The Movie Waffler 5 Essential Football Movies | The Movie Waffler

5 Essential Football Movies

diego maradona

From documentaries to dramas, the world's most popular sport has spawned its share of movies. Here are five of the most entertaining, featuring players and teams so good you'll be tempted to bet on them to win at

Diego Maradona (2019)
This documentary details the legendary Diego Maradona's time with the Italian club Napoli, where he single-handedly transformed the team from also-rans to league champions. Director Asif Kapadia uses a host of snippets of vintage footage to tell this remarkable story.

Escape to Victory (1981)
One of the first movies to cash in on the popularity of football was diretcor John Huston's WWII thriller. The film stars Michael Caine as a former footballer now imprisoned at a German POW camp. The Nazis decide to play a football match against the prisoners, who number Pele and Sylvester Stallone among their ranks. It all culminates in the most memorable footy match put on screen.

The Damned United (2009)
This film tells the story of the charismatic English manager Brian Clough, played brilliantly by Michael Sheen. In 1974 Clough was given one of the most coveted jobs in English football, managing the then mighty Leeds United. His disastrous tenure lasted a mere 44 days as he faced a revolt from his players, who failed to take to his methods.

Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (2006)
This documentary takes the novel approach of filming a football match while focussing solely on a single player. That player is the gifted French baller Zinedine Zidane, at that time arguably the greatest player in the game. 17 cameras capture every facet of the action, which culminates with the volatile Zidane being sent off for getting involved in an on pitch brawl.

Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001)
This comedy stars Ricky Tomlinson as the eponymous Mike Bassett, a lower league manager who finds himself in the unlikely position of managing the England national team. A series of disasters ensue, but Bassett manages to guide the team to the semi-finals of the World Cup.