Published: 6th July 2021

Football fever: 10 films to watch before the footy

Looking for a film to watch with your football-obsessed friend?

We've rounded up some top Football films - from documentaries, dramas and all time classics - there's something for everyone. Even if you're not a fan of the beautiful game!

The Unbeatables

mild slapstick violence, threat, very mild bad language

The Unbeatables is an animated feature about a young boy who sees the tin players on his table football game come to life when their local town is threatened by a villainous football superstar.


Violence is slapstick and comic - for example there is occasional sight of players being hit in the groin by footballs. In one scene a young boy is whacked in the face by a little girl during an argument.


In one extended sequence characters try to escape from an industrial grinder, and in another scene a character is scared when he realises that what he thought was a flirtatious arm around him is actually a rat's tail. The rat screams at him and then pulls him and his fellow football player though a rubbish tip, with items of junk crashing around them and threatening to crush them.


In one scene a bullying young boy refers to a statue in a park as an 'old git', while other language includes a use of 'god'.

There is some very mild innuendo. After one football match a female player begins to take off her shirt to swap it with another player, but she is stopped by the other players.

Early Man

infrequent mild bad language, threat

Early Man is an animated comedy in which a caveman tribe must learn to play football in order to regain their homeland from a conquering civilisation.


There is infrequent use of mild bad language ('crap'), as well as milder terms such as 'screw up'.


The cavemen are attacked by armoured mammoths and a giant, fanged duck. A meteor strikes the Earth causing destruction. These moments of threat are brief and punctuated by comedy.

There is very mild comic violence. Attackers fire arrows and throw spears, but without causing injury.

There is very mild innuendo, and comic rear nudity.

There is very mild rude humour: a character is hit by a huge bird dropping.


infrequent mild bad language

Ronaldo is a documentary about the life and career of soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.


There is infrequent mild bad language, including a use of 'balls'.

Other issues include references to Ronaldo's father being a heavy drinker who died of cirrhosis of the liver, and the fact that Ronaldo's birth was unplanned. His mother says: 'He was the child I wanted to abort. God didn't want that to happen'.


mild bad language

Messi is a Spanish documentary about the Argentinian footballer, Lionel Messi.


There is use of mild bad language (eg 'bloody', 'crap').


Bend It Like Beckham

Bend It Like Beckham is a British comedy, from 2002, in which the daughter of conservative Sikh parents joins a local football club.


There is moderate bad language, including uses of 'bitch', 'wanker' and 'slag'. Other language includes milder terms such as 'bloody', 'bollocks' and 'Jesus'. There is also discriminatory language including terms such as 'paki' and 'dyke'.


There are references to 'shagging' and 'sleeping with' people. It is implied a couple have sex in a car. There are also comic references to body parts, including breasts and testicles.

Discrimination occurs when a British Asian woman is called a 'paki' and also when a woman's mother believes her daughter to be a lesbian. The film as a whole clearly condones such attitudes. There is mild violence and brief injury detail.

Diego Maradona

infrequent strong language, nudity, bloody detail, drug references

Diego Maradona is a biographical documentary about the Argentine footballer's period at Napoli.


There is infrequent use of strong language, including a scene in which Maradona teaches his young daughter to say 'f**k Juventus and f**k Milan'.


There is a brief scene in which Maradona interacts with a pin-up poster of a model whose bare breasts and pubic hair are visible. There is also some fleetingly seen footage shot in a strip club, which includes profile nudity.

Injury detail

There is brief sight of the bloodied body of a murdered man inside a car.


There are extensive verbal references to Maradona's use of cocaine and the ways in which it adversely affected his life and career.

There are some references to prostitutes and crude references such as football supporters taunting rivals, saying they'd have to 'sell their asses'.

Sixty Six

Contains strong language and moderate sex references

A boy's barmitzvah looks set to be a disaster when it coincides with the 1966 World Cup Final.

The Damned United

Contains strong language

The Damned United is a biopic concerning Brian Clough’s career in football management from shortly after his arrival at Derby County in 1967 until his acrimonious departure from Leeds United in 1974.


There are several uses of strong language ('f**k').

There is also some sporting violence, which includes heavy tackles, fouls, and fights during football matches.


strong sex references, sex, language

Mario is a Swiss drama in which two young footballers on the same team are forced to deal with the consequences of their relationship being revealed.


There are scenes featuring implied masturbation, an image of a dildo attached to a piece of clothing and verbal references to oral sex.


There is strong language ('f**k', 'c**ksucker').

There is homophobic language in the context of a narrative about a gay relationship being disapproved of, but the film does not endorse discriminatory behaviour.

Next Goal Wins

strong language

Next Goal Wins is a documentary about the American Samoan football team, following their progress under a new coach.


Occasional use of strong language ('f**k'), as well as some milder bad language ('shit', 'ass').

The film also contains infrequent mild sex references, and references to a man's daughter having been killed in a car crash.