Parma, 14 March 2020 – At this time when it’s advised to stay at home, given the coronavirus emergency, we’ve added a piece to our #LETSPLAYATHOME initiative: here is a list of five movies dedicated to the world of football that we think are must-watch.
1. Goal! (2005, directed by Danny Cannon)
Santiago Muñez is a boy of Mexican origin who comes to the United States to help his father at work. However, Santiago is destined to become a football star, but he’ll face many difficulties before reaching the top with his arrival in the Premier League at Newcastle. Goal! is part of a trilogy following Santiago’s career that was only partially successful in Italy. However, in our opinion it remains one of the best films from a technical point of view: the football scenes are extremely well edited and there are also appearances from some great players such as Alan Shearer and Steven Gerrard.
2. One Man Up (2001, directed by Paolo Sorrentino)
Oscar-winning Paolo Sorrentino made this film at the beginning of the last decade, half of which is based around the football world with the story of Antonio Pisapia, a footballer at the peak of his career but who had a shy and introverted nature. Some scenes have become very famous, such as the coach’s rant in the locker room. Did you know? The scene in which Pisapia takes to the pitch after the coach’s rant was shot before a real football match: Napoli vs. Perugia in 2001 at the San Paolo.
3. Escape to Victory (1981, directed by John Huston)
A great classic of this genre, Escape to Victory is the story of a game played during World War II between some Allied prisoners and German soldiers from a base near the prison camp where the heroes were imprisoned. As you can easily guess, the game soon takes on an extra sporting significance. The cast is full of star names both in the cinematic and football worlds: Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, Max Von Sydow, Pelè, Osvaldo Ardiles and Bobby Moore.
4. Fever Pitch (1997, directed by David Evans)
Inspired by Nick Hornby’s book with the same name, the film’s plot actually only maintains a few points of contact with the work of the Arsenal supporting author. If Nick’s book is a sort of novel about the making of a Gunners fan, Evans’ film is indeed the story of an Arsenal fan, Paul, who dreams of the coveted 1989 English title, but has to face the disagreements that his passion creates with his partner Sarah. The ideal film for those nostalgic football fans, with Arsenal still playing at Highbury…
5. The Damned United (2009, directed by Tom Hooper)
This film is also based on a book, written by David Pearce. Of those films centred around football’s great figures, Hooper’s is practically unmissable. The biography in question, although only partially linked to his life, is that of Brian Clough, the coach who became a legend with Nottingham Forest. This movie tells of his adventure at Leeds United, a team that he agrees to coach despite the fact that they don’t share his philosophy which conflicts with the previous coach, Don Revie’s philosophy, who ended up as England coach. The film not only focuses on the pitch, but also Clough’s private life who was played by Michael Sheen.