Soccer is the greatest drama on Earth. It captivates emotions, people from all castes and creed and inspires the World with heroes. It is in the purest sense of the term, ‘the Eternal game’. This saga has inspired many film-makers across the world to trap the real-life heroes onto celluloid. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, as soccer flourished across the world and with the evolution of cinema, movies have been considered as one of the most popular media for conveying the lives of the greats who have played the game. Considering the presence of soccer in and around these movies the element of drama is inherent. Film-makers have attempted to make business out of movies on the heroes of the game with the hope of pulling the mass fan following behind them into the cinema halls.
Following is a gist of a few movies about soccer made on Great personalities ever to have graced the game.
Name of Some Movies Based on Real Soccer Players
THE DAMNED UNITED (2009):
Based on the book by David Pearce, this movie entails the spell of Legendary British Manager, Brian Clough as a manager of Leeds United. His 44 days in charge of Leeds united are often considered as one of the most controversial managerial spells in the history of the game.
Michael Sheen has done a remarkable work of enacting the personality of Cloughie who was often considered as a highly humorous, witty, straight forward and a self-obsessed soccer manager. His work ethics and commitment towards winning in soccer is remarkably portrayed. Clough has been known to be a manager who could have won trophies with any team, be it amateur or world-class. This movie shows his urge in forcing his players to follow a quality style of playing soccer criticizing the style of play used by the ex-Leeds United gaffer Donald Revie who was a much respected figure at Leeds. This led to a cold warfare of Clough not only with the Leeds dressing room but also with the fans. The success and stardom-obsessed attitude of Clough before moving onto Leeds and his historic quotes in front of the English media have also been dramatized.
The movie concludes by putting light on the successes of Clough after leaving United which included winning European titles with Nottingham forest. Brian Clough was never given an opportunity to manage the English national side and the movie finishes by making a very bold statement, “Brian Clough: The greatest manager England never had”.
Maradona is among the greatest players to have ever played the game, but this greatness and glory was coupled with a lot of controversies surrounding the outspoken Argentine legend.
Maradona played in four World cups winning one in 1986 and just losing in the final to Germany in 1990. He was tested positive for cocaine in 1991 and was disallowed playing in the 1994 world cup after failing an ephedrine test. The life of this superstar has enough content to lure any director to get into making a movie on him. Filmmaker Emir Kusturica took tab to portray his life on celluloid. The movie wasn’t a grand success though. It was played at the Cannes Film Festival out of competition in 2008 and never received a North American theatrical release.
Maradona Movie Full by Emir Kusturica 2008
The film throughout features an exclusive interview with the Argentine superstar coupled with repeats of his greatest goals. The end result was more of a document of a celebrity hanging out with the director and providing only half the actual details of his life omitting elaborating the controversial ones by will.
The film was ultimately released on DVD in 2011 and is one of the best movies on real soccer players.
LOOKING FOR ERIC (2009):
This movie is unlike a sports movie based on the autobiography of a particular sports hero. This movie features the legend Eric Cantona himself in his own role.
In reality, Eric was a memorable number 7 for the Red Devils and a star of his generation in 1990’s. He had disgraced himself from soccer due to an attack on an opponent teams fan during a match following which he was given an 8 month ban. He played for only two years after the ban and then sought himself playing roles in movies, particularly back in homeland France. Ten years later the two aspects of his life have been beautifully put up together by the release of this movie.
Full Movie Looking for Eric 2009
The film revolves around the character Eric Bishop (role played by Steve Evets), who is a postman and a lifelong United fan. He has a strange relationship with his ex-wife (Stephanie Bishop), and has a stepson (Gerard Kearns) who eventually gets involved in gang culture. The complications and worries of his life depress Eric to the extent of committing a suicide until one day a weed smoking session sees him greeted by the vision of his namesake and hero Eric Cantona, who becomes a Guardian Angel, conscience and advisor to Eric. Bishop ultimately manages to turn around things and get his life up together. Paul Laverty has performed the screen play of the film (and it has seriously suggested how big a United fan Laverty is) and he has portrayed Cantona’s character beautifully as a quirky, philosophical persona who was considered as a ‘Flawed Genius’, but a charming companion to Bishop. One of the most notable features of this movie is their discussion on the beautiful game.
Evets stands out in this movie as a warm-hearted person who tries to sort his life together from the mess it had become. The movie overall is a sweet and wonderfully crafted art which portrays the character of Eric Cantona in a way that makes the viewer believe that sports personalities and their inspirations can make a lasting impact on anyone’s life.
ZIDANE: A 21ST CENTURY PORTRAIT (2006):
This film directed by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno is not really a film about soccer, nor is it really much of a film. It is literally revolving around the great Algerian French soccer player Zinedine Zidane.
The fact that it came in 2006 the year Zidane retired from soccer is not the only fact that makes it interesting. What makes this movie unique is that it features a scorching and moody background score by the atmospheric Scottish post-rockers ‘Mogwai’. The movie in itself is one of a kind and a strange experiment that focuses on the French Legend in a 2005 match between Real Madrid and Villareal. A total of 17 synchronized cameras have captured Zidane in real time during the game, the back of his head, his ears, his forehead, often in irritating close-ups as the star runs around the field. It is a mesmerizingly hypnotic experience that is a must watch for every Zidane fan.
Zidane Soccer Movie Full 2006
Ironically, during the last minutes of the match Zidane was sent off as a result of brawl, but of course, the film has not showcased this negative element in it.
This was a short look back upon the popular movies based on soccer. As the beautiful game continues to give heroes to this world, more and more attempts will be made to repeat their real life heroics on reel.