The Group stages of the World Cup as of June 28th are finishing up.
And while some teams have already been eliminated, there are still many teams dreaming of the chance to lift the FIFA World Cup. Several are looking for the opportunity to do so for the first time ever.
Yes, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association simply known as FIFA is facing many corruption charges.
However, the passion all the players bring to not only lift the trophy but more importantly do their country proud is incorruptible.
Even getting to play a game in the World Cup, as the United States has remembered, is an achievement and for some countries a dream in of itself.
Yes, it may seem naïve that the entire world will pause all the horrendous acted these days in order to come together through sport. But as Diego Maradonna says soccer “doesn’t change the world, it doesn’t bring down the price of bread” and nor should countries want to sacrifice their bread for a soccer ball.
What the World Cup is, to quote early 20th century novelist and playwright J.B. Priestley
“It turns you into a member of a new community, all together for ninety minutes, for not only had you escaped the clanking machinery of work, from crime around you, from the violence broad, but you had escaped from with most of your friends and your neighbors, with half the town cheering together , swapping judgements like Lords of the Earth, having pushed your way through a turnstile into another and altogether more splendid life.”
Below are seven documentaries revolving around soccer.
Five are about different teams trying to qualify for the World Cup. Another revovles around being a star athlete and still another revolves around being a fan.
What if I told you that the former Head Coach of the Chicago Fire, the United States Men’s National team, and current Head Coach of Los Angeles FC would face the toughest challenge of his career coaching the Egyptian national Team? We Must Go is not a story of an American Coach coaching abroad, it is the story of a man who had the task of leading team through world cup qualifying in a time when Egypt is in an upheaval. This documentary is much about the Port Said massacre and the Egyptian revolution as it is about Bob Bradley.
American Pharaoh takes place at the same time as We must go. The difference is that The We Must Go spends time with the Egyptian people and the players on the team. American Pharaoh puts Bob Bradley under a microscope and examines Bob Bradley’s decision to come to Egypt and his struggle to win in a time when a country is in turmoil.
Men in the arena is the story of 2 men and their struggle of playing on the Somali national team. It is a dual story of these players trying to carve out a living for themselves and the story of the Somali national team trying to carve out a greater reputation. It isn’t about people soccer phenomenon’s or how the Somali team qualified for the World Cup, it is about simply about improving one’s station in life even if it’s just a slight improvement.
If you have a weakness for underdog stories than how about the story of the lowest ranked team in the world? Next Goal Wins is the journey of the American Samoa team to become competitive. This is the story of a team had not won in 17 years and had the infamous record of losing 31 to 0. It is the story of redemption of a country that could not compete with its piers and especially the redemption of the players who had to endure those years without a victory.
If you’re looking for a documentary on someone in one of the highest ranked teams or if you’re looking for an intimate look at a Soccer Star, look no further than Ronaldo. The documentary follows Christiano Ronaldo throughout the 2014 year. We follow Ronaldo as he plays for Real Madrid then for the Portuguese national team in the 2014 Brazilian World Cup and back to Real Madrid. Along the way we are introduced to his teammates, friends, family specifically his mother and his son. The documentary showcases the struggle being soccer icon and a single parent.
Follow the Benin national team as they journey through African qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Benin is a small country that has never qualified for the World Cup. Laduma is the story of a country who is extremely passionate about the sport and yet is still unknown to the many countries that consistently qualify for the World Cup. This documentary gives us the history of Benin and highlights its cities and countryside.
It would be wrong to not have a documentary about the United and its soccer history. Rather than choose one about the national team, a documentary about the American fans is more fitting. The Sons of Ben is about passionate soccer fans and their effort in bringing a professional soccer team to Philadelphia. This documentary shows us that passion for a sport can bring people together to create something that is much larger than themselves.