There are many television shows, and in the golden age of streaming, the selection has never been wider. So how do you get rid of the noise and find the best on a chosen topic? We’re here to help celebrate and highlight some of the latest, greatest and most memorable performances of all time.
In our ongoing series on the best sports programmes, our focus this time is on football (or soccer for those not in the UK!). From captivating docu-drama series to simple Korean comedies, there’s a whole range of football content to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll add it!
Football is a universal language, loved and shared all over the world, from the poor streets of Rwanda to the sparkling beaches of sunny Barcelona.
With a profound message of unity, love and equality, This Is Football is one of the best sports documentaries on Amazon Prime. From the history of women’s soccer through the eyes of Japanese and American players to the emotional journey of a boy who wants to become Africa’s youngest referee, each episode has a meaning and a purpose.
If you’re looking for a celebratory look at the world of football, this documentary is worth watching.
You can read our thoughts on This Is Football in our full season review here!
All or nothing: Manchester City
In the 2017-2018 season, Manchester City finished the Premier League season with 100 points. During this period they won two trophies and scored an incredible number of goals. Such success certainly does not come easily – or cheaply – and all or nothing recognizes it.
The documentary explores every part of the club in all its glory – from the youth academy and medical team to the owners and president.
Love them or hate them, all or nothing: Manchester City tops the list of the best football documentary series.
They can read our minds about anything or nothing: Manchester City in our full season review here!
All or nothing: Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur are a club whose laws are on the verge of glory, but have never been on the same level since they won the title in 1950. Of course, the Premier League was then simply called the First Division and Tottenham finished 2nd and 3rd in each of the following seasons.
But under the leadership of Harry Redknapp and Mauricio Pochettino, the club has transformed itself and is now filled with world stars.
Between an incredible return to the Champions League and exciting attacking play, Tottenham were a club feared by many teams around the world. However, this high-pressure style also comes with a price tag.
The fatigue of the former players and the lack of fresh blood has cracked the Tottenham Hotspur game. This later led to a new manager in José Mourinho. This documentary follows Mourinho’s first year at the helm, after all the ups and downs, both on and off the pitch.
They can read our minds about anything or nothing: Tottenham Hotspur in our full season review here!
Sunderland Till I Die
Say what you want about La Liga, Serie A or the English Premier League. No other league is as exhausting, complex and unpredictable as this one. 24 teams, 46 games, 10 long months of football with matches against the best teams in England.
Sunderland Til I Die is an intimate look at one of England’s most famous clubs, which is experiencing the worst year in its history. In 8 episodes, this Netflix documentary takes the same reference points as Amazon’s sister documentary, Amazon Prime All of Nothing : Manchester City; the start of pre-season before their final league game.
In contrast to the glamorous high life of Man City, Sunderland shows the harsh reality of a football club fighting to the death. The snippets of conversation and struggle with negativity that permeate the locker room are something many football fans have heard about, but never from near or far. Strap yourself in for a real roller coaster ride!
Read our thoughts on Sunderland till I die in our full season review here!
The English game is a sports biopic that takes a leap back in time to the origins of football. Here we witness the evolution of the elitist gentleman’s game it has become in modern times.
This idea is often marred by a tendency to slip into a more traditional period piece with melodrama, romance and some sexual innuendo.
The result looks more like a lighter version of Downtown Abbey with a shiny football facade painted over it.
But it’s fun and really worth a look if you’re looking for something similar to the sports theme.
Read our thoughts on The English Game in our full season review here!
Apache: The life of Carlos Tévez
Apache is a dramatization of the life of Carlos Tevez, detailing his rise to soccer superstar and the challenges of being a growing Argentine. If some moments seem a little too dramatic, most Apache: The Life of Carlos Tevez is a fascinating and engaging drama that certainly does justice to the legend.
What is particularly impressive in this series is the terrible state of health of the Apache de Fuerte in Argentina. See Carlos Tevez stand up in the middle and become one of the best examples of all the best aspects of the history of rags to riches.
Club de Cuervos
Club de Cuervos is a Mexican soap opera in which brotherly rivalry takes place against a backdrop of action on the field. The story here revolves around the two heirs who quarrel after the death of the patriarch of the family. Chava and Isabel are our two main characters and they have very different ideas about running a club. The rivalry eventually split the club in two, with the two rivals vying for control of Cuervos Nuevo Toledo.
Finally, this show stands out. Chava and Isabel are both polar opposites, but as the season progresses, their sibling rivalry makes for good drama and comedy. There are certain inaccuracies in the world of football that fans of the sport will immediately notice, but there is still a lot of fun to be had.
Becoming a champion
After becoming champions, it’s not surprising that the series revolves around football champions. This documentary series is especially impressive on the international scene by following a different country and the rise of the World Cup in each episode.
While there’s nothing really new or different here, the series is always entertaining and each episode dedicated to a different country gives it a more global aspect than some of the league series on this list.
Inside Borussia Dortmund
Inside Borussia Dortmund is another series that follows in the footsteps of Alles oder Nichts and depicts an entire season of football. This time we go to the Bundesliga and follow Borussia Dortmund in their battle for the title.
The 65 minute episodes are long enough to be an entertaining choice with flying on the wall, action on the ground and plenty of dramatic twists.
Read our thoughts on Dortmund Inside Borussia in our episode summary here!
While recent Korean dramas like Run Away and True Beauty include references to Son Heung Min and Tottenham Hotspur, you have to go back to 2009 to find an authentic Korean drama with a football theme.
No Limit is a drama about a man named Cha Bong Kun who dreams of playing football in the Premier League. However, he is currently in the Korean minor leagues and is struggling to get noticed.
After his dream, Bong-Kun narrowly escaped death three times and fell in love with his agent Kang Hae-Bin. As befits a K-drama, it combines comedy and drama with a romantic component, making it an entertaining experience.
Also known as Legendary Blue Shot, Shoot is a fairly generic but ultimately entertaining anime. It focuses on three college freshmen who have become best friends through football: Toshihiko Tanaka, Kenji Shiraishi and Kazuhiro Hiramatsu.
In high school, they played together and eventually decided to become the best high school football team in Japan. Along the way, romance, drama and loss create all sorts of problems for our heroes. If you’re looking for an anime that’s easy to understand and full of football action, Shoot is definitely worth considering.
Take us home. Leeds United
Take Us Home is a well-documented account of the fallen Premier League giant. After 12 years in the top flight, Leeds United were relegated to Ligue 1 to find their way back into the league. With new owner and world-renowned head coach Marcelo Bielsa at the helm, this series of docks follows the 2018-19 Championship season from the perspective of Leeds United. Throughout the season, we followed all the dramas that were played this year.
In just 6 episodes, Take Us Home is a real rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, and if you don’t know what happened, you’re in for a treat!
Maradona in Mexico
From the hand of God to the infamous use of cocaine, Maradona is not the holy face of football. Yet he is one of the most famous and infamous actors of his generation. He made 91 appearances for Argentina and scored 34 goals.
Now, after his playing career, it comes as no surprise that Maradona has gone to Mexico to become head coach of Dorados, the home team in Culiacan. It is also ironically known as the drug capital of Mexico. This team is at the bottom of the ladder, so it’s natural for critics to expect the worst.
7 episodes follow Maradona’s journey on the sidelines and show all the ups and downs of a head coach in a beautiful game. Well written, fast paced and with an optimistic tone, Maradona in Mexico is another documentary series to follow.
Probably the best show on Apple TV+, Ted Lasso arrived on the scene last year with a well-written comedy about an American who takes control of a major football club in England. On paper it looks like a recipe for disaster, but shockingly the comic is saved by wonderful writing, balanced characters and great comedy.
Ted Lasso has absolutely no right to be as good as he is, but his humor and good humor make him a must for football and comedy fans.
If you’re looking for all the winked at soap operas mixed with the ups and downs of real football, look no further than Dream Team. Sky One’s drama is incredibly hard to find, but it aired for ten seasons.
The story here follows the fictional football club Harchester United and combines the action on the pitch with the turbulent lives of various players and their wives.
The football action comes from real matches, but with fake purple jerseys to make it look like Harchester are playing. It definitely adds a sense of realism, and it’s fascinating to see how it fits and works with off-scale action.
Off the field, there’s a lot of cheating, death (an entire bus explodes in one season!), and crazy twists on the Dream Team that you probably won’t notice.
It may be a little outdated for the times, but at its peak Dream Team was a brilliant football soap opera.
So there you have it, our picks for the best football/soccer shows over the years!
What do you think of our selection? Don’t you agree? Are there any glaring omissions? Let us know in the comments below!
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