The top 10 soccer movies of all time, ranked!

With the 2022 World Cup coming to a close in Qatar, we have our friends over at Voetbal, that have put together the list of the top 10 ranked soccer movies.

The top 10 soccer movies, ranked by IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes scores

RankingMovie titleRelease yearIMDb score (/10)IMDb score (%)Rotten tomatoes audience score (%)Average rating (%)
1The Damned United20097.575%85%80%
2Shaolin Soccer20017.373%84%79%
3Looking for Eric20097.171%78%74.5%
4Goal! The dream begins20056.767%77%72%
5She’s The Man20066.363%79%71%
6Bend it like Beckham20026.767%73%70%
7Mean Machine20016.464%72%68%
9A Shot at Glory20006.262%65%64%
10Fever Pitch19976.767%59%63

1. The Damned United (2009) – Overall Score 80%

Genre: Drama, Biographical 

It is unsurprising that this film tops our list, The Damned United is a superb sports film that follows the short time that David Clough was Leeds manager in 1974. A high-quality British drama, it is an interesting watch even if you are not an avid soccer fan. With strong direction and a stellar screenplay, this Biographical film comes in first place with an average score of 80%

2. Shaolin Soccer (2001) – Overall score 79%

Genre: Action, Comedy 

Shaolin Soccer is a spirited crowd-pleaser that combines soccer with martial arts, following a group of friends seeking to popularize kung-fu through utilizing their skills whilst playing soccer. Hilarious from beginning to end, this whacky comedy tells the classic sports underdog story in a non-traditional way – scoring it a high average rating of 79%

3. Looking for Eric (2009) – Overall score 74.5%

Looking for Eric is a gritty comedy-drama that centers around the escapism that soccer provides. The plot focuses on the protagonist (Eric Bishop) being coached by imaginary friend and Manchester United legend, Eric Cantona. With the help of Eric Cantona and his daughter, Eric Bishop finally gets his life straightened out. This wistful tale is a story that celebrates the joy that soccer provides, and is an impressive British drama that comes in third place with an overall score of 74.5%. 

4. Goal! The dream begins – Overall score 72%

Genre: Drama

The first instalment of the Goal! trilogy is one of the most popular and admired soccer films of all time. It tells a heartwarming rags to riches tale of a young immigrant living in Los Angeles who is given a chance to play professional football when he is spotted by a Newcastle United scout. With great cinematography and an impressive soundtrack, this triumphant story is a cherished fan favourite with an overall score of 72%.  

5. She’s the Man – Overall score 71%

Genre: Romantic Comedy 

With a modern twist on Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, She’s the Man is a hilarious teen comedy that situates its drama at a high school soccer team. The protagonist of the film, Viola (Amanda Bynes) disguises herself as her brother so she can play on his team after her women’s team gets cancelled. This witty comedy is a fun family favourite, and comes in fifth place with a 71% average rating. 

6. Bend it like Bekham (2002) – Overall score 70%

Genre: Sports-Comedy

The iconic sports-comedy Bend it Like Beckham is an enjoyable watch for the whole family. Starring Kiera Knightley in her breakthrough role, this feel-good movie follows the story of Jess (Parminder Nagra) who dreams of reaching her goals in professional soccer, but this is not quite to the tastes of her traditional South Asian family. Indeed, monthly global google searches for this film are still at a whopping high of 162,000 per month, it seems that this film still peaks audience interest even after twenty years. Full of wonderful comedic moments, romance and unpredictable twists, this movie gets an overall rating of 70% and comes in at 6th place in our list. 

7. Mean Machine (2001) – Overall score 68%

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Mean Machine follows is the adaptation of the 1974 American film The Longest Yard. When Ex-England captain gets sent into jail, he creates a team of the prisoners to play against the guards.It appears that this movie is still a much-loved fan favorite, being searched for 41,000 times per month on Google. Featuring a lively plot with spells of comedy this movie comes in at 7th place with an overall rating of 68%.

8. Gracie (2007) – Overall score 65%

Genre: Drama 

Carly Schroeder executes a great performance as a hard-working underdog as she fights to give women the opportunity to play soccer after she deals with the death of her brother. Since 55,000 people are searching for this film monthly on Google, it is clear that Gracie is still a well-loved soccer movie. With its moving and compelling story of female empowerment, this movie comes in 8th place with an average score of 65%.

9. A Shot at Glory (2000) – Overall Score 64%

Genre: Drama 

An exciting underdog story that tells the story of modern Scottish soccer, A Shot at Glory Stars Academy Award winner Robert Duvall who plays a losing soccer coach that takes a chance on his talented, yet dishonorable son-in-law. With realistic soccer scenes captured and edited in TV broadcast style throughout, any soccer fan can appreciate this classic from the year 2000, landing it in ninth place on our list. 

10. Fever Pitch (1997) – Overall score 63%

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Coming in at number 10 is Fever Pitch, a wonderfully charming romantic comedy that follows Paul (Colin Firth), whose romantic relationship clashes with his obsession for soccer. Although the lowest rated movie on our list, it is a delightful, whole-hearted comedy that you don’t necessarily need to be a soccer fan to enjoy.

All the research on this piece was done over by our friends at Voetbal Travel:


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