11 of the best football titles on Netflix ft. Fergie, Henry, Danny Dyer & more
We’ll watch literally anything football related on TV, be it the Champions League final or a far-fetched soap opera about an imaginary football club.
Netflix is the standard point of call for our TV binge these days, but what’s on there that would interest us football devotees?
We’ve taken a look through Netflix in the UK and found 11 titles for the average football fan, from documentaries to dramas and everything in between.
Premier League Legends
What a way to start. Everyone loves to sit and binge on Premier League Years or the 100 club on Sky Sports, and this is an excellent alternative.
The 10-part series takes a look at some of the greats who helped make the Premier League what it is today, with everyone from Thierry Henry to Juninho.
Short episodes just 25 minutes long make it an interesting watch and provide a good snippet of insight into each individual player’s life.
Slowly making my way through the Netflix series, Premier League Legends. Highly recommend it! Specifically the Thierry Henry & Ruud Van Nistelrooy episodes 👌🏼
— Coach Fye (@CoachLoganFye) May 3, 2018
First Team: Juventus
The Netflix original documentary followed Juventus during the 2017-18 campaign, with the first three of six episodes currently available.
Gianluigi Buffon and Gonzalo Higuain are among the players you can get a behind-the-scenes view from, while Juve legend Alessandro Del Piero also makes an appearance.
Episodes are 40 minutes long, which leaves you wanting more, especially given the full series isn’t out yet.
Rooney: The man behind the goals
After Rooney broke the England goals record in 2015, the BBC filmed a documentary with the former Manchester United man.
The likes of Gary Neville, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo feature, while Gary Lineker also goes deeper into Rooney and wife Coleen’s home life.
Sir Alex Ferguson: Secrets of success
Another BBC documentary, a bizarre choice to present this came in the form of political editor Nick Robinson.
The title is fairly misleading, as it is much more a tribute to the legendary manager’s success, rather than delving into the deeper ‘secrets’ or his time in charge at Old Trafford.
“The BBC’s attempt to “uncover the secrets” behind Sir Alex Ferguson’s success was an odd sort of living tribute to the former Manchester United manager,” reads a review from the Independent. Still fun to watch for any United team.
Going right back to Joao Havelange in the 1970s, this hard-hitting documentary goes deep into the corruption scandal that surrounded the governing body of world football.
The 94-minute production features interviews with some of the key members of the group who eventually exposed FIFA, and ousted chairman Sepp Blatter.
It is well-constructed and easy to digest, while also giving a good and clear understanding of the events which led up to the outing of the scandal in 2015.
For those interested in how South Africa was awarded the 2010 WC and how Morocco wasn’t, may I recommend “Planet FIFA” on Netflix. Quite fascinating. https://t.co/OfOuGs7mLB
— Peter Schaad (@PeteSchaad) February 23, 2018
Very much a drama with football as the setting rather than the focus, 21 Thunder is your typical teen struggles American drama… from Canada.
On first glimpse you hope that it will be a modern day take on the ridiculousness that was Dream Team (which, let’s face it, needs to be on Netflix ASAP), but ultimately it is about the characters’ lives, not the football.
It did have an excellent reaction globally, though, with critic Greg David saying: “I said off the top how pleasantly surprised I’ve been with 21 Thunder’s first season. The writing is taut and the characters are anything but cookie-cutter.”
Sounds like a decent watch for any young Netflix binger, but if you’re wanting action and following young football stars, Goal-style, this might not be for you.
This documentary focuses on the 2010 World Cup, looking at the cultural aspects and impacts of the first World Cup to be hosted in the continent of Africa.
It follows South African players past, present and future to see what effect the competition had on them, centred around one of the country’s most misunderstood regions of Alexandra.
Just 60 minutes long, each story can feel rushed and unfinished, though it does provide a good insight into how life was impacted by the competition being held in South Africa.
The Real Football Factories
Following on from Danny Dyer’s film The Football Factory, this documentary series from way back in 2006 dives into the world of football hooliganism in British football.
Six episodes take a look around five regions of the country, before the final show of the series follows England fans on their travels.
The actor meets with hooligans past and present to discuss their culture and ultimately why they do what they do, not that Dyer himself rates it.
“Do you think I give a f*ck about hooligans,” he said. “You think I want to run around the f*cking world, Brazil, Poland, standing under archways, waiting for balaclava’d fat c*nts?
“No, but I’m getting paid £200,000 for six weeks’ work and it’s bought me a house!”
Throwback to Danny Dyer's 'The Real Football Factories'. 😂👊 pic.twitter.com/wwTRAYD9HZ
— Sunday League Footy (@SundayChants) January 5, 2018
“When you’re living in the housing estates, you play outside all the time, playing all day every day really helps you improve your dribbles and technique. I think that’s why the best technical players come from the streets.”
Riyad Mahrez opens up on the French concept of playing football on the streets, where it turns out a lot of great players started out.
Serge Aurier and Mousa Dembele also feature, showing how football has a positive impact on young people in housing estates known as ‘les banlieues’. A great watch.
Boca Juniors: The Movie
In 2015, the most successful club in Argentina brought out a film, giving football fans an insight to what it feels like to play for Boca Juniors.
It features stories from the likes of Carlos Tevez, Juan Roman Riquelme and Diego Maradona, with a focus on the emotional attachment these players have developed to the club.
Going deeper into the role of a football manager, 2013 film Trainer! follows three young German coaches in their varying level of success.
FC Heidenheim’s Frank Schmidt, FC St. Pauli’s André Schubert and SC Paderborn 07’s Stephan Schmidt are the managers in question, along with words of wisdom from the likes of current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
The in-depth documentary gives a great understanding of just what goes into life as a football manager, from personal sacrifices to the loneliness and stress that comes with the job.