FOOTBALL IN FILM

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Football / Soccer Picture Football (or soccer if you prefer) is one of the most loved and respected sports throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. Having said that, though, did you know that it was once banned in the state of Mississippi, USA, deemed illegal right up until 1991? Thankfully, nowadays all of that has turned around, going so far that Mississippi actually has it's own soccer association, promoting the sport. Funnily enough, another form of association that promotes football are football themed films. Here, check out this infographic for a quick run down... 


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Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, alright, so that may be all well and good, most of the films based on football are actually there to help promote it. But in the same breath, aren't all of these movies also thematically similar in both tone and structure? Hmmm...

Soccer Poster
1) A Plot By Any Other Name: With all due respect, I find that most football themed films normally follow a very similar path. Team A goes up against Team B. Baff-Boom-Biff! Team B wins their initial battle. Biff-Boom-Baff! But thankfully, after a prolonged montage sequence plus a possible love interest, Team A ultimately emerges the victor. Hooray!

2) For The Love Of It: While I'm on the subject of a love interest, why-oh-why-oh-why must their be one? I mean, for crying out loud, anybody who's a fan of anything doesn't need this type of throw away plot point to kick home why x did y to z! Isn't the love of the game more than enough!

3) Kick It With A Cameo: I know this may sound cliche, but to me, a football movie isn't an actual football movie without an appearance made by some of the players who play the game. On the whole I like this little touch of authenticity because it goes to show that, yes, people play football and people do enjoy it. Sometimes a cameo can add a sense of nostalgia to the story, especially if the cameo in question is a player from days gone by.

4) Keeping It Real: Something else that has given football films a sense of realism, is the fact that some of them are based on real life events, most notably, the life and times of whoever, blah-blah-blah, who was once the manager of thingy united. To me, taking the bio-pic angle has helped this genre of movie immensely. Not only does it add a sense of value to the sport as well as the time in which it was made, but also, it breaks the aforementioned repetitive story structure some football films normally adhere to.

Pele In Escape To Victory
5) Stop Playing With My Balls: In stark contrast to my previous point, I also find that football films that step out of their comfort zone are just as entertaining as the real thing. Take Stephen Chows' 'Shaolin Soccer' for instance. The amalgamation of both football and martial arts (filtered through a manga-based lens) was so amazing to see, I would honestly like to see more real football players do a lot more kicking and a lot less dribbling! Know what I mean? Hai-Yah!!!!

6) Actors Who Don't Play: The last point I want to make about football films, is how most of the actors who pretend to play football in them can't really play. All you have to do is watch the 1980 prisoner of war classic, 'Escape To Victory' (also known as 'Victory' in the states), to know what actor can play and what actor can't, especially when you see them side by side with a genuine bona-fido article.

Here. Check out this video to see some more Top 10 Soccer Movies.



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