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In this post, we will check out the top 10 best football movies of all time.
Football, or soccer as it’s known in some parts of the world, is a sport that has captured the hearts and minds of millions of people around the globe.
With its thrilling matches, passionate fans, and incredible athleticism, it’s no wonder that football has been the subject of many great movies over the years.
From inspiring true stories to fictional dramas, there’s no shortage of football films to choose from. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best football movies of all time.
These films are sure to entertain and inspire football fans and movie lovers alike, whether you’re a die-hard supporter of your local team or just a casual viewer of the sport. So grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the best that football movies have to offer.
Table of contents
Top 10 Best Football Movies of All Time
10 Shaolin Soccer
Shaolin Soccer is undoubtedly one of the best football movies of all time. Directed by Stephen Chow, the movie seamlessly blends martial arts and football to create a unique and entertaining cinematic experience.
Released in 2001, the movie quickly gained a massive fan following and critical acclaim worldwide. The film is a testament to how the sport can transcend cultural boundaries and become a universal language.
The plot of the movie revolves around a former Shaolin monk, Sing, who dreams of promoting the martial arts school he has set up.
He decides to combine his knowledge of kung fu with football to create a winning team. He recruits a group of former soccer players, each with their own unique skills, and trains them to play soccer like never before.
What follows is a series of hilarious and action-packed matches as Sing and his team takes on rival teams.
One of the most impressive things about Shaolin Soccer is the way it seamlessly blends football and martial arts.
The players use their kung fu skills to enhance their football moves, creating a unique style of play that is both entertaining and awe-inspiring.
The special effects and choreography in the movie are top-notch, making the action scenes even more spectacular.
Moreover, the movie also has a great message about teamwork, perseverance, and the power of determination. The characters in the film are flawed and often face obstacles, but they overcome them through their dedication and hard work.
It is a story that inspires and motivates viewers to pursue their dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem.
In conclusion, Shaolin Soccer is a must-watch movie for football fans and anyone who enjoys a good blend of comedy, action, and drama.
Its unique approach to the sport and the message it conveys make it one of the top 10 best football movies of all time. It has rightfully earned its place among the classics of the genre and continues to entertain and inspire audiences worldwide.
9 Looking For Eric
Looking for Eric is a 2009 British-French comedy-drama film directed by Ken Loach and written by Paul Laverty.
The film centers on the character of Eric Bishop, a postman and a Manchester United fan, who seeks solace and guidance from his hero, Eric Cantona, after facing various personal and professional crises.
While football is a significant part of the movie, it also deals with themes such as family, friendship, and redemption. This unique blend of sports and drama makes it one of the top 10 best football movies of all time.
The film’s success lies in its ability to appeal to a wide range of audiences. Sports fanatics can enjoy the various football references and the film’s portrayal of Eric Cantona as a mentor and guide.
On the other hand, non-sports fans can relate to the character’s personal struggles and find solace in the message of hope and redemption.
The movie’s universality is further highlighted by its positive critical reception and multiple award nominations, including a Palme d’Or nomination at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
Another reason why Looking for Eric stands out from other football movies is its depiction of football as a unifying force. The film shows how a shared love for the sport can bring people from different backgrounds and walks of life together, creating a sense of community and belonging.
The film’s portrayal of the Manchester United fans as a tight-knit group who look out for each other highlights this aspect of football’s power to unite.
The movie’s themes of family, friendship, and second chances resonate with audiences, making it a film that people can watch and appreciate beyond just its football elements.
The film’s emotional depth, critical acclaim, and positive reception from both sports fans and non-sports fans cement its place in the pantheon of great sports movies.
8 The Arsenal Stadium Mystery
The Arsenal Stadium Mystery is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and beloved football movies of all time. This classic film was released in 1939 and was directed by Thorold Dickinson.
It features a unique storyline that revolves around a fictional football match between Arsenal and the amateur team “The Trojans”. The film is a perfect blend of mystery, drama, and football, which keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats until the very end.
One of the reasons why The Arsenal Stadium Mystery is regarded as one of the best football movies of all time is its impeccable attention to detail.
The film was shot on location at Arsenal Stadium, which gives the movie an authentic and realistic feel. The film also features a number of real-life Arsenal players, which adds to the film’s authenticity and helps to transport viewers back in time to the golden era of football.
Another reason why The Arsenal Stadium Mystery is so highly regarded is its engaging and intricate storyline. The film follows the story of a football fan who dies mysteriously during the Arsenal vs. Trojans match.
The mystery unfolds as the investigation into his death begins, and the film cleverly combines the suspense and thrill of a murder mystery with the excitement and drama of a football match. The storyline is well-written and keeps viewers guessing until the very end.
Finally, The Arsenal Stadium Mystery is a classic film that has stood the test of time. It continues to be enjoyed by football fans around the world, and its legacy has been cemented as one of the best football movies of all time.
7 Air Bud: World Pup
Air Bud: World Pup is a heartwarming and entertaining movie that tells the story of a talented golden retriever named Buddy, who becomes the star player of a high school football team.
The film is the third installment in the popular Air Bud franchise and is widely considered one of the top 10 best football movies of all time.
The movie captures the essence of football while also highlighting the special bond between humans and their furry companions.
The film’s unique storyline and compelling characters make it a timeless classic that has captivated audiences of all ages. The movie is filled with exciting and hilarious moments, from Buddy’s incredible football skills to the comical antics of his human teammates.
The film’s heartwarming message about the power of teamwork and friendship is also a significant reason why it has become a beloved classic.
Air Bud: World Pup is not just a great movie for football fans; it is a film that appeals to anyone who loves stories of perseverance, determination, and the indomitable human spirit.
The movie showcases the importance of never giving up on your dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem. It also highlights the significance of having a supportive community around you, whether they are your teammates, friends, or family.
The film’s inspiring message, lovable characters, and exciting football scenes make it an excellent choice for anyone who loves movies that are both entertaining and uplifting.
6 The Football Factory
“The Football Factory” is undoubtedly one of the best football movies of all time. Directed by Nick Love and released in 2004, the film is an adaptation of John King’s novel of the same name.
It follows the story of Tommy Johnson, a Chelsea football hooligan, and his gang of friends as they navigate their way through the violent world of football hooliganism in London.
The film provides a raw and gritty portrayal of the hooligan subculture, exploring themes such as masculinity, violence, and tribalism.
One of the most remarkable aspects of “The Football Factory” is its realistic portrayal of football hooliganism. The film shows the violence and aggression that often erupts during football matches, as rival gangs clash both inside and outside the stadium.
The movie does not shy away from the brutal reality of hooliganism, depicting it as a dangerous and destructive phenomenon that ruins lives and destroys communities.
The film’s performances are also outstanding, with memorable turns from Danny Dyer as Tommy Johnson and Frank Harper as his best friend, Rod. Dyer’s portrayal of Tommy is particularly noteworthy, as he brings a vulnerability and depth to the character that makes him more than just a one-dimensional thug.
In conclusion, “The Football Factory” is one of the best football movies of all time. Its realistic portrayal of football hooliganism, compelling performances, and gritty cinematography make it a must-see for fans of the genre.
5 Mean Machine
Mean Machine is a British-American sports comedy-drama film directed by Barry Skolnick and released in 2001. The movie centers around Danny Meehan, played by Vinnie Jones, a former captain of the England football team who finds himself serving time in prison for assaulting two police officers.
While behind bars, he is approached by the prison governor, who asks him to coach a team of convicts to play against the guards in a football match.
Mean Machine is often considered one of the top 10 best football movies of all time for its exceptional portrayal of the sport, compelling storyline, and remarkable performances by the cast.
The film features a star-studded cast of well-known British actors and footballers, including Vinnie Jones, Jason Statham, and Danny Dyer, among others.
The performances of the cast are outstanding, and they all bring their characters to life in a way that is both convincing and engaging.
The character of Danny Meehan is especially noteworthy, and Vinnie Jones delivers an excellent performance as the hardened ex-footballer who is given a chance to redeem himself by coaching a team of convicts.
The football scenes in Mean Machine are some of the best ever captured on film. The matches are intense, well-choreographed, and shot with incredible precision. The film also features some fantastic training scenes, which give viewers a glimpse into the grueling process of preparing for a match.
The film explores themes such as redemption, second chances, and the power of teamwork, and it does so in a way that feels authentic and heartfelt. The film’s final match is especially thrilling, and it is sure to leave viewers on the edge of their seats.
Overall, Mean Machine is an exceptional football movie that is well worth watching. It is a film that manages to capture the spirit of the sport while also telling a compelling story about redemption and second chances.
“Goal!” is undoubtedly one of the top 10 best football movies of all time. The film, released in 2005, follows the journey of Santiago Muñez, a young Mexican boy with dreams of becoming a professional football player.
The movie has all the elements of a classic underdog story and is a must-watch for anyone who loves the sport.
The movie is a great example of how football can change lives. Santiago, played by Kuno Becker, starts off as an amateur footballer who struggles to make ends meet in Los Angeles.
His talent is recognized by Glen Foy, a scout for Newcastle United, and Santiago is given the chance to try out for the team. The movie shows how football can provide a way out of poverty and change a person’s life for the better.
“Goal!” is not just a sports movie but also a story about family and the sacrifices that people make for their loved ones. Santiago’s father, played by Tony Plana, is against his son’s dreams of becoming a footballer, as he believes that it is a waste of time.
The film has some fantastic football scenes, which are shot brilliantly. The game sequences are gripping and keep you on the edge of your seat.
The final match between Newcastle United and Liverpool is particularly exciting and is a great example of how football can bring people together.
The movie has great performances, thrilling football scenes, and a touching storyline, which makes it one of the top 10 best football movies of all time.
3 Bend It Like Beckham
Bend It Like Beckham is a beloved sports movie that has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world. Released in 2002, the film follows the story of Jess Bhamra, a young British-Indian girl who dreams of becoming a professional soccer player.
Despite facing cultural barriers and disapproval from her family, Jess is determined to pursue her passion for the game.
With the help of her friend Jules, and the guidance of her coach, Joe, Jess must navigate through the challenges of life as a young athlete while staying true to her cultural roots.
The film’s compelling storyline, memorable characters, and exciting soccer scenes have made it a fan favorite among sports enthusiasts and movie lovers alike.
The film’s director, Gurinder Chadha, does an excellent job of portraying the struggles faced by young women who aspire to break into the male-dominated world of professional sports.
The film is also a celebration of diversity and cultural identity, highlighting the importance of embracing one’s heritage while pursuing personal goals and aspirations.
One of the most significant factors that contribute to the film’s popularity is its ability to capture the essence of soccer culture. The film’s soccer scenes are well-choreographed and dynamic, showcasing the passion and excitement of the game.
The film’s title, “Bend It Like Beckham,” has also become a well-known phrase among soccer fans, referring to the ability to curve a soccer ball in the same way as the legendary English soccer player, David Beckham.
The film is a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of pursuing one’s dreams, no matter the obstacles.
2 The Damned United
“The Damned United” is a biographical sports drama film that tells the story of Brian Clough’s brief, controversial and tumultuous tenure as the manager of Leeds United.
Released in 2009 and directed by Tom Hooper, the movie was a critical and commercial success, earning widespread acclaim for its powerful performances, authentic portrayal of football culture, and gripping storytelling.
One of the reasons why “The Damned United” stands out as one of the best football movies of all time is its ability to capture the passion, drama, and intensity of the sport.
From the opening scenes, the movie immerses viewers in the world of English football in the 1970s, with all its rivalries, traditions, and eccentricities.
The film’s attention to detail in recreating the matches, stadiums, and kits of the era adds to the authenticity and realism of the story, making it a must-see for any football fan.
Moreover, the performances in “The Damned United” are truly outstanding, with Michael Sheen delivering a masterful portrayal of Brian Clough.
Sheen manages to capture the essence of the charismatic, confident, and controversial manager, bringing to life his wit, his ego, and his fierce competitive spirit.
Finally, “The Damned United” is a movie that transcends the sport of football, exploring universal themes of ambition, loyalty, and redemption.
The film’s depiction of Clough’s rise and fall at Leeds United is a gripping and emotional journey, filled with highs and lows, victories and defeats, and moments of both triumph and tragedy.
In conclusion, “The Damned United” is a masterpiece of sports cinema that deserves its place among the top 10 best football movies of all time.
1 Escape To Victory
Escape to Victory is a classic football movie that is widely regarded as one of the best in the genre.
Released in 1981, the film is set during World War II and tells the story of a group of Allied prisoners of war who are forced to play a football match against a German team. The movie is based on a true story and features an all-star cast of footballers and actors.
One of the reasons why Escape to Victory is considered the best football movie of all time is its unique and compelling storyline.
The film takes the standard sports movie formula and adds a wartime twist, creating a compelling narrative that keeps the audience engaged from start to finish.
The idea of a group of prisoners of war using football as a means of escape is both exciting and inspiring, and the film does an excellent job of balancing the drama and action.
Another reason why Escape to Victory is so highly regarded is its impressive cast. The movie features an all-star line-up of footballers, including Pele, Bobby Moore, and Ossie Ardiles, as well as acting legends like Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone.
Finally, Escape to Victory is a movie that has stood the test of time. Despite being released over 40 years ago, the film remains a firm favorite with football fans and movie buffs alike.
Its themes of camaraderie, perseverance, and the triumph of the human spirit continue to resonate with audiences today, and the movie’s impact on popular culture is undeniable.
In conclusion, Escape to Victory is undoubtedly the best football movie of all time. Its unique storyline, impressive cast, and enduring popularity make it a cinematic masterpiece that will continue to inspire and entertain audiences for generations to come.
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