What Are The Top Soccer Movies Of All Time?

Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, and a lot of movies revolve around this enthralling game. Over the years, filmmakers have tried to capture the true essence of Soccer and make people experience the intricacies of this sport in the form of entertainment.

The Top Soccer Movies of All Time

The Top Soccer Movies of All Time

If you’re a Soccer enthusiast – looking for a movie to watch this weekend, look no more! We’ve gathered top Soccer movies of all time, from made-up storylines to movies based on real-life events, that’ll surely kick-start your Soccer passion. Let’s take a look at them. 

1. The Football Factory (2004)

The Football Factory (2004)

The Football Factory is one of those Soccer movies that beautifully deals with the events happening on the pitch. Based on John King’s novel, Football Factory revealed the dark side of the game, the hooligans. 

It is about a member of the Chelsea Firm, Tommy Johnson, whose life revolves around drugs and violence. After having an epiphany during a fight with Tottenham hooligan firm and losing a friend in another fight, Tommy left the hooligan world for good, but with recurring nightmares that haunted him for a lifetime. The film is shot in documentary style and depicts a painful and realistic view of football hooliganism. 

2. The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939)

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939)

One of the greatest Soccer movies, The Arsenal Stadium Mystery, is also the first ever movie using Soccer as a major part of the storyline. It is about a fictional team planning to play against Arsenal. However, during the match, a player of the fictional team, John Doyce, dies. A Scotland Yard inspector tries to solve the murder mystery. 

The film is a vintage British thriller and is mostly shot at Highbury, with several appearances from Arsenal manager George Allison and other team members. It might not be on par with other Soccer movies made in the current times, but is a good watch for a Soccer AND old-movie enthusiast. Some of the shots are worth checking out. 

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3. Mean Machine (2001)

Mean Machine (2001)

One of the favorites of many Soccer fans, Mean Machine, revolves around an ex-England Soccer captain, Danny Meehan, who is imprisoned after fighting with the police. In the prison, he leads a team in a Soccer match against other officials. 

Meehan, who was famous for his champagne lifestyle, gets beaten up by other convicts who hated his guts. Experiencing the exact opposite life behind the bars, Meehan finds redemption, coaches his inmate friends, and takes the underdogs to a well-deserved victory. His prison journey surrounding the diverse characters keeps the movie energetic and engaging. 

4. Looking for Eric (2009)

Looking for Eric (2009)

Looking for Eric covers the life of Stephanie Bishop, who’s unfulfilled with his job at the post office, is not respected by his two teen sons, and is completely lost after his wife leaves him. After ending up at a hospital after an accident, he has a vision of his favorite Manchester Soccer player, Eric Cantona. Afterward, with his daughter’s and his idol’s help, Eric straightens out his life. 

The film is a real depiction of the nature of fanaticism and how the game helps people escape from their mundane lives. It is escapist and gritty at the same time. According to the director, Ken Loach, “Looking for Eric” was made for the sole purpose of showing that stars are more than humans and humans are stronger as a team rather than as individuals. 

5. The Damned United (2009)

The Damned United (2009)

The film tells the story of Brian Clough (a real-life English Soccer player and manager), who, in desperate attempts at being better than his predecessor Don Revie, loses his position as Leeds’s coach only after 44 days. His rash decisions and abrasive personality cause a chaotic mess in the dressing room.

The movie avoids all the sports movie clichés, and is a hit among the fans, but was massively criticized by the Clough family, as they claim that the events covered in the story are not true. 

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6. The Two Escobars (2010) 

The Two Escobars is a tale of the lives of two Escobars in Columbia, drug lord Pablo Escobar and footballer Andres Escobar, and how they cross paths in different ways. Both of them were in the highlights at the same time, for very different reasons.

Pablo Escobar introduced “Narco-soccer”, an underworld sport fueled by drug money, while Andres passed away after scoring his own goal during the elimination round of the World Cup. This film is a tragic sports story and investigates the interrelation of crime and sport – uncovering the mysterious reasons behind the murders of the two Escobars. 

7. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

The movie does not revolve around Soccer as a game but uses it as a driving force and main storyteller. The title is a reference to the Soccer star, David Beckham. It is about a British Indian girl, who loves Soccer but is not allowed to play it, because of its perception as a man’s game. 

However, she continues to follow her passion and eventually gets selected to play for a local women’s team. After that, a different course of events starts unfolding. Diverse themes, such as gender serotypes, cultural traditions, and sexuality get explored in the movie, and how girls coming from traditional backgrounds have to deal with difficulties while pursuing not-so-conventional careers. 

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8. Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001)

Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001)

The movie is a great satirical comedy surrounding Mike Bassett, manager of a successful team from the lower league, who takes over the England Soccer team after the former manager dies of a heart attack. He’s expected to lead the new team to the World Cup.

Everyone gets panicked and there is disaster after disaster, which results in Mike picking two wrong midfielders in Hedges and Benson based on the cigarette brand and mixing alcohol and drugs, leading to a horrible drunken accident. It is by no means a realistic portrayal of Soccer but is surely a hilarious watch.

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9. Goal (Trilogy 2005 – 2009) 

Goal (Trilogy 2005 – 2009) 

The Goal Trilogy consists of three films, Goal: The Dream Begins (2005), Goal II: Living the Dream (2007), and Goal III: Taking on the World (2009). The trilogy follows the journey of an amateur Soccer player, Santiago, who earns a one-in-a-million chance of playing Soccer on a professional level but has to make difficult choices in the process, that may make or break his career. 

The series is one of the favorites of Soccer fans and is made with FIFA’s cooperation. That’s why it features real Soccer teams and players, like Ronaldhino, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, and Alan Shearer. It might be a little intense for a Soccer-newbie, but you can still give it a try and decide for yourself!

Summing Up

The Soccer movies in the above list are some of the best ones. Whether you’re a Soccer enthusiast or a fan of all kinds of sports movies, try watching one of these and you won’t be disappointed. They’ll help you learn more about the game, through top-notch storylines and cameo appearances from your favorite footballers. Let’s get watching!!