In the United States, we call it soccer, although practically everywhere else around the globe, what is also known as the ‘beautiful game’ is usually referred to as football. One thing that is never questioned, is whichever term we might prefer to use, football or soccer is the most popular sport anywhere on the face of our planet.
This will be clear for everyone to see when the 2022 FIFA World Cup begins in Qatar, the first Middle East country ever to host the tournament. Millions of people are already searching to find the top betting sites internationally, making SBO a great place to start via their guides covering every country, highlighting where the best odds and promotions can be found.
Brazil is currently tipped as favorites to win the World Cup this year, closely followed by the challenges of reigning champions France, along with hopes for glory from Argentina and England. As the most practiced truly international sport, soccer has inevitably become the theme for numerous movies. These are some of the most inspirational we can watch, ahead of the upcoming tournament.
Looking For Eric (2009)
One that fans of Manchester United and France will enjoy, Looking For Eric actually seems rather a dour and quite depressing drama from the offset, following the misfortunes of protagonist Eric Bishop, an unfortunate man whose life seems to be falling apart. His wife has left, his kids ignore him, his job prospects are uncertain, then a car crash just adds to his woes.
Then one night a vision begins to change his entire outlook on life when his favorite Manchester United player appears. This is none other than Eric Cantona who amusingly plays himself throughout the movie, the soccer idol appearing in further visions and offering unquestionably sage advice, as Eric Bishop steadily begins to turn his life around.
Cantona has actually become a moderately successful artist and actor, since hanging up his football boots. Interestingly, he never played at a World Cup with France, despite being revered as one of the greatest players to have appeared in the English Premier League, and to have donned the famous red shirt of Manchester United.
Escape to Victory (1981)
Often hailed as one of the greatest fictional soccer movies ever made, Escape to Victory is actually based loosely on a complex true story, when former players from Nazi occupied Ukraine played against German teams. Nevertheless, in the cinematic version the protagonists are Allied prisoners of war, planning an ambitious escape from the clutch of their German captors.
Michael Caine leads a stellar cast as Captain John Colby, tasked with getting his team of players together, while Sylvester Stallone features as goalkeeper Captain Robert Hatch, mostly focused on hatching the plan to escape if you’ll excuse the pun. But what sets this movie apart is the genuine football talent, as most of the players are actually played by iconic former professionals.
One of the biggest names of all is Brazilian legend Pele, who produces one of the most spectacular scenes of the movie with an overhead kick, while England’s 1966 World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore is the rock in defense. In fact, fans of European soccer from the 1960’s through to the early 1980’s will recognize many familiar football faces, making this production a genuine treat.
The Game of Their Lives (2005)
Back at the top of this article, we mentioned how ‘soccer’ and ‘football’ are used in different countries, particularly when comparing how the game is discussed in the United States or England. Well, this concluding movie features those two same countries, producing what many people believe to be the biggest shock in World Cup history.
The United States were massive underdogs at the 1950 World Cup, when they came up against England in the group stage. This was a period when the English were entering the tournament finals for the first time, having previously considered their ‘Home Nations Championship’ more important, which featured Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.
Beautifully capturing the story surrounding the 1950 American team, The Game of Their Lives highlights the essence of what made their 1-0 win such a memorable achievement. While their English counterparts were some of the most famous players in the world, the US team was filled with amateurs and part-timers, making this victory all the more worthy of praise. Given the USA face England again at the 2022 World Cup, the timing to watch this couldn’t be better.
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