way to usher in the era of continued recovery for Germany. We like this film because it helps to show how a national team can carry the hearts and dreams of their home country.

The struggle and the success in the end is a great emphasis upon the massive hurdles that Germany had to face under the Nazi rule. It also emphasizes the power of a sport to usher in a entirely new era and face to a country.

Green Street (2005)

This film is a great introduction to UK Football hooliganism. While not exactly a positive way to paint the British football fans, this is a part of our culture that we need to remember. After all, a good way to counteract something negative is to never forget that it happened.

Green Street follows the violence that follows hooligan firms around. These firms actively seek each other out to fight—which is something that is quite bothersome for the fans that just want to enjoy a good game.

To Conclude

If you look beyond the drama or exaggerated scenes in football movies, there is so much you can learn. There are so many lessons that can be embedded within a sports film that can benefit so many. If you can choose look past the cliché lines or often odd romantic scenes, the true grit of the sport and the people who play it are in full view of the public.

The films we have listed above are only some of the football films that can really make a great impact in your understanding and appreciation of the sport.

Sam Jackson Author