Cinema | Top-5 films do not feature soccer on the Sly

5. Fever Pitch (UK, 1997), dir. David Evans.

Others we considered were two comedies: Gregory’s Girl (UK, 1981) and Männer wie wir (Guys and Balls; Germany, 2004). But, in truth, with soccer films as perhaps with all sports features, the menu of quality entries is slight. Again, however, we do not have access to Marañón’s film library, and the list could be greatly expanded with documentaries, which seems to be the best milieu for treating the sport.

We did get to thinking of the films that would comprise our worst five, and we list them here. Names of directors have been withheld to save embarrassment.

5. The Miracle Match (also titled The Game of Their Lives; USA, 2005). Patrick Stewart may still be cursing his agent—in iambic pentameter, of course.

4. Victory (USA, 1981). Stallone appeared at an Everton match in January, but did anyone ask if he remembers where a goalkeeper should stand on corner kicks?

3. She’s the Man (USA, 2006). We rapidly lost faith during the opening credit sequence and only lasted five more minutes before motioning for a substitute.

2. Real, la pelí­cula (Real: The Movie; Spain, 2005). Its only merit is a brief conversation with Zinédine Zidane concerning technical points of his 2002 Champions League–winning goal. But after a private screening at the Bernabéu, Zidane skirts past the interviewers with a troubled look, his artistic sensibilities forever compromised.

1. Pilkarski poker (Soccer Poker; Poland, 1989). Incredibly, one can rent this DVD via Netflix, despite the pornographic elements and jumbled exposition, akin to watching an old movie with the reels screened in the wrong order. A cameo from Zbigniew Brzezinski would have been a plus.

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