Have you watched every sports documentary on Netflix? Don’t worry, we have you covered.
Enjoy and let us know in the comments if you have any other recommendations.
Keane & Vieira: Best of Enemies
The intense rivalry between Manchester United and Arsenal, from 1996 to 2005, will never be matched in the Premier League. Like heavyweight boxers Muhamed Ali and Joe Fraizer, these two were the dominant forces of their era who despised one another while also propelling each other to their greatest feats.
Man United won the treble in 1999 after Arsenal won the double in 1998. Arsenal bounced back from losing the league title to United in 2003 by going unbeaten the following season. At the centre of this war was Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira, the two respective captains and embodiments of their teams. Two world-class footballers, two massive personalities and the two driving forces behind the rivalry.
Keane and Vieira were by no means friends on the pitch, but the mutual respect between the pair is obvious throughout the documentary, which details the defining moments of the rivalry as both reflect on their careers and the battles they had. It is a compelling film, particularly when Keane reflects on how his time at Old Trafford came to a bitter end. Keane & Vieira: Best of Enemies is a must-watch, or re-watch, for football supporters and sports fans of all ages.
You can watch the documentary, which first aired on ITV back in 2013, below:
Jimmy’s Winning Matches
Who could forget Donegal’s run to a second All-Ireland title in the summer of 2012? Well, if your memory needs refreshing, this brilliant show documents how, against all the odds, Jim McGuinness, having been turned down for the job twice previously, took a failing Donegal side from perennial losers to All-Ireland champions playing a system that would come to define the decade in many ways.
McGuinness and his charges would face intense scrutiny following an ultra-defensive style of Gaelic football in 2011 that brought them a first Ulster title in 19 years.
However, the men from the north-west returned in 2012, blending their defensive framework with an attacking game plan that ultimately led to them becoming one of the most formidable forces in Ireland.
It’s difficult to tell whether time has been positive or negative towards McGuinness, but have a watch at this documentary and make up your own mind.
Lions: Living with the Pride (2009)
There are few things as intriguing in sport as the British and Irish Lions and watching how players from four different nations seemingly put their intense rivalries aside in pursuit of glory every four years.
This documentary goes against the ‘what happens on tour, stays on tour’ mantra as it offers viewers key insights into what goes on behind closed doors when touring with the Lions.
Given that the tour took place the same year Ireland lifted a historic Grand Slam title in 2009, there are plenty of familiar faces on show.
Rugby aside, there are plenty of anecdotes and insights into what the players and staff get up to on their downtime with plenty of booze-filled moments caught on camera.
A must watch for rugby fans but really, all sports fanatics will enjoy this one.
Football’s Most Dangerous Rivalry
VICE occasionally have a habit of repetition in their documentary style, but one of their finest pieces of work to date is, unquestionably, ‘Football’s Most Dangerous Rivalry’ on the bitter rivalry between Celtic and Rangers.
In 45 minutes it takes the viewer to both sides of the city of Glasgow, chatting to fans of Celtic and Rangers, and exploring how the rivalry has been wrought with violence and hatred from those who feel it the most.
The cultural element of the Old Firm is explored, with important questions raised over how far chants directed at both sides can go before they cross a line with a chat with one particular Rangers fan, Abdul, one of the documentary’s highlights.
‘Football’s Most Dangerous Rivalry’ is an eye-opening sporting documentary that brilliantly explores all elements of a rivalry that so many are aware of but so few really explore.
An Impossible Job
This documentary follows Graham Taylor and the England team on their doomed quest to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States. ‘An Impossible Job’ is a fly-on-the-wall documentary that just wouldn’t be made in 2020. It has moments of comedy but ultimately descends into tragedy as the campaign unravels and Taylor struggles to cope with the immense pressure, strain and attention that comes with being the England manager.
Taylor comes across as a fundamentally decent person – in one scene he scolds a supporter for hurling despicable racist abuse at John Barnes. But, as the documentary progresses, it becomes clear that this is car-crash television.
He battles with the media and argues with officials over costly decisions – “I’m just saying to your colleague, the referee has got me the sack,” he says to the linesman during a match against the Netherlands.
Taylor’s lifetime of work unravels in just 75-minutes of television, his reputation battered as the British tabloid media demonised and derided him mercilessly. The nadir coming when they superimposed a turnip onto his face on the front of the Sun. At times, it is uncomfortable viewing, but it is also impossible to look away.
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