Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

The Top 10 Soccer Documentaries for Football Enthusiasts

history of soccer documentary

There is no shortage of soccer documentaries available for avid football fans. Whether you want to delve into the history of the sport or gain insight into the lives of legendary players and iconic teams, these films offer a captivating and informative viewing experience. Here are the top 10 soccer documentaries that can fill your days with excitement and knowledge.

Top 10 Soccer Documentaries

10. All or Nothing: Manchester City

It’s no surprise that Manchester City, one of the most successful clubs in recent years, has its own documentary. “All or Nothing: Manchester City” provides an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the club, offering fans a glimpse into the inner workings of a modern superclub. From the arrival of legendary manager Pep Guardiola to their record-breaking 2017-18 Premier League season, this documentary showcases the dedication, strategy, and talent that drives Manchester City forward.

9. George Best: All By Himself

George Best remains one of football’s most charismatic and tragic figures. In “George Best: All By Himself,” the film captures the rise and fall of the Manchester United legend. Through raw footage and interviews, this documentary reveals Best’s natural talent, charm, and the impact of his chronic battle with alcoholism. It’s a poignant exploration of a footballing icon whose brilliance on the pitch was marred by personal struggles.

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8. Next Goal Wins

“Next Goal Wins” tells the inspiring story of Thomas Rongen and his attempts to transform the American Samoa national football team, who suffered a record-breaking 31-0 defeat against Australia, into a competitive force. This documentary shines a light on the challenges faced by managers at the grassroots level and highlights the determination and resilience required to bridge the gap between underdog teams and world-class opponents.

7. Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

In the 1970s and 80s, the New York Cosmos captured the imagination of football fans worldwide. With iconic players such as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, and Giorgio Chinaglia, the Cosmos became a symbol of soccer’s potential in the United States. “Once in a Lifetime” takes viewers behind the scenes of the Cosmos’ journey in the North American Soccer League, offering a fascinating look at a team that revolutionized the sport in America.

6. Take the Ball, Pass the Ball

Under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, Barcelona became a footballing force to be reckoned with. “Take the Ball, Pass the Ball” explores the rise of Guardiola’s Barcelona and their dominance in Spanish and European football. This documentary delves into the stories of Lionel Messi, Eric Abidal, and the intense rivalry between Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. It’s a must-watch for those who appreciate the beautiful game played at its highest level.

5. Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait

Considered one of the most elegant and gifted players of his generation, Zinedine Zidane is the focus of “Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.” Filmed during Real Madrid’s match against Villarreal in 2005, this documentary captures Zidane’s every move on the pitch. With a compelling soundtrack and exquisite cinematography, this film immerses viewers in the artistry and talent of a true footballing genius.

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4. Graham Taylor: An Impossible Job

Graham Taylor’s tenure as England manager has become the subject of football folklore. “Graham Taylor: An Impossible Job” offers a fly-on-the-wall account of Taylor’s time in charge of the national team. The documentary reveals the pressures and challenges faced by international managers, showcasing the highs and lows of Taylor’s tumultuous journey. It’s a captivating exploration of the human side of football management.

3. Sunderland ‘Til I Die

For a different perspective on football, “Sunderland ‘Til I Die” is a raw and emotional portrayal of life at a struggling club. Filmed during Sunderland’s season in the Championship following their relegation from the Premier League, this documentary delves into the challenges faced by the team on and off the field. It paints a vivid picture of the passion and loyalty of football supporters, even in the face of adversity.

2. Hillsborough

The Hillsborough disaster on April 15, 1989, remains one of the darkest moments in football history. The documentary “Hillsborough” provides an in-depth analysis of the tragedy and its aftermath. Through interviews with survivors, families, and witnesses, this film sheds light on the events of that fateful day and the long fight for justice. It’s a difficult watch but essential for understanding the impact of the disaster on football and society.

1. The Two Escobars

“The Two Escobars” explores the intertwined stories of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and Colombian footballer Andres Escobar. Through captivating storytelling, this documentary examines the complex relationship between two men who shared the same surname but traveled vastly different paths. It delves into the dark underbelly of football and the consequences of a single mistake during the 1994 World Cup.

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Q: Are these documentaries available for streaming?
A: Most of these documentaries can be found on popular streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and ESPN+.

Q: Are there any other must-see soccer documentaries?
A: While this list covers some of the top soccer documentaries, there are many others worth exploring. Feel free to share your recommendations in the comments section below.


Soccer documentaries offer a unique and captivating window into the world of football. From historic events to personal stories of triumph and tragedy, these films provide an opportunity to delve deeper into the beautiful game. Whether you are a die-hard fan or just beginning your football journey, these top 10 documentaries should be on your watchlist. Enjoy the thrill, drama, and inspiration that await you on the silver screen.

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