From exceptional football documentaries to powerful dramas, Netflix has a lot to offer for football fans. Even if you are not a fan of this sport, we would still encourage you to check this list. Football movies and TV shows are about way more than just sport. It is about teamwork, friendship, and perseverance. And also, they often stand the test of time since their stories continue to be relevant. So, this Sunday try checking out Netflix for a documentary or drama that might surprise you instead. Here is the list of top football (both American football and soccer) movies on Netflix. You can also watch some of these really good football movies and TV shows on Hulu or Amazon Prime.
15. Maradona in Mexico (2019-present)
Diego Maradona, one of the legendary footballers from Argentina, made everyone scratch their heads when he decided to coach the Brazilian second division team, Dorados de Sinaloa. He envisions to take the team to newer heights, and boost their morale. While all eyes are on them, they overcome a lot of obstacles together. Directed by Angus Macqueen, the documentary series is set in 2018-19 and shows Maradona as a real man with vulnerabilities and imperfections who wants the best for the team.
14. First Team: Juventus (2018-present)
This is the first series about an association football club that was put on Netflix on demand. Following the 2017-18 season of Juventus F.C., this six-part documentary series connects us with the players of the club, both on and off the field. This club from Turin, Piedmont, enjoys the support of their fans way beyond the city of their origin, making it a club with one of the largest fanbases in the world. This documentary captures the highlights from 2017-18, such as celebrating 120 years of Juventus F.C., matches against Lazio, Cagliari, Barcelona, Napoli, and Internazionale as well as the Champions League match against Olympiacos.
13. The English Game (2020-present)
Sports can be very intense; history has witnessed that fans can be volatile and sensitive, who are extremely attached to the identity of the club they support or its city of origin. Sports have also brought people together- a clear example is, the evolution of football from a sport of the elite to the sport of the working man. This historical miniseries is set in England in 1879 when the game was still in its nascent stages and was played by only the elite, Old Etonians being the most prominent of the clubs. James Walsh, a revolutionary, puts together a working-class club, Darwen F.C., to go up against the likes of Old Etonians and hence, change the game and its spirit forever.
12. Take the Ball, Pass the Ball (2018)
For all the F.C. Barcelona fans, this is a treat. The documentary captures all the milestones that make F.C. Barcelona what it is. With interviews and analysis from players, coaches, journalists, and footage from various matches over the years, this is worth it. The documentary takes us through the rise of Lionel Messi, the return of Jose Mourinho as the coach, and F.C. Barcelona’s big win at the UEFA Champions League 2010-2011. One of the main focal points of this documentary is Pep Guardiola’s experience of managing the team for four years as we see the increasing popularity of the club under his management.
11. Anelka: Misunderstood (2020)
This Netflix Original takes us into the life of the French footballer Nicolas Anelka and the controversies that surround him and his career. This documentary captures interviews with Anelka himself, where he brings his side of the story. Having achieved fame very young and having played for the biggest international clubs, more often than not, it has been the controversies that have defined his public image. Two main controversies discussed in this documentary are the 2010 World Cup and the ‘quenelle’ gesture in 2013. Although voicing mostly Anelka’s perspective, this documentary is in no way apologetic but paints the picture of a person who values his integrity and acknowledges his hardships.
10. Greater (2016)
‘Greater’ is the story of Brandon Burlsworth, one of the most respected walk-ons in the history of college football. This star shone bright but for too short a time. Burlsworth was the ultimate example of grit, determination, and self-discipline as he achieved his dream of playing for the Arkansas Razorbacks. He did not have it easy as he was considered overweight and too short; he was taunted incessantly by his teammates and picked on by his coach. He eventually gets in shape and becomes one of the greatest players in the game. Only eleven days after making it to the NFL, he died in a car accident. This film revolves around the sense of loss and injustice his brother feels after losing him.
9. A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story (1991)
‘A Triumph of the Heart’ is a touching story that shows us the emotional and psychological resilience that makes a sportsman immortal, in a way. A sport is as much about the spirit as it is about technique, agility, and skills. What makes a legend is the kind of person that he or she is. Ricky Bell was a professional footballer playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who was diagnosed with dermatomyositis, a rare muscle disorder at the peak of his career. The film captures his friendship with Ryan Blankenship, a boy with physical impairment. This friendship meant a lot to both of them as they inspired each other in unimaginable ways.
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8. The Longest Yard (2005)
Featuring stand-out performances by Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, James Cromwell, Nelly, and William Fichtner, ‘The Longest Yard’ is a sports comedy film based on Albert S. Ruddy’s 1974 movie of the same name. The Peter Segal directorial centers upon Paul Crewe, a pro football quarterback who is recruited as the advisor for an institution’s team after landing in jail. Soon afterward, he competes against the team of correctional officers after joining inmates as a quarterback. The high-stakes on-field drama that unfolds as the two teams compete to get the better of one another is a must-watch.
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7. QB1: Beyond the Lights (2017-present)
This documentary series follows the journey of three high school senior quarterbacks as they prepare to play competitive college football. Each season, the three quarterbacks come from very different backgrounds, and the series captures the pressure they face, their process of preparation, and the challenges they face during this crucial period. The series is directed by Peter Berg and first aired on February 13, 2017. Some of the notable football players featured in the series are Jake Fromm, Justin Fields, Tate Martell, and Spencer Rattler.
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6. Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story (1988)
Based on true events, ‘Quiet Victory’ is a powerful movie about a high school teacher and football coach Charlie Wedemeyer who is suddenly diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Directed by Roy Campanella II, this drama follows how Wedemeyer’s life changed with the disease but that his love for football and his students never stopped. With the unconditional support of his wife Lucy, the teacher remained leading his football team despite becoming his disease. With a good leading and supporting cast and a well-written script, “Quiet Victory” will make you look at the power of sports with other eyes.
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5. Undefeated (2011)
Winner of an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, ‘Undefeated’ follows the Manassas Tigers football team, an underfunded and underprivileged football team that thanks to coach Bill Courtney fights against all odds. This inspirational documentary is not only about football but also about the important lessons that a team sport can teach. The real dreams and real problems portrayed in it are going to reaffirm your faith in human nature and make you love football even more. “Undefeated” is a brilliant movie that all families and avid football followers across the world should watch.
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4. Coach Snoop (2016-2018)
This docu-series sees Snoop Dogg in a whole different avatar as he coaches a team of young football players. Through this series, we see the impact that football has had on the rapper’s life. He felt it was necessary to share the things he learned about life on the football ground, with those who need that direction. It is about staying focused on your dreams, it is about finding a family of people who will push you ahead in life and finally learning to deal with loss and defeat as much as they prepare to win. The Snoop Youth Football League was started by him in 2005, as an after school program for at-risk kids in the Los Angeles area.
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3. Last Chance U (2016-)
‘Last Chance U‘ is a very interesting look at the life of student-athletes. It follows a group of young men, at East Mississippi Community College (EMCC), training to become the future stars of the NFL. If you are a football fan, ‘Last Chance U’ will keep you engaged from beginning to end. Director Greg Whitely did a fantastic job of capturing the highs and lows on and off the field of these young men. Because of that, you will quickly become invested in the different coaches and players and their stories.
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2. Home Team (2022)
Written by Chris Titone and Keith Blum, ‘Home Team’ is a sports comedy film which stars Kevin James, Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider, and Jackie Sandler. The Charles Kinnane and Daniel Kinnane directorial revolves around Sean Payton, the head coach of the New Orleans Saints, who is suspended for his involvement in the Bountygate scandal for one year. Understandably depressed, he turns to his sons’ middle-school football team and uses this as an opportunity to reconnect with him, completely clueless that he would end up contributing significantly to the team’s interests.
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1. All American (2018-)
A rather important sports drama series, ‘All American‘ is somewhat inspired by the life of retired footballer Spencer Paysinger. The central character of the series is a footballer called Spencer James who has grown up in Crenshaw all his life. He used to be one of the star players of Crenshaw High School before he takes a transfer to Beverly Hills High. Having grown up in southern L.A. all his life, Spencer is not at all used to the posh localities of Beverly Hills. Even in school, the class divide between him and the other students becomes quite apparent. Now this young teenager has the tough job of leaving his past behind and making a place for himself in his new team. You will not come across many sports dramas that deal with such serious issues of economic and class divisions within a single city and tells us how this can play a huge factor in shaping a player’s life and mentality towards the game.
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