Football on the telly…. must-see football documentaries from Super Greed to All or Nothing, Pele and Maradona

We take a look at the best football documentaries, examining all aspects of the beautiful game – from the highs and lows fans experience to iconic players and memorable matches.

By James Descombes Published: 23 March 2022 - 2.37pm

If your team isn’t playing this weekend or you just want to get your football fix, check out these engrossing football documentaries.

See the beautiful game from a different perspective, with documentaries that go behind the scenes of the biggest football clubs and organisations and shine a light on the most iconic players. 

Want more than football? Discover the best sports documentaries on BT Sport, Netflix and Prime Video > 

Sunderland ‘Til I Die

sunderland til i die Netflix

The Black Cats take the spotlight in this Netflix documentary that spans two seasons in the club’s recent history. Turbulent times on and off the field make this an engrossing real-life drama regardless of who you support, as you follow the ups and downs not just of the players, but the fans and backroom staff.

With Sunderland ‘Til I Die, you realise there’s much more at stake than just league standings and trophies – a football club really can be the heartbeat of a community.

Sunderland ‘Til I Die is available to watch now on Netflix.

Take Us Home: Leeds United

Marcelo Bielsa Prime Video

In a similar vein, Take Us Home: Leeds United follows the club’s efforts to return the club to the Premier League in the 2018/19 season under the stewardship of their new and exciting manager, Marcelo Bielsa.

The documentary follows the season’s journey for players and fans as well as for the backroom and boardroom staff.

Season one features plenty of ups and downs, including the ‘Spygate’ controversy, while season two deals with the effect the Coronavirus pandemic had on the club. Plus, Take Us Home: Leeds United is narrated by none other than Gladiator star and Leeds United supporter, Russell Crowe.

Take Us Home: Leeds United is available to watch now on Prime Video.

Neymar: The Perfect Chaos

Neymar: A Perfect Chaos Netflix

The world’s most expensive footballer gives us an insight into his life on and off the pitch and attempts to answer some of the criticism aimed his way by the sporting press.

We witness Neymar’s career, from his rise through the ranks at Brazilian club Santos to establishing himself as one of the best players in the world at Barcelona and his world-record transfer to PSG. Plus, we get to see the pressure that’s heaped on Neymar when playing for his country, Brazil.

The three-part docuseries also features interviews with Neymar’s dad, who’s also his manager, and other football stars such as David Beckham and Lionel Messi.

Neymar: The Perfect Chaos is available to watch now on Netflix.

Pelé

Pele Netflix

The biggest Brazilian superstar footballer of them all, Pelé, has his own documentary on Netflix too – and it features the man himself, talking us through his rise to superstardom from a young age as he captivated audiences at successive World Cups.

Pelé speaks candidly about how superstardom affected him as a person, from his relationships with women to his groundbreaking sponsorship deals. Watching his goals and near misses at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico will never grow old, as he played the glorious game alongside other Brazilian greats such as Rivelino and Carlos Alberto.

Pelé is available to watch now on Netflix.

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona Film4

In the same way people compare Messi and Ronaldo now, older generations had the debate over two of the other greatest players of all time – Pelé and Diego Maradona.

This documentary about the enigmatic Argentine genius looks at his controversial life on and off the pitch, from the high-profile transfers and World Cup glory to the drugs and despair that followed. 

This documentary film includes never-seen-before footage from his time with Napoli, Barcelona and Argentina. Plus, Diego himself talks about that infamous game against England at the 1986 World Cup, in which he scored both one of the greatest goals of all time and, in ‘the Hand of God’ goal, one of the most controversial.

Diego Maradona is available to rent on Prime Video now.

When English Football Ruled Europe

when english football ruled europe brian clough ITV

While the England national team frustratingly failed to build on the 1966 triumph in the 70s and 80s, English club football enjoyed a prolonged period of success.

When English Football Ruled Europe is a two-part documentary that takes a look back at a time when English clubs dominated continental competition, with part one focusing in on Bob Paisley’s Liverpool triumphs in the European and UEFA Cups and Brian Clough’s remarkable feat of guiding Nottingham Forest to two European Cups.

Part two tells the story of Liverpool’s famous 80s team and Aston Villa’s unlikely European Cup victory in 1982.

When English Football Ruled Europe is available now on the ITV Hub.

Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In

Sir Alex Ferguson Sean Pollock Photographer

The 90s were dominated by Manchester United, under the stewardship of the most successful manager in football history, Sir Alex Ferguson. During Fergie’s 26-year reign at Manchester United he won the club 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two UEFA Champions League titles.

This documentary was directed by his son, Jason Ferguson, while Sir Alex was recovering from a brain haemorrhage. It’s an incredible film, where Fergie recounts his playing and management career, from scoring goals at Rangers and winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup with Aberdeen to glorious times at Manchester United, including winning the treble in 1999. The documentary features interviews with his family and football family, including Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs.

Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In is available to stream now on Prime Video.

Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In - How we made it exclusive interview 

The Class of ‘92

class of 92 Prime Video

The start of Manchester United’s real dominance during the 90s began with the arrival of class of 1992, when six youth team players came to prominence and were later called up to play for the senior team (though Phil Neville was strictly a member of the Class of ’93).

After an opening day defeat to Aston Villa in 1995, Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen criticised the youngsters' selection with the infamous line :“You can’t win anything with kids”. But David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and Phil Neville soon proved hin wrong as they lifted the club to new levels and ultimately helped secure the Treble in 1999.

The Class of ’92 is available to watch now on Prime Video.

Rooney

Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney Getty
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One of Sir Alex Ferguson’s biggest transfer success stories was Wayne Rooney, who joined from Everton at the age of 18. Rooney was already a star in the making at that point, having broken through at Everton the previous season with a wonder goal against Arsenal at Goodison Park.

But at Manchester United Rooney rose to new heights, winning five Premier League titles, three League Cups, one FA Cup, a UEFA Champions League title and a UEFA Europa League title. He also became the club’s highest ever goal scorer with 253 goals – a feat he repeated for England, with 53 goals.

This documentary tells the story of Rooney’s rise from playing football on the streets of Croxteth to becoming one of the finest footballers England’s ever produced. But it also shines a light on Rooney’s life off the pitch and features interviews with his wife and childhood sweetheart, Coleen.

Rooney is available to watch now on Prime Video.

Make Us Dream

Steven Gerrard Prime Video

One of the Premier League’s greatest ever players plied his trade for United’s biggest rival, Liverpool. Make Us Dream tells the story of Steven Gerrard and his personal mission to lift the club back to the top of English football.

Adored by the Anfield faithful, Gerrard rose through the ranks, making his debut for the club in 1998. He left Liverpool to see out his playing career in the US in 2015, and although he couldn’t win the Premier League with Liverpool, he did guide the club to two FA Cup trophies, three League Cups, a UEFA Cup and a UEFA Champions League.

Make Us Dream is available to watch now on Prime Video.

All or Nothing

All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur Prime Video

Amazon’s All or Nothing series takes us behind the scenes at some of the biggest football clubs in the world. So far, they’ve worked with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus and the Brazil national team. A series focusing on Arsenal is next up.

All or Nothing: Manchester City gave us a great glimpse into one of the Premier League’s greatest ever teams and managers, Pep Guardiola. And All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur was a fascinating insight into the way Jose Mourinho worked during a tricky season in North London.

All or Nothing is available to watch now on Prime Video.

Fever Pitch: The Rise of the Premier League

Fever Pitch the Rise of the Premier League BBC

This four-episode series on BBC iPlayer examines some of the key moments in early Premier League history, including the formation of the league, the title battle between Manchester United and Newcastle, the rise of the football celebrity and the rivalry between Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

For fans of 90s football, this is a must-watch documentary series featuring interviews with the like of Les Ferdinand, David Beckham, Vinnie Jones and Paul Merson.

Fever Pitch: The Rise of the Premier League is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.

Super Greed: The Fight for Football

Super Greed The Fight for Football Sky UK Ltd

A few days in April 2021 shook the world of football to its core, as Europe’s elite clubs tried to form a breakaway league that threatened to transform the football pyramid in England and on the continent.

But things didn’t go according to plan for England’s big six clubs, including Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal, as well as European giants such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.

Fans, especially those of the English clubs, protested against the ESL and within 48 hours had forced their chairmen to back down.

Super Greed: The Fight for Football examines what led to formation of the ESL and the protests, with interviews for UEFA’s key men.

Super Greed: The Fight for Football is available to watch now on Sky Documentaries with NOW.

Ronaldo 

Cristiano Ronaldo Celebrates a goal DPI/NurPhoto

Filmed over 14 months, the 2015 documentary, Ronaldo, tells the story of one of the world’s greatest ever footballers in Cristiano Ronaldo – from his childhood and family life growing up to glorious times at Real Madrid and becoming a dad himself. Plus, of course, his rivalry with the other great player of his generation, Lionel Messi.

But what makes this documentary so great is its focus on Ronaldo’s drive to be the best and how fame and fortune has affected his and his family’s life.  

Ronaldo is available to watch now on Prime Video

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