Sport and movies have a chequered history together, and football is no exception. For every Escape to Victory there are multiple films that should have been left on the cutting room floor. And then burnt.
So what’s a football fan to do when looking for a film to watch that celebrates the beautiful game in all its glory? Well, hopefully, this infographic will help.
Our friends at the Clubline Football blog put this together to help guide you to the perfect football movie for you. To start, they’ve looked at highest grossing films, just to give you an idea of what films have been successful in the past.
But of course, just because a film has made a lot of money doesn’t mean it’s worth watching. After all, Phantom Menace made about a billion pounds at the box office and no one’s rushing to see that again.
So, they also include a ‘critic choice’ selection that recommends a football movie to match your mood, as well as picking out the best offerings on Netflix.
To finish up the infographic covers those footballers who’ve made the leap onto the silver screen. Sure, you probably knew that Vinnie Jones has carved out a career in Hollywood, but were you also aware of Ian Wright’s attempt at acting? An attempt that was cruelly denied the Oscar it deserved on the minor issue of his crippling lack of acting talent.
The devil was very much in the detail.
Amid the announcement of Canada’s Victor Montagliani being appointed as the leader of CONCACAF’s new dawn following too many years of scandal and disgrace, a development revealed two days previously signalled a real changing of the guard.
Naturally, seeing the Canadian become the first non-Caribbean to hold the post since 1969 was a seismic shift of its own.
No longer is the organisation which effectively governs football in the United States, Mexico and Central America powered by crooks and wrongdoers in the Caribbean.
Jack Warner (below), the notorious Trinidadian, built CONCACAF before shamelessly tearing down its walls from within.
With the FBI’s investigation into the FIFA scandal on-going and involving Jeffrey Webb, Warner’s heir, to have the power base in North America suits authorities.
Yet when it was announced their global sponsorship rights had been flogged to Major League Soccer’s commercial wing Soccer United Marketing (SUM), everything dramatically turned full circle towards the United States.
The SUM deal for CONCACAF rights extends until the end of 2021. In the past, marketing company Traffic Sports, based in Miami but Brazilian owned, had the contract. Millions of dollars were tied in with bribes, back slaps and backhanders.
Former Traffic executive Enrique Sanz was a close confidante of Webb and went on to become his No2. Ever since the FBI raids in Switzerland last May, the business collapsed.
The dodgy links had to be expunged. Though for MLS and commissioner Don Garber to pick up the pieces is a serious – and surprising – coup for the game here.
US Soccer chief Sunil Gulati has been a fervent backer of Montagliani and helped push through the SUM deal – yet, as ever in the murky world of football governance, it has left many within the game questioning its validity.
People in the Caribbean fear a stitch up. Suspicions were already raised when Gordon Derrick, head of the Caribbean Football Union, was barred from running for president having failed an integrity check.
In a year we will have a CONCACAF to be proud of – Victor Montagliani
Caribbean nations have the majority in CONCACAF elections. They wanted Derrick as president.
FIFA clearly wanted the power torn from Warner’s backyard once and for all.
And now this. Imagine the Premier League signing a deal to own the sponsorship rights of the UEFA Champions League. That’s effectively what’s happened with this deal for MLS.
“We think it was a carve up,” a well-placed Caribbean source told Sport360.
“FIFA wanted the crooked North Americans to get a chance after the crooked Caribbean administrators had their go. And FIFA did it in a crooked way.”
Bermuda’s Larry Mussenden, a lawyer who chairs FIFA’s appeals committee, won 16 votes. It wasn’t enough to trump Montagliani’s 25 leaving the path clear for his anointment.
Ever since Webb’s arrest, the organisation, under FIFA’s orders, has been working feverishly to clean up its act. Zero tolerance measures have been brought in to combat corruption. Offices created in the Cayman Islands under Webb’s behest have been closed.
Yet once Montagliani’s feet are firmly under the table, Garber will no doubt be bending his ear about matters on the pitch.
Although a nice idea in principle, a Champions League competition pitting the winners of CONCACAF’s various championships is seen more as an afterthought than something tangible and exciting.
MLS teams moan about their schedules being thrown into disarray so expect a raft of changes moving forward.
“We are confident that SUM’s global network and expertise will play a vital role in negotiating innovative sponsorship opportunities for our tournaments and events,” said CONCACAF acting general secretary Ted Howard.
“The cleaning up will not happen in a couple of days,” said Montagliani.
“In a year we will have a CONCACAF to be proud of.”
With the title long wrapped up and a French Cup final against bitter rivals Marseille to come a week later, the night was all about Ibrahimovic and his quest to break the 37-goal single season PSG record at the Parc des Princes.
Starting the game with 36 goals, the Swedish striker equalled the 1997-98 club record of Argentine Carlos Bianchi in the 18th minute with his 37th of the season.
Ibrahimovic then netted his record 38th a minute from time from Javier Pastore’s cross to end a match-long quest that had looked set to frustrate him.
“I’m feeling very emotional. Today is a very special day after four years together winning lots of trophies,” said Ibrahimovic.
“Thank you ‘Ibracadabra’, these four years will remain in my heart.”
Ibrahimovic said he hoped PSG would keep on winning, adding: “Without Ibra it’s difficult, but it’s possible!”
It was the perfect end to his last match at the Parc in a PSG shirt before leaving for pastures new and he was immediately substituted, but not before his children ran onto the pitch wearing PSG replica shirts bearing the names King and Legend on their backs – a reference to Ibrahimovic’s Friday tweet in announcing his departure:
My last game tomorrow at Parc des Princes. I came like a king, left like a legend pic.twitter.com/OpLL3wzKh0— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) May 13, 2016
If anyone had been in any doubt who the night was about, that was surely dispelled in the 10th minute when the ground as one rose to applaud their talismanic import.
Wearing the number 10 jersey, Ibrahimovic acknowledged the crowd as Nantes obligingly waited patiently for almost a minute before taking a free-kick.
The visiting defence seemed to oblige in more ways than one against a team clearly intent solely on setting up their centre-forward to score.
Ibrahimovic notched his first goal as he played the ball out wide on the right to Angel Di Maria, before sprinting to the back stick where he was able to chest home the Argentine’s cross on his knees from six yards out without a yellow-shirted defender in sight.
If there was one player determined to ruin the party it was Nantes goalkeeper Maxime Dupe, who made a reaction one-handed save to deny a close-range Ibrahimovic flick before then thwarting the big Swede when one-on-one as even the linesman seemed unwilling to spoil the festivities.
PSG’s desire to tee up their stand-in captain for the night took on comic proportions 10 minutes from half-time. When faced with a clear shooting opportunity inside the box, Di Maria wiggled and twisted in trying to find Ibrahimovic rather than strike at goal.
PSG finally switched back into the rich vein that had seen them romp to the title with two months to spare as Ibrahimovic and Di Maria combined to set up Lucas Moura for a simple second two minutes before the break — PSG’s 100th league goal of the season.
PSG notched their third on 52 minutes as Dupe parried a fierce Ibrahimovic free-kick, only for Marquinhos to win a sprint between three home players to tap in the rebound with not a yellow shirt reacting.
Ibrahimovic had a shot deflected behind for a corner as he took on three defenders and Dupe twice dived to his side to beat away shots before the big Swede lifted another chance over the bar as he became increasingly desperate.
But Pastore picked him out with a minute left to the stadium’s delight as Ibrahimovic fulfilled his quest.