Moore, Maradona and money: The 6 best World Cup documentaries to watch right now

From the greatest goals and the biggest controversies to what makes a world champion team, we look at the best World Cup documentaries to stream today.

By Alex Williams Published: 25 November 2022 - 11.05am
AMA/Corbis/Getty Sepp Blatter

Twelve years after it controversially won the rights to host the tournament, Qatar's World Cup is under way, bringing us 28 days of wall-to-wall football from the Gulf state.

During the group stage, you can watch matches on BBC and ITV from 10am until 9pm, but if you're still in need of a football fix after the final final whistle of the day has blown, there are a host of fascinating films and documentaries available to watch on catch-up and on demand services. 

From investigations into FIFA’s corruption to previous winners breaking down how to win the World Cup, view our pick of the soccer docs to watch across Netflix, Prime Video, iPlayer and Channel 4.

FIFA Uncovered

This four-part docuseries explores the scandals within FIFA and how executives were corrupted and motivated by their own financial gain before being unmasked by one of the largest corruption cases in the world in 2015.

Fifa Uncovered explores the very beginnings of FIFA, from a humble non-profit organisation in 1904, through the era of the commercialisation of the World Cup under president Joao Havelange, to the global political and financial powerhouse it became under disgraced ex-president Sepp Blatter.

The controversial Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cup bids are also heavily investigated, with people on both sides of the story asked for their opinions, including Blatter and Hassan Al-Thawadi, who led Qatar’s bid and still denies any wrongdoing.

FIFA Uncovered is available to watch on Netflix

Captains

Captains follows six national captains desperate to gain World Cup qualification to Qatar for their countries and shows the pressure and stakes that a qualification spot can have not only on the players but on the whole nation.

Household names including Brazil's Thiago Silva and Gabon's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang feature in the eight-episode series alongside lesser-known skippers like Vanuatu's Brian Kaltak and Jamaica's Andre Blake, but all have the same goal - to reach the 2022 World Cup finals.

Captains is available to watch on Netflix

Gold stars: Story of World Cup Tournaments

This Netflix docuseries features a collection of archival footage of the greatest moments from World Cups throughout the years.

Whether you fancy a trip down memory lane to relive some of the greatest goals, the best moments or the most notorious controversies - all three featuring a certain Diego Maradona - Gold Stars: Story of World Cup Tournaments is a great way addition to your World Cup schedule.

Gold stars: Story of World Cup Tournaments is available to watch on Netflix

Bobby

Corbis via Getty Images

Bobby is a fascinating look into the life and career of England's World Cup-winning captain, Bobby Moore.

As well as offering yet another account of the 1966 triumph under Sir Alf Ramsey, this documentary also explores the aftermath of this win, including Moore’s highs as an East End hero and later his tragic lows, including his inexplicable rejection from English football and the cancer which sadly claimed his life aged just 51 in 1993.

This surprisingly moving story follows Moore from being England’s golden boy to driving up and down the country to make a living commentating on games.

Bobby is available to watch on Prime Video

How to Win The World Cup

How to win The World Cup offers a brilliant insight into the mindset of the last three World Cup-winning teams from some of the Spanish, German and French players and coaches themselves.

Manuel Neuer, Andres Iniesta, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Olivier Giroud are just a few of the global superstars that appear in this documentary. The programme uses behind-the-scenes footage and sits down with the players and managers to establish how they became world champions.

Expect captivating insights into the tactics of the teams as some of the greatest players ever to have played the game try to answer the million-dollar question - how do you win the World Cup?

How to Win The World Cup is available to watch on BBC iPlayer

Italia 90: When Football Changed Forever

Billy Stickland/INPHO via Getty Images

Gazza’s tears anyone? Italia 90 was the most watched World Cup ever and before the tournament all eyes were on England, and the hooliganism reputation that preceded them off the pitch rather than their talent on it.

In the end it became England's most successful World Cup since 1966, and this three-part series looks at how this World Cup turned into a watershed moment for English football.

The three-part series talks to star players like John Barnes and Paul Gascoigne as well as the police officers and others involved about the feared crowd trouble which saw England's early matches being scheduled away from the Italian mainland as well as the Three Lions' historic run to the semi-final.

Italia 90: When Football Changed Forever is available to watch on All 4