World Cup Fever: Top 10 Football Movies

World Cup fever is upon us as we enter the knock stages and England are still in, well granted we haven’t played our game yet. That of course takes place tonight at 7pm against the mighty Columbia. That got us thinking what are the top 10 best football movies and then we realised that there aren’t actually many good ones and therefore we decided to remove the ‘Best’ label and simply call this feature Top 10 Football Movies.

There are no documentaries these are all fiction, some of these films will of course be familiar whilst many except to the most diehard football fans will not and with good reason. Anyway as the clock ticks down to the England v Columbia kick-off we also count down with our World Cup supplement, enjoy!

Top 10 Football Movies

10. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

Starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley this is the story of Jess Bhamra an aspiring footballer that goes against the wishes of her British-Indian family’s wishes and plays for the local women’s team.

9. Fever Pitch (1997)

The film is based on Fever Pitch: A Fan’s Life by Nick Hornby and Hornby actually provides the screenplay.  Colin Firth plays Paul Ashworth an Arsenal obsessed fan that struggles to juggle football and his romantic relationships.

8. The Football Factory (2004)

Starring Danny Dyer as Tommy Johnson a member of a violent Chelsea hooligan firm. This is a look into the dark side of football, hooliganism. Expect plenty of violence and bad language and generally poor acting.

7. There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble (2000)

15 year old Jimmy Grimble dreams of playing for his beloved Manchester City but struggles to express himself. With a lot of things happening at home will he ever find the confidence to achieve his goal? Keep an eye out for Robert Carlyle as the school football coach.

6. Mean Machine (2001)

Vinnie Jones plays Danny “The Mean Machine” Meehan the former England captain that finds himself sentenced to three years imprisonment for assaulting two police officers. Once inside the prison governor offers him the chance to coach the prison warden team which he refuses instead opting to coach a team of fellow inmates.

Keep an eye out for both Jason Statham and Danny Dyer.

5. I.D (1995)

Reece Dinsdale plays a police officer that is sent undercover to infiltrate a violent football firm. However once he has become a trusted member of the firm he finds himself actually enjoying his assignment which puts his relationship with his wife under a lot of strain. Is he in too deep?

4. Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001)

Ricky Tomlinson plays Mike Bassett a man tasked with qualifying England for the World Cup in Brazil. It’s a comedy film that plays heavily on those football stereotypes and clichés.

3. When Saturday Comes (1996)

Sean Bean plays factory worker Jimmy Muir that is scouted by non-league side Hall F.C. Following several impressive displays he is later scouted by big club Sheffield United, but will Jimmy be able to break away from his working class drinking culture and make it as a professional footballer.

2. Escape to Victory (1981)

Escape to Victory is the story of Allied prisoners of war during the Second World War that are given the chance to take on the German team in an exhibition game. However the POW’s use the game as a way to escape but what about the match surely they can’t let the Germans win. That’s exactly the dilemma the team faces, will they choose to flee or to win the match?

Here are just a few of those actors and real life footballers that appear in Escape to Victory:


  • Michael Caine
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Max von Sydow


  • Pelé
  • Bobby Moore
  • Osvaldo Ardiles
  • Russell Osman
  • John Wark
  • Mike Summerbee

1. The Damned United (2009)

Michael Sheen puts in a truly outstanding performance as one of English football’s most iconic manager, Brian Clough. The film shows his rise to the top and his ill-fated appointment as manager of Leeds United with lasted just 44 days. This really is one the very best football films ever made which is why we have placed it at number one.

Hopefully you have found this look into our Top 10 Football Movies interesting and who knows depending upon the results you may want to consider watching a few over the course of the World Cup, after all World Cup fever may just be about to hit this football mad country.

What Do You Think?