The Best Soccer Documentaries on Netflix

When it comes to keeping you entertained, Netflix really ticks all the boxes.

Whether you want to watch films or TV shows, documentaries or dramas, it has something for you. Fancy binge-watching 10 episodes of a show? There’s plenty for you to go at. Interested in some real-life crime stories? You’ll rarely run out of something to keep you amused on Netflix.

As we move through the summer, you may want to have your fill of soccer documentaries. For the first time since 2014, the US is interested in the World Cup; our men’s team has qualified for this winter’s competition in Qatar and shares a group with England, Iran, and Wales. Under coach Gregg Berhalter, the team qualified with a game to spare, and their involvement is likely to give soccer a boost in the arm with US sports fans.

If you’re likely to follow the team this winter, but need to brush up on soccer culture, then Netflix has plenty to offer you. They’re got documentaries that cover the greatest league, teams and players in the world, past and present. So settle back onto the couch, put on your soccer jersey and relax with one of these excellent Netflix presentations.

Sunderland ‘Til I Die

In world football terms, Sunderland FC is not a big name. However, their documentary is a must-watch for US soccer fans, who perhaps don’t understand the full pain of promotion and relegation for big clubs. Think about it: nothing would happen if the Detroit Lions were to be relegated after finishing bottom of their league. If a soccer team finishes bottom, they drop out of the division in England. It happened twice to Sunderland, and a team used to facing Manchester United in front of 70,000 fans was demoted twice and found themselves playing Accrington Stanley in front of fewer than 3,000. This two series documentary covers their double-relegation and attempts to bounce back. Sadly for viewers, the cameras had left before their promotion this summer.

Anelka: Misunderstood

Nicolas Anelka was known as ‘Le Sulk’ according to Planet Football, mainly for his frequent tantrums. He was also an exceptional soccer player. Currently, Arsenal is not one of the favorites with Coral to lift the Premier League title, but with Anelka in the team, they topped the table. Chelsea is another not in the current top two in England, but when Anelka played for them, they too won the title. He won trophies in Italy, Spain, and Turkey and lifted a European Championship with France. In this engaging show, he defies his stereotype, coming across as likeable and charismatic. It’s a fascinating insight into the personality of a divisive and talented figure.

Boca Juniors Confidential

England may think it invented football, Europe may think it has the best leagues, but nothing can quite come close to South America when it comes to fervor, passion, and madness. Like Sunderland ‘Til I Die, this series follows one club, Boca Juniors, as they navigate their 2017/18 season. If you’re looking for a contrast in culture and attitudes, watching the two back-to-back will provide it. Argentine soccer is colorful, and that’s perfectly captured here. The everyday trials and tribulations of a soccer club are juxtaposed with some of the most vibrant and committed supporters anywhere on the planet. To get a full flavor of why a World Cup is so interesting, you must experience a typical season in Argentina and compare it to MLS or England. Only then do you understand the melting pot of culture that makes soccer so appealing.