Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

The Best Soccer Documentaries to Inspire and Entertain

Soccer TV

Soccer is not just a sport; it’s a collection of incredible stories that have shaped the game we love today. From legendary players to unforgettable teams, these stories have been captured in a variety of documentaries. Here are some of the best soccer documentaries that every fan should watch. Whether you’re a die-hard supporter or a casual viewer, these films will captivate and entertain you.

1. Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait

Zinadine Zidane is a soccer icon, and this documentary takes a unique approach to portraying his brilliance. It focuses on a single match in 2006, where Zidane played for Real Madrid. With 17 cameras capturing his every move, this documentary offers a fresh perspective and showcases Zidane’s skill like never before.

2. Once In A Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

The rise and fall of the New York Cosmos is a captivating tale. At one point, they were the biggest thing in sports, with world-famous players and a growing fanbase. However, financial troubles led to their downfall. This documentary explores their journey and the influence they had on soccer in North America.

3. Hillsborough

The tragedy at Hillsborough Stadium is a dark day in soccer history. This ESPN 30 for 30 documentary tells the emotional story of the 96 supporters of Liverpool who lost their lives. Through interviews and raw footage, it provides a moving account of the events and their impact on the sport.

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4. Sunderland ‘Til I Die

Following the struggles of Sunderland AFC during the 2017 season, this Netflix documentary reveals the challenges faced by a once-successful club. It captures the spirit and determination of the players and the unwavering support of the fans. It’s a must-watch for anyone interested in the Premier League.

5. Pelada

“Pelada” is a term used to describe pick-up soccer games played all around the world. This documentary follows two former college soccer players who embark on a global journey to rediscover the joy of the game. It’s a heartwarming story that reminds us of the passion and love that drives people to play soccer.

6. All or Nothing: Manchester City

This documentary offers unprecedented access to Manchester City during their incredible 2017-2018 season. It showcases the behind-the-scenes moments, the triumphs, and the challenges faced by the team. It’s a unique opportunity to witness the journey of a Premier League champion.

7. George Best: All By Himself

George Best was a soccer legend with a troubled life. This film delves deep into his story, highlighting his on-field brilliance and his battle with alcoholism. It provides a comprehensive look at one of the greatest players of all time and the struggles he faced off the pitch.

8. Next Goal Wins

Underdogs and their journeys always capture our hearts, and this documentary does just that. It follows the American Samoa soccer team as they strive to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Despite limited resources, their determination and resilience shine through in this inspiring story.

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9. Take The Ball, Pass The Ball

Led by the legendary Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona squad of the late 2000s is widely regarded as one of the greatest teams in history. This documentary offers a closer look at their revolutionary style of play and the players who made it all possible. It’s a celebration of soccer at its finest.

10. Graham Taylor: An Impossible Job

Managing the England national team comes with immense pressure and scrutiny. This documentary follows Graham Taylor and his squad during the 1982 season, providing a unique insight into the challenges they faced. It’s a fascinating look at the highs and lows of coaching a national team.

11. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona was not only a soccer superstar but also a controversial figure. This HBO documentary showcases his brilliance on the field, as well as the personal struggles and controversies surrounding him. It’s a comprehensive portrait of one of the game’s most influential players.

12. The Referees

Referees often receive criticism from fans and players, but this documentary offers a different perspective. It follows referee Martin Hansson on his journey to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, including the infamous Thierry Henry handball incident. It sheds light on the challenges and decisions referees face.

13. Becoming Zlatan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is known for his larger-than-life personality and incredible skill on the field. This documentary explores his early life and the challenges he overcame to become a soccer superstar. It offers a unique insight into the man behind the myth.

14. Istanbul United

The rivalry between Istanbul’s three biggest soccer clubs is steeped in history and passion. This documentary delves into the highs and lows of being a fan of these clubs, providing a glimpse into Turkish soccer culture amidst political unrest. It’s an eye-opening look at the fervor and dedication of Turkish soccer fans.

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Q: Where can I watch these documentaries?
A: Many of these documentaries are available on popular streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO, and ESPN. Check your local listings or streaming services for availability.

Q: Are these documentaries suitable for all ages?
A: While most documentaries are suitable for general audiences, some may contain mature content or themes. It’s always a good idea to check the rating and content warnings before watching.

Q: Can I watch these documentaries if I’m not a soccer fan?
A: Absolutely! These documentaries offer compelling stories and insights into the world of soccer, which can be enjoyed by both fans and non-fans alike. They showcase the human drama and passion behind the game, making them universally appealing.


Soccer documentaries are a treasure trove of captivating stories and unforgettable moments. From the triumphs to the struggles, these films allow us to experience the beauty and complexity of the game. So grab some popcorn, sit back, and immerse yourself in the world of soccer with these incredible documentaries.

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