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28th Apr 2020

Professional footballer reviews football films

Wayne Farry

football films

Film and football are not, historically, a great combination

Football is the most popular sport in the world. It is played virtually everywhere that it’s possible to play it, and millions of fans fill stadiums and pay television subscriptions to watch it every year.

Why, then, are there so few genuinely good football films? Pick most other sports and there tends to be at least one or two good films about it. Good basketball films are ten a penny, from Hoop Dreams and Basketball Diaries to White Men Can’t Jump and Coach Carter.

American football films too, such as Any Given Sunday and TV show Friday Night Lights have successfully portrayed the action on the field.

That seems to be a difficult task for directors trying to emulate the fast-paced footwork on a football pitch. There are no shortage of films that have tried to capture that pace. Some like Mike Bassett: England Manager actually contained action that was somewhat believable, but most fail to do so.

Then you get a series of films like the Goal trilogy which, heartbreakingly, gain access to some of the game’s biggest and most talented names, and then end up wasting them by portraying a style of football that looks like it’s being played by someone using their legs for the first time.

But are these football films as bad as we think or are football fans just ridiculously cynical? Well, there was only way to find out, so we got a professional footballer, Joe Lolley of Nottingham Forest, to watch clips from some iconic football films, and break down just how good (or bad) the action is.