The inner workings of a sport are mostly a closed off matter these days. Fans and onlookers have to speculate on what is going on behind-the-scenes. A change was brought by Manchester United CEO Richard Arnold meeting fans at a pub to discuss transfer plans.
Those are the impromptu plans that happen once in a blue moon. The wider coverage of access is provided in the new-age documentaries and docuseries.
A new documentary looking at Argentina’s Copa America 2021 triumph is set to hit screens soon!
Netflix and Amazon Prime have been the leaders in this market, focusing on players and clubs alike. Of course, some have gotten more fame than others, but all of them remain truly special.
With an array of options to choose from, it could be hard for viewers to know which are truly the best ones and which just glorify entities. Therefore, FootTheBall ranks the best football documentaries to watch right now.
All or Nothing: Arsenal (Amazon Prime)
The latest instalment in the All or Nothing series is All or Nothing: Arsenal and it might be the best one yet. A camera follows Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal as they navigate through a COVID-stricken 2021-22 campaign.
There’s an interesting peek into Mikel Arteta’s psyche as his team talks before and after the game are covered extensively. Moreover, the season was full of drama and tension. It contained a calamitous start to the season, with Arsenal losing their first three games, some exhilarating derby wins, the sacking of the captain Aubayemang and a close brush with UCL places only to fall short. This one is quickly becoming the best football documentary to watch for football fans, regardless of where their club loyalties lie.
Inside Borussia Dortmund (Amazon Prime)
The 2018-19 Bundesliga season was one of the closest in recent years. Of course, Bayern Munich won the title, but Borussia Dortmund came mighty close. Only two points separated the big rivals. Luckily for fans and enthusiasts, it was all covered in this docuseries on Amazon.
🎥 Borussia Dortmund will soon be featured in a documentary series on Amazon Prime after a camera team followed the club this season. Dortmund will receive €5m from Amazon. #BVB pic.twitter.com/NziYrt25as
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) May 20, 2019
There was heavy coverage with all the important figures at the club, and even a surprise cameo from Jurgen Klopp. Dortmund are one of the most beloved clubs in the world, meaning the inner workings are always interesting. There was an in-depth look at how the fans prepared themselves, and the Yellow Wall.
Viewers also got to realize how close the club came to financial ruin in the 2000s. Moreover, it was also great to see fan favourite Marco Reus return from injuries and put in the work. The series has losses and victories, meaning there is an emotional rollercoaster involved.
All or Nothing: Juventus (Amazon Prime)
A unique season in the recent history of Juventus. Andrea Pirlo’s appointment in 2020 as manager was a big surprise, and there were massive doubts as to how he would fare.
Former Juventus star Paul Pogba’s own ‘Pogmentary’ was a glorifying film if nothing else
The season was different in a lot of ways, with longtime manager Max Allegri leaving, and the influx of new players. Meanwhile, the other contenders for the Serie A title had gotten stronger, meaning Juventus had to be on their guard.
𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝗢𝗿 𝗡𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴: 𝗝𝘂𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘂𝘀 ⚫️⚪
— JuventusFC 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@juventusfcen) February 23, 2021
The docuseries explored the relationship between the various clubs and the fans in the city and around Italy. There is real excitement before match days, and Juventus function as a true unit. Moreover, there is also the spectre of locker room footage from big matches.
However, the season would be a far cry from the successes of old. Juventus struggled for much of the season, eventually finishing in fourth place. Moreover, they were also knocked out of the Champions League by Porto.
Giorgio Chiellini's reaction to ranch on pizza 😂🍕
(via All or Nothing: Juventus) pic.twitter.com/LxepBTqFdK
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 25, 2021
Though Pirlo guided the team to two trophies, the Italian Super Cup and Coppa Italia, it was an underwhelming return. Viewers also witnessed the initial talks of the European Super League from one of its founders, Andrea Agnelli. Pirlo was let go and Cristiano Ronaldo left the following season.
Take Us Home: Leeds United (Amazon Prime and ESPN)
A battle cry for the Leeds fans as they attempted to make their way back to the Premier League. Leeds United were famed for their European exploits in the early 2000s but had spent more than a decade in the second division. However, the appointment of Marcelo Bielsa was seen as the turning point for a club mired in underachievement.
The 2018-19 season began with extreme optimism as the club spent most of the weeks in the top two spots. There are conversations with every influential figure at the club, including a lengthy interview with Bielsa himself.
The Peacocks‘ form hits a tailspin in the final few weeks, meaning they had to settle for a playoff spot. However, they lost out to Derby County in the semis, meaning another season in the second tier. Thankfully, the cameras were kept rolling as the fans banded together in order to spur their team on.
Take Us Home, Season 2 🎥
— The City Talking (@thecitytalking) September 17, 2020
The 2019-20 campaign was a grand success, even while being stopped by the coronavirus pandemic. Leeds were crowned champions and took their place in the Premier League for the first time in 16 years. Bielsa was heralded as a hero and the players as warriors with fans getting full value.
All or Nothing: Manchester City (Amazon Prime)
The first docuseries in the line of All or Nothing franchise. Amazon picked a perfect season in 2017-18, which worked out brilliantly for both parties.
Having finished third in 2016-17, Pep Guardiola and City were gunning to set things straight. The eight episodes follow the Catalan manager and his array of tactics in heavy detail, as the season gathers pace.
All or Nothing: Manchester City has been nominated for the best Factual Entertainment award in the UK's National Television Awards!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 18, 2018
City trample opponents week in and week out. It is clear that they are going to end up as Premier League winners.
However, hurdles crop up in the Champions League, as violent scenes before their clash against Liverpool make for a sombre mood. The Reds get the better of the Cityzens. However, solace arrives in the form of winning the Carabao Cup.
EVEN MORE All or Nothing: Manchester City!
Cityzens exclusive bonus scenes!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 17, 2018
Finally, Manchester City end up winning the title and smashing several records along the way. They became the first team to end up with 100 points and have the earliest confirmed win.
Moreover, they also had the most goals and most away wins. However, there was some controversy regarding the access of cameras, but all worked out in the end.
Sunderland ‘Til I Die (Netflix)
One of the most fascinating deep coverage sports documentaries that truly talks about emotions and loss. Produced by the Fulwell 73, the name itself is a tribute to Sunderland fans and a stand of the club’s old Roker Stadium. The series has two seasons, which chart the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons respectively.
Sunderland ’Til I Die (2 seasons)
Everything was in place for this to be a tale of redemption. It *may* not have worked out that way, but if you ever wanted to see what a football club means to a city, watch the opening scenes of the first episode. ⚪️🔴 pic.twitter.com/S9e5pjTRgC
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) April 24, 2020
The former was the first season in the Championship after the club were relegated. It was a disastrous affair, as there were no finances, two managers, and an absent owner.
Fans had to suffer through the steep fall, as the club lost 23 games to suffer another relegation. The following season was the club’s journey through the third tier, which brought a new series of problems.
So starved of Football, am watching Sunderland ‘Til I Die cheering every single goal with full throated roars and occasional tears of joy even tho I know it all ends in Doom 🙌😢 pic.twitter.com/Y0l32DOaFs
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) April 11, 2020
The owners clashed with agents and fans, leading to players leaving and even thankful for getting benched. The full value of the docuseries is felt through a deep score, and the fact that there was unfiltered coverage. Moreover, the fact that supporters were losing hope, having tasted the riches of the top-flight makes it more haunting.
The most controversial documentary football fans will find out there. Netflix has put up a film that has focused on the damaging allegations put on the world’s biggest football federation.
Last year, the Department of Justice said for the first time that officials working directly for Russia’s 2018 bid and Qatar’s 2022 bid bribed FIFA officials in exchange for their votes. It covers the most unseemly moments in the past decade or so, including the bids to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
*This article is sponsored by Tech Mahindra’s sports vertical. India’s only Formula E Championship participant, Mahindra Racing has appointed the IT consultation and business services provider, Tech Mahindra as the digital transformation partner of the greenest racing brand in the tournament on the opening day of Formula E – Season 8.