In Part 1 and Part 2 of our list of the best soccer movies of all time we have covered some fantastic films about soccer including Fever Pitch, Mean Machine, Escape to Victory, Bend It Like Beckham, Goal! The Dream Begins, and United. In Part 3 of the best soccer movies of all time we will continue to discuss the films that have shaped and inspired the soccer world for years to come.
The Damned United (2009)
This film is based off of the 2006 book The Damned Utd written by David Peace. This story follows Brian Clough and his brief career as the manager of the 1974 Leeds United A.F.C. soccer club. Clough was the former manager of the Derby County, who had a long time beef with the physical style of play that former Leeds manager Don Revie taught to his squad. Clough accepts a job offer to manage the Leeds soccer club, and parts ways with his former assistant coach, Peter Taylor.
The first day on the job as manager of the Leeds United A.F.C soccer club is quite a dramatic one. Clough tells the players that they can throw away any awards they won, because they never won any of them fairly. This instills feelings of tension and contempt into the players towards their new coach. Leeds’s first match with Clough at the helm ends in mayhem as their team captain, Billy Bremner, gets into a fight and is ejected from the match. The fight ultimately leads to a 2 month suspension for Bremner. With their captain suspended, the season gets off to an absolutely dismal start. The players ultimately air their grievances to the board members of the Leeds United A.F.C. in regard to Clough as the manager, and he is terminated.
After hearing of the termination, Yorkshire Television asks Clough for an interview where he is confronted by former Leeds United manager, Don Revie. Clough accuses Revie of being fundamentally dishonest. In the end Clough’s ability to maintain his set of high morals land him the title of ‘The best manager that the English national side never had’ making The Damned United an easy pick for our list of the best soccer movies of all time.
The Football Factory (2004)
Making it into our list of the Best Soccer Movies of all time is the 2004 film, The Football Factory. Loosely based off of the 1997 novel of the same name written by John King, The Football Factory is Rockstar Games’ first venture into the film making world as executive producers. This film takes a look at the English obsession with violence in soccer, focusing on a small group of friends that are part of a violent fan club for the Chelsea FC soccer club, known as a hooligan firm. Tommy Johnson, the main character, is accompanied by his friends, Rod King, Billy Bright, Zeberdee & Raf. During a violent outburst with another hooligan firm that supports Tottenham, Tommy begins to question the path that he is on after him and his friends are all arrested. Ultimately tommy secures his place within the hooligan firm despite several events that make him question if it’s really worth it.
This extreme fanaticism that can be seen throughout the movie is what lands it on our list of the best soccer movies. There are few other sports with fans as committed and dedicated to supporting their teams as soccer fans are. Despite the violence associated with the group, fans are arguably the most important part of any soccer club, and organized sport would not be what it is today without the support of the fans.
That brings Part 3 of the best soccer movies of all time to a close, make sure you stay tuned for part 4 of our list of the best soccer movies!