As passionate football fans, sometimes we’re left wanting to watch more than the action on match days. In the last ten years especially, football content has exploded beyond the usual broadcast of matches and interviews. And while the 2019/20 season finally comes to a close in each of the European leagues, we’ll see a short break in play before the 2020/21 season begins. In the meantime, football documentaries are a great option to fill the gap in your viewing time. There are plenty of good films and docuseries to choose from, so let us make a few recommendations. Here are our top three must-watch football documentaries:
Sunderland ‘Til I Die – 2018 to 2020 | Watch on Netflix
With fourteen episodes combined between two seasons on Netflix, Sunderland ‘Til I Die offers plenty of captivating behind the scenes football content. From the start, the series drives home a message that the identity of Sunderland AFC is synonymous with the livelihood of the entire town. The first episode begins with a sermon at a local church, filled with Mackems, some dressed in football kits. The passionate sermon pleads “Dear Lord, help Sunderland and all our players in their ability in all games… because the success of our team leads to the success and prosperity of our city.” Powerful editing in this sequence immediately sets the tone for a fantastic documentary.
Produced by London-based production company Fulwell 73, Sunderland ‘Til I Die provides an intimate window into the inner-workings of a struggling club. Beyond the stories and interviews of players and fans, the series paints a comprehensive picture of the club from top to bottom. From the manager to the kitchen staff, we see the highs and lows that football can bring to each person working towards the success of something much bigger than themselves. This docuseries is worth a watch for any football fan. Perhaps even Newcastle supporters may reconsider their hatred for Sunderland by the time they’ve finished.
While Sunderland fight to return to the English top-flight, check out our replica of the retro 1990 Sunderland away shirt to celebrate The Black Cats’ glory days of the past.
Make Us Dream – 2018 | Watch on Amazon Prime Video
Through a relentless work ethic and undying passion for the beautiful game, Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has won the respect of millions around the globe, maybe even a few Manchester United fans among them. Make Us Dream crafts a narrative of Gerrard’s enthralling career, encompassing the 26 years he dedicated to his boyhood team, Liverpool. Director Sam Blair provides audiences with an emotional look into the achievement and turmoil that Gerrard lived through, both on and off the pitch. Beyond the trophies that Gerrard won, Blair tells the story of a man who made tremendous personal sacrifice for the loyalty of his beloved local club.
Make Us Dream is simply unmissable for Liverpool fans, but we recommend it to everyone who loves football. The film culminates in a poignant portrait of one of the greatest English midfielders of all time. Critical acclaim includes an 8.1 / 10 on IMDB and an 86% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
If you’re interested in celebrating one of Gerrard’s pinnacle achievements, check out our replica of the 2005 Liverpool Champions League Final home shirt.
Diego Maradona – 2019 | Watch on HBO or Amazon Prime Video
Completing our list, Diego Maradona is a masterfully crafted documentary from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia. Through a blend of interviews, match day footage, and incredibly personal archival footage, Kapadia covers Maradona’s seven year tenure at SSC Napoli in Italy. This period marked the peak of the Argentine’s achievement and footballing ability, but also saw his infamous fall from grace and struggle with drug abuse. While dozens have sought to tell Maradona’s story through film in the past, Kapadia sheds new light on one of football’s most controversial figures.
“For Diego, I would go to the end of the world… but with Maradona, I wouldn’t take a step,” were the film’s most piercing words, spoken by Fernando Signorini, one of Maradona’s trainers. In a sentence, the powerful quote summarizes the stark contrast of two different Maradonas at Napoli. While he is often vilified by the historians of football, Diego Maradona shows how the superstar was cast into a blinding spotlight and under constant, invasive scrutiny. You may think you know everything about Diego Maradona, but you’ll think again when you see his story from this perspective. Beyond the wide world of football, Diego Maradona is an engaging, emotional journey that certainly appeals to a wider audience. We highly recommend you give it a watch!
In theme with the film, we at Beautiful 90s would like to share several of our favourite replica football kits from pivotal moments in Maradona’s career:
- 1986 Argentina World Cup replica kit
- 1987-88 Napoli Maradona replica kit
- 1996 Boca Juniors Maradona replica kit
Beautiful 90s: Embracing Football History with Style
We hope you enjoy our list of the best football documentaries. After watching them, you may find yourself wanting to celebrate the golden age of these iconic teams and players. At Beautiful 90s, we create replicas of classic kits from around the world. While the 1990’s remain our favourite decade of football fashion, our retro replica designs range from the 50’s up to the early 2010’s. We’ve already shared a few designs related to these football documentaries throughout this post, and we’d love you to check out our site for plenty of other classic designs as well!