3 Good 3 Bad: Soccer Movies

Source: the damned united via Facebook As one of the most watched sports on the planet, there have been plenty of soccer movies made over the years. Some have been World Cup winners, while others have been reminiscent of struggling teams battling relegation. Here are three of the best soccer movies ever made, along with three of the worst. GOOD: The Damned United The Damned United is one of the most highly regarded soccer movies of all time and received an incredibly strong critical response upon release in 2009. Critics praised Michael Sheen for his excellent turn as Brian Clough, the man brought in at Leeds United in 1974 to follow on from Don Revie. Revie was the greatest manager in the club’s history, and it quickly became apparent that the new man would not be able to replicate his predecessor’s success. United have a long history of turmoil, some of which is documented in this film. In real life, though, they look to be on their way back up to the Premier League. At the time of writing, the Whites can be backed at 13/8 to win the 2018-19 Championship. Shrewd bettors are using free bets such as the William Hill £30 offer listed by Oddschecker to effectively make risk-free wagers on outcomes such as these. Bend it Like Beckham David Beckham is regarded as one of the best English footballers of all time and is most famous for the way he was able to curve the ball almost at will. His free kicks would often loop around the wall and into the back of the net, and it was a skill that many young footballers desired. Bend it like Beckham follows an 18-year-old Punjabi Sikh girl who aspires to be like the Manchester United legend and play football professionally, despite being forbidden to do so by her parents. The 2002 picture directed by Gurinder Chadha made $76 million at the box office and was praised by critics for its feel-good qualities. Goal! The Dream Begins Goal! The Dream Begins is often seen as the definitive soccer movie, as it was made in collaboration with FIFA and used real players and clubs. The 2005 picture directed by Danny Cannon was described as “surprisingly effective” by world-renowned film critic Roger Ebert. The producers also struck a $50 million deal with Adidas which, at the time, was the biggest deal ever made between a film production and a corporate brand. The film follows Santiago Munez, a highly skilled young footballer from a poor background who gets the chance to play for Newcastle United. It tracks the player’s rise through the reserves and into the first team as he lives out the dream of many young football fans. The movie was a hit because of its rags to riches theme and the fact that it gave people the belief that the same thing could happen to them. BAD: Goal III: Taking on the World The success of the original Goal film sparked a trilogy which tracked Munez’s rise to the top. In the third installment, Goal III: Taking on the World, the character played by Kuno Becker gets the chance to play for Mexico at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The film featured a number of professional footballers and scenes from the tournament, but it only used stock footage. It was criticized for its unengaging and often incoherent storyline. There was also the absence of key characters from the previous two films which weakened the movie’s appeal. Unlike its two predecessors, Goal III didn’t get a theatrical release and went straight to DVD and Blu-ray in 2009. Green Street Hooligans Green Street Hooligans is not a traditional soccer movie, but it was so horrifically bad it needs to be included in this list. The picture follows Elijah Wood as he joins a group of West Ham United football hooligans. The unbelievable storyline isn’t helped by the fact that Charlie Hunnam’s attempt at a Cockney accent has been described as the worst in cinema history. One critic from E! Online said the dialogue was so bad that they couldn’t help but view the picture as “an exercise in stupidity”. Soccer Dog: European Cup The name for this movie should be enough to put people off, and Soccer Dog: European Cup could perhaps be the worst soccer film ever made. The 2004 straight-to-video release was the sequel to 1999’s Soccer Dog: The Movie, which was about a canine with exceptional sporting abilities. In this installment, the dog goes to Europe to play in the Championship there. It ends up beating the likes of Beckham on the field and winning the cup, which would come as no surprise to anyone who bothered to watch the first one. As this list shows, soccer movies can either be really good or exceptionally bad. Check out the bad ones if you want to have a laugh but make sure you watch the good ones. They could be considered essential viewing for fans of the sport.

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