Netflix is the water of life, as the old saying goes. Chances are you’re probably watching something on Netflix right now, either to fill the cold, painful silence in your life or because while you were at work earlier you remembered that time Joey made the Olsen twins say something cute and you just had to watch it again.
Remember the local news? Repeats of Seinfeld on TBS? Those weird shows where people who aren’t judges judge disputes? Yeah, me neither.
In addition to being the world’s leading Arrested Development repository, Netflix has a host of other movies and shows. Among them are several that have soccer (or “football” if you like, it’s what we call a “synonym” in the wordmaking biz) at the center of their stories. You’ve probably seen a list of soccer documentaries somewhere before, and sure enough, Netflix does currently have several of the excellent 30 for 30 docs that revolved around the beautiful game. There’s The Two Escobars, Hillsborough, and White, Blue and White, all of which are expertly crafted.
But here at Paste, we’ve decided to go off the beaten path and highlight a few of Netflix soccer offerings that don’t get the benefit of the ESPN platform. We’ve sprinkled in a few movies, a TV show or two, and couple of documentaries—enough to make for healthy binge watch that will tax your limbic system to its limits. We don’t vouch for the quality of these selections, we’re just here to highlight the soccer.
1 of 7
Club de Cuervos
A Spanish language series produced by Netflix, Club de Cuervos is the show about a lazy playboy who inherits a soccer club from his dad and must learn to run it with his overachieving sister that we never knew we always wanted. Note for English-only viewers: You'll have to read the captions.
2 of 7
Netflix says this movie is "heartfelt", whatever that might mean. It features Brian Cox as Sir Matt Busby, the former manager of Manchester United, who comes out of retirement to coach a team of young ruffians in a local cup or something. Supposedly this is "inspired by true events", although no one seems to have a record of this actually happening.
3 of 7
Green Street Hooligans: Undefeated (Underground?)
There seems to be confusion as to the actual name of this one (Netflix uses both), but it looks like Step Up: The Streets, but for hooligan flicks. Or maybe it's more like Grease 2 or one of the sequels to Jaws that most of us pretend didn't happen. We're not even sure if this is the second Green Street or the third Green Street, but we are sure it's basically Fight Club with football added in.
4 of 7
Next Goal Wins
This one, a documentary about the national team of American Samoa, is heartily recommended. Coached by former NASL player and MLS head coach Thomas Rongen, American Samoa was once the worst team in the world and suffered through 30 straight defeats. The movie follows the teams as chase the dream of World Cup qualification.
5 of 7
The Soccer Nanny
Okay, so this doesn't even look like it falls into the "so bad it's good" category, but it does have Traci Lords in a lead role as a recently widowed rancher and mother of two who calls on the services of an ex-soccer player to by a nanny for her two boys. Traci Lords! If you don't understand the...uh...excitement (maybe not the best choice of word), then don't worry about it. Nothing to see here. Don't google Traci Lords or anything.
6 of 7
Damn right we put the FIFA movie on the list! The terrible, terrible film meant to glamorize the administration of soccer and funded by FIFA itself set a record for lowest box office return in the history of the American cinema. Sounds about right. Sepp Blatter probably watches this in his bathrobe while drinking brandy and eating pistachios.
7 of 7
Good Old Boys (Viejos Amigos)
Good Old Boys is a Spanish-language film that centers around the death of an ardent soccer fan and his best friends' quest to return his ashes to his hometown just as the biggest match of the year is being played. We're picturing Grumpy Old Men but with more soccer balls flying about and hitting people in hilarious places. Oh, and did we mention that the friends stole the ashes? Now that's hardcore.