Thursday, October 20, 2011

List: 5 Favourite Football (Soccer) Movies

I don't have a crystal ball but I do know what my immediate future holds for me. Starting this weekend and up to a month or so I will morph into an insomniac zombie. I will be deprived of sleep, food, or any other normal activities (including watching movies). For this weekend marks the release of FOOTBALL MANAGER 2012!!! Yes, I am terribly addicted/obsessed with the simulation (see, I even call it simulation, not game... talk about obsessed) to the point that it becomes bad for my health (and work). I remember a sequence of: *staying up for 29 hours-4 hours sleep-stay up 22 hours-5 hours sleep-stay up 19 hours*. And with very little food too. So, a couple of years ago I vowed to limit myself playing only a little over a month each year (a VERY packed month nevertheless). So, to keep the theme running, I've decided to come up with my list of favourite footie movies. Yup, I call it football not soccer.

I've also just noticed that all the movies that made my top 5 are not Hollywood productions. Well no surprise there actually. Seeing that the US has never fully embraced The Beautiful Game, so how can we expect them to make a decent movie regarding the sport. Heck not only did they make some awful movies but they also couldn't get the rules even close to being right like that mega-disaster known as Soccer Dog [1998]. And Hollywood actually made a sequel too!! I believe the most expensive football movie ever made was Goal! [2005] and that in the end was only half-decent of a movie. On to the list now:

#5 Shaolin Soccer [2001]

Image by chinaguy16@deviantart
This probably marks the start of much more modern/big-budgeted/CGI-filled movies from Stephen Chow but he still manages to keep that trademark goofiness and silliness that we all love.

Selected Quote (translated): "I want to say hello to my parents and my Kung-Fu master, but they're all dead".

#4 The Cup [1999]


Tells the story of young Tibetan monks and their quest to watch the 1998 World Cup final. The story of their lives inside the monastery is both amusing and interesting as it shows monks too have a sense of humour just like everybody else.

Selected Quote (translated): "Do you know why we monks shave our heads? So girls will think we're ugly. But it doesn't help. They're so painfully beautiful. Its not fair".

#3 The Damned United [2009]


To the current generation of football fans, Jose Mourinho is the ultimate celebrity-manager. Successful, arrogant, intelligent, smooth-talking, charismatic, and controversial. But there was in fact someone before him with very similar attributes, and his name was Brian Clough.

Selected Quote: "I wouldn't say I'm the top manager in the country. But I'm in the top one".

#2 Mike Basset: England Manager [2001]


An absolutely hilarious take on English football and the English National Team. Just goes to prove the absurdity of football obsession in England.

Selected Quote: Interviewer: "This must be a very proud moment for you". Mike Basset: "It is. I just wish me dad could see me now. You know... he was like a father figure to me". Interviewer: "Well... obviously!".

#1 Looking For Eric [2009]


Okay, I admit it. I am a devotee of Manchester United, and yes, only Roy Keane surpasses Eric Cantona as my all-time favourite player. But that doesn't change the fact that just like Eric Cantona himself, this is a pretty darn entertaining movie. Ooh! Aah! Cantona! (sorry couldn't resist).

Selected Quote: "I am not a man.... I am Cantona!!"

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