Notes: Best and Worst soccer movies in 2023

47 movies reviewed in 2023

The internet along with the pandemic changed the entertainment industry, and for creators, the last couple of years were the Golden Age of Streaming. In order to win more subscribers, streaming companies funded massive amounts of content. At the same time, the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso and the rise of American soccer players helped make the game more recognizable in the USA.

As a result of that perfect storm, there has been a rising tide of soccer movies and series available in the streaming world. Unfortunately, you have to subscribe to many different streamers to access it. I managed to review 47 movies and series in 2023, which is not my highest annual production, but it’s close. And the total count is not representative of time spent, because watching a series of 4 to 10 episodes is a longer task than a 2-hour movie. Although, the research time is the same.

According to a great podcast I listen to, Rob Long’s The Martini Shot, it sounds like streaming money has dried up and the Golden Age is over. However, the USA is hosting WC 2026. So, I anticipate that streaming companies will maintain higher footballing movie production through 2025.

One benefit of the increased funding and more talent entering the soccer movie niche is that the quality has improved. I rated 47% of the shows I watched this year as 8 or better. Three shows I rated as a 10, five shows as a 9, and thirteen shows as an 8. Most of these shows were released during the pandemic. I only rated 10% of the shows as a 4 or 5 (the level at which I recommend not watching the show).

I pride myself (a little bit) on the range of shows I watch, as it helps me learn about other cultures. Prophetess is a Nollywood film that has actually led me to watch more non-soccer films from that industry. Ultras of Egypt led me to watch more non-soccer films about the Arab Spring. Kart Ahmar (Red Card) was the first film I’d seen from the UAE and made me realize how often people in that country marry their first cousins (yikes!). Watching The Gentlemen’s League has led me to watch much more Korean content on Netflix, including food shows.

2023 Best Soccer Films:

Here are this year’s top 8 soccer shows that I rated as 9 or 10:

Oscar statue
  • Super League: The War for Football (2023 series) – Jeff Zimbalist’s detailed explanation and recreation of the whys and wherefores of the evil European Super League.
  • Ted Lasso (2023 series season 3) – the final season of the show that redefined soccer for Americans.
  • King Otto (2021) – how mixing Greek and German attitudes won the 2004 Euros.
  • Forever (2023) – one of the most authentic soccer dramas I have seen. Great for young adult viewing.
  • Super Greed (2022) – Fulwell73’s emotional take on the evil European Super League
  • Dangerous Play (Jugada Peligrosa) (2022) – a fascinating Argentinian view of the effect of Colombian narco-futbol on the refereeing of the 1989 Copa Libertadores.
  • The Men who Sold the World Cup (2021 series) – detailed explanation of how Sepp Blatter’s FIFA mafiosa was simply organized crime.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson – Never Give In (2021) – explains “Football? Bloody hell!” and ManU’s never give in mentality.

2023 Worst Soccer Films:


The 2 worst soccer movies I saw this past year:

  • Senzo (2022 series) – a howler of a docuseries about a murdered GK in South Africa but the murder is still unsolved.
  • The Hand of God (2021) – distasteful and demeaning of females of every age.

Soccer Movies reviewed in 2023

This table lists all the football films reviewed this year. Within a numerical Rating, movies are sorted by release year and then by title.

A Winning Team62023romanceCanada, Asian
The Queenstown Kings62023dramaSouth Africa
Super League: The War for Football102023docuseriesUSA,British
Angel City72023docuseriesUSA
Messi Meets America72023docuseriesUSA
La hija de dios62023docuseriesHBO,ARG
Higuita: The Way of the Scorpion82023docuURU,Colombia
That Peter Crouch Film72023docuBritish
Ted Lasso season 3102023comedy,seriesUSA, British
Headless Chickens72023comedy,seriesSpain
The Outcasts (El Matareed)72023comedyEgypt
Goles en contra (The Final Score)62022drama,seriesColombia
High Expectations62022dramaUSA
Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star42022docuseriesAfrica
Super Greed92022docuBritish
Dangerous Play (Jugada Peligrosa)92022docuARG,Colombia
Truth be Told82022docuUSA ESPN60
Hugo Sanchez: El Gol y la Gloria52022docuMEX
The Hand of God42021dramaITA
The Men who Sold the World Cup92021docuseriesUSA,British
King Otto102021docuUSA,Greece
Sir Alex Ferguson – Never Give In92021docuBritish
Equal Playing Field82021docuENG
Hood River72021docuUSA
The Sisters of ’9662021docuUSA
Soccergate (Footballgate)52021docuUSA,ITA
La Foquita: El 10 de la Calle82020drama,kidsPeru
Pro in Africa (Pojkdrömmen)82020docuSwedish
Made in Senegal82020docuGER,Africa
Football Fans: Under Their Skin82020docuBritish
The End of the Storm82020docuBritish
What killed Maradona?62020docuBritish
Khartoum Offside62019docuAfrica
Ultras of Egypt82018docuNED,Egypt
The Champions82018comedy,seriesUSA
The Ultimate Goal62017docuUSA
Red Card52017comedyUAE
Black and White Stripes: the Juventus Story62016docuUSA,ITA
Pretty Tough72011drama,kidsUSA
Soccer Shrines62010docuseriesCanada
Go Now71995drama,comedyBritish

This table is implemented via Tobias Bäthge’s Tablepress plugin.