The Top 20 Soccer Scenes in the History of Movies

With billions of fans worldwide, soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is something that children play at school, adults enjoy as a hobby, and anyone can get involved with as a spectator or a fan. As people have such an emotional connection with this sport, it makes sense for filmmakers to create movies about soccer as they are likely to attract moviegoers. Even movies that are completely unrelated to the sport often have some particularly good scenes that revolve around a soccer game. They can add to the excitement and make the audience feel connected to the characters they are supporting. A game of soccer can also play an integral part in a storyline or be significant to an underlying theme or moral that a movie is trying to get across to viewers. There is a diverse range of films that are about soccer or have scenes featuring this sport.

Here are 20 of the best soccer scenes from the movies.

20. Ladybugs – Coach Dissing Coach

‘Ladybugs’ is a 1992 sports comedy film that written by Curtis Birch and directed by Sidney J. Furie. It is about a businessman working for a company that sponsors a girls’ soccer team and he takes over as the coach. The movie stars Rodney Dangerfield, Jackee, Jonathan Brandis, Ilene Graff, and Vanessa Shaw. Although this film made a loss at the box office, it has some hilarious moments and some great soccer scenes. One of the best is when Coach Chester meets his boss, the sponsor of the team, who gives him support and says the girls are making progress. Unfortunately, this speech is then followed by Coach Annie coming from the other team and telling him what a load of losers his team is. Coach Chester finds this funny and tells his boss that at least the woman isn’t two-faced because if she was she would wear the other one.

19. The Big Green – Come and Get Me

‘The Big Green’ is a family sports comedy that was released in 1995. It was written and directed by Holly Goldberg Sloan. The film is about the antics of a group of misfits who have formed a soccer team and are being coached by a teacher who has come from England. The movie stars Steve Guttenberg, Olivia d’Abo, and Jay O. Sanders. This particular scene is when the team’s goalie is faced with one of the best players from the other team who is taking a penalty. He imagines him as a knight and decides he must also imagine himself as something better to face the nightmare. He envisions himself as an Indian chief and is ready to take on his opponent. When the player from the other team shoots, he saves the goal, much to the delight of the coach, his team members, and his parents.

18. Playing for Keeps – Coach Can Do It

This 2012 romantic comedy film was written by Robbie Fox and directed by Gabriele Muccino. Gerard Butler plays an ex-professional football player who dreams of becoming a sports announcer. He is separated from his wife and only sees his son occasionally. He begins to train to train his son’s football team and attracts the attention of many of the single mothers. In this scene, one of the fathers encourages him to show the kids how it is done, much to the delight of his admirers. The film also stars Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman and Judy Greer.

17. Escape to Victory- Strategy Planning Scene

This movie is also known as ‘Victory’ and it is about American and British soldiers who were imprisoned in a German prisoner of war camp during the Second World War. In the movie, they play a game of soccer against the German team. One of the best scenes in this 1981 film is when the British team is planning their strategy for the game in the changing rooms. This movie was based on a book called ‘Two Half Times in Hell’ by Zoltan Fabri. It was adapted into a screenplay by Yabo Yablonsky and Evan Jones. The movie was directed by John Huston and starred Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, Max von Sydow, Pele, and Bobby Moore. ‘Escape to Victory’ received positive reviews from critics and grossed $27,453,418 at the box office from a budget of $10 million.

16. Kicking and Screaming

‘Kicking and Screaming’ is a 2005 sports comedy family film. It has a fun story and some great one-liners. This movie is as much about parenting and the competitive spirit as it is about the actual game of soccer. The moral of the story is intended to be that it is the taking part that counts not the winning the game. In this soccer scene, the parents go too far in the support of their children and the game ends in a brawl. This movie was directed by Jesse Dylan and written by Steve Rudnick and Leo Benvenuti. It starred Will Ferrell, Robert Duvall, Mike Ditka, Kate Walsh, and Josh Hutcherson. It was a commercial success and took over $56 million worldwide.

15. Bend It Like Beckham – Free Kick

‘Bend It Like Beckham’ is a romantic comedy-drama film that was released in 2002. There are three main themes within this movie; soccer, women in sport, and challenging the stereotypes of Indian culture. A young girl from a Punjabi Sikh family meets a girl that plays soccer and also begins to train. Their football team reaches the top of the women’s league. In this scene, the main character misses a family wedding to take part in a match and takes a free kick successfully, much to the delight of her teammates. ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ was directed, co-written, and co-produced by Gurinder Chadha. It was released in 2002 and starred Paraminda Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher, and Archie Panjabi. It was made on a low budget of just $6 million but grossed $76.6 million at the box office.

14. Goal: The Dream Begins!- Final Scene

Sometimes abbreviated simply to ‘Goal’, this is a 2006 sports drama. It was directed by Danny Cannon and written by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Mike Jefferies, and Adrian Butchart. It is about a young man from a rough area of Los Angeles who has the opportunity to play in one of England’s top soccer teams. In this scene, he gets to take the free kick in an important game which hits the goal. His family are watching him as he takes the shot on a television in a bar near their home. This movie starred Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Marcel Iures, and Stephen Dillane. The movie used real shots of Newcastle United playing, so some of their top players, including Alan Shearer, feature in this film. Despite having a great storyline and some of the best soccer scenes in movies, this movie made a loss at the box office.

13. Escape to Victory – The Final Game

In the scene where the allied team play a game of soccer against the German National Team in Nazi-occupied Paris, the allies make a comeback in the second half. The scene also shows how the British Officers and the French Resistance are planning an escape for the team. One of the highlights of the scene is Pele doing his famous bicycle kick celebration after scoring a goal.

12. She’s the Man- Winning Goal Scene

This 2006 romantic sport-comedy film is a remake of the 1985 film ‘Just One of the Guys’, which was inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night. The film is about a girl called Viola Hastings who pretends to be her brother and takes her place at his school so she can get into the boys’ soccer team because her team was cut. It was directed by Andy Frickman and written by Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah Lutz. Amanda Bynes played the lead role in the movie and other cast members included Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, James Kirk, and Emily Perkins. It grossed $57.2 million at the worldwide box office from a budget of $20 million. In this scene, Viola has been revealed as a girl but is allowed to play in the final game and she scores the winning goal.

11. United- Walking onto the Pitch

This 2011 movie is based on the true story of the ‘Busby Babes’. Sir Matt Busby was the manager of Manchester United Football Club when the entire team perished in a tragic plane accident. He creates a new young team called the ‘Busby Babes’ and the tale tells how they became the youngest ever team to win a soccer League. One of the best scenes from the film is when they are lining up to walk onto the pitch. It is a fine example of how teamwork can overcome tragedy. You can see the nervous anticipation on the faces of the players along with the determination to succeed and do Sir Matt Busby proud. The film was written by Chris Chibnall and directed by James Strong. It starred David Tennant , Jack O’Connell, Sam Claflin, and Clint Mansell.

10. The Damned United – The Pep Talk

‘The Damned United is a biographical sports drama film that is based on the bestselling novel ‘The Damned Utd.’ by David Pearce. It was written by Peter Morgan and directed by Tom Hooper. The storyline revolves around soccer manager Brian Clough’s fateful tenure at Leeds United. Although he was a hugely successful manager of Newcastle United, while he was the manager at Leeds it was disastrous and he held the position for just 45 days. The scene where he is giving the Leeds United players a pep talk on his first day is one of the best in the movie. The movie starred Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, and Jim Broadbent.

9. Fever Pitch – Fan Frenzy

This scene from ‘Fever Pitch’ is the perfect demonstration of how passionate the supporters of soccer become on match day. When Arsenal become the champions, their fans take to the streets to celebrate. This is a 1997 film that is based on Nick Hornby’s book ‘Fever Pitch: A Fan’s Life’. Hornby also wrote the screenplay for this film which was directed by David Evans. The film starred Colin Firth and other cast members included Ruthe Gemmell, Neil Pearson, Lorraine Ashbourne, Mark Strong, Holly Aird, and Ken Scott. It was produced by Channel 4 Films in the United Kingdom.

8. Pele: Birth of a Legend – Soccer with a Mango Scene

This 2016 biographical sport film is about the early life of the famous Brazilian soccer player {Pele. While it tells the story of how he became one of the most successful and best-known soccer players of all time, it is also about the relationship he had with his father. It was written and directed by Michael Zimbalist and Jeff Zimbalist. It starred Kevin de Paula, Rodrigo Santoro, Vincent D’Onofrie and Diego Boneta. This particular scene shows the young Pele playing a game in training and taking a knock to the floor. He begins to reminisce about his father and how he would play soccer in a field using a mango as a ball.

7. Looking for Eric – You Can Never Change Your Football Club

This is another example of the passion of fans. The scene shows typical Manchester United fans watching the game form the pub with a pint of beer and debating whether you can change your soccer team based simply on their level of success. ‘Looking for Eric’ is a low-budget film that was released in 2006 in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy, and Spain. It is about how soccer fans use the game as a release from the trials and tribulations they face in modern times. Soccer player Eric Cantona starred in this movie along with Steve Evets, Lucy-Jo Hudson, Matthew McNulty, Gerard Kearns, Stephanie Bishop, John Henshaw, and Stefan Gumbs. It was written by Paul Laverty and directed by Ken Loach.

6. Mean Machine – Monk to Save the Day

Starring Vinnie Jones, this 2001 British drama film was directed by Barry Skolnick and written by Tracy Keenan White, Charlie Fletcher, Chris Baker, and Andrew Day. It also starred David Kelly, David Hemmings, Ralph Brown, Jason Flemyng, Danny Dyer, and Jason Statham. It grossed just $7,310,206 at the box office. This movie is an adaptation of ‘The Longest Yard’, a 1974 American film. Following a talk with the Governor, Danny Meehan is playing to try and lose the game. However, the Monk is playing to win and saves the day.

5. Mike Bassett: England Manager – We Are Better Than the Mexicans

This 2001 satirical comedy was directed by Steve Barron and written by Rob Sprackling and John R. Smith. Starring in the movie were Ricky Tomlinson, Amanda Redman, and Bradley Walsh. The movie is about the manager of a Division One soccer team. It is in the form of a mockumentary with Martin Bashir, a real-life presenter and news reader, takes the role of a voiceover and interviewer on the film. Tomlinson delivers some hilarious one-liners and put-downs and this scene depicts this perfectly. After giving the team a pep talk during training, they realize they have no balls to train with. Instead, he teaches them how to use positive mental attitude by telling them they are better than the Mexicans.

4. Goal III: Taking on the World

This movie is the third in the series of the ‘Goal!’ film trilogy. It was directed by Andrew Morahan and co-written and co-produced by Mike Jefferies. It is about three players who are selected to represent their national teams but then each face a personal tragedy. The movie stars JJ Feld, Leo Gregory, Kuno Becker, and Nick Moran. This film, unlike its predecessors, was only released in the United Kingdom and Germany. This scene is delivered as a medley of the penalty shootout at the end of the game.

3. Green Street – West Ham Vs Birmingham City

‘Green Street’ is a movie that is as much about soccer-related hooliganism in England as it is about the actual game. It shows the passion that fans have and how this positivity can translate into negative actions, such as violence. An American college student becomes friends with a violent group of West Ham supporters. It is also known as ‘Green Street Hooligans’. It was directed, co-written, and co-produced by Lexi Alexander. Released in 2005, this film stars Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam, Claire Forlani, and Leo Gregory. This scene shows the groups excitement as they are in the spectator stand watching their team in a match. It features strong language and threatening behaviour as they intimidate some of the grounds staff.

2. Shaolin Soccer – The Shaolin Disciples Comeback

‘Shaolin Soccer’ is a soccer movie with a difference. This 2001 martial arts sports comedy is about a former Shaolin monk who reunites his brothers so they can learn to play soccer using their superhuman martial arts skills. Their aim is to bring Shaolin kung fu to the masses. This movie was directed and co-written by Stephen Chow who also starred in the movie. Other cast members included Zhao Wei, Ng Man-tat, Patrick Tse, and Danny Chan Kwok-Kwan. This scene shows the Shaolin disciples throwing their opponents off course by posing in a variety of unusual positions not usually associated with the soccer pitch. They then begin a full-on attack against their opponents by combining ball skills with their martial arts skills, which is both impressive and comedic at the same time. This movie was made on a budget of $10 million and grossed $42.8 at the box office.

1. There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble

This 2000 British drama film is one of the most inspiring you are ever likely to watch as it is about a teenage boy whose only dream is to play for his beloved soccer club, Manchester City. The film is set in Oldham and the boy is a soccer fanatic. He is spotted by a soccer talent scout and is offered to join the youth team for Manchester United. However, this is the rival team of Manchester City so he turns it down. He is also on the school team and he wants to help them get into the Manchester School Cup Final. However, one of his teammates has a father who is sponsoring the team and planning to give the school a big donation. Therefore, it seems that Jimmy Grimble might only make it to the bench. That is until an elderly lady gives Jimmy a pair of football boots that once belonged to one of Manchester City’s greatest players. Lewis McKenzie played Jimmy Grimble and Robert Carlyle plays his coach. Others starring in this movie include Jane Lapotaire, Gina McKee, Ben Miller, and Samia Ghadie. In this scene, Jimmy Grimble takes to the pitch showing off his skills and scoring goals. He generally demonstrates that he is worthy of his place on the team.


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