Top 10 World Cup movies paired with game day snacks

Image: Heirloom

Image: Heirloom

The World Cup 2014 is in full swing and the boys in my house are super-excited although us Aussies haven’t done that well. Sigh. But we are champions in other sports! Just had to say that. Anyhoo, soccer (or football depending on where you’re from) is a pretty big dead throughout the world and it would be remiss of me to not feature a top 10 list in honour of this big comp.

It’s pretty hard to find 10 soccer-themed movies but here they are… (let me know if I’ve forgotten any)

Top 10 World Cup movies

10. Kicking and Screaming (2005)

This isn’t an Oscar-winning movie but it’s got Will Ferrell in it and it’s a bit of fun. Which is what sport is all about, right? Ferrell stars as Phil Weston a normal kinda guy with a son, Sam (Dylan McLaughlin) who plays soccer. When Phil starts coaching the team, he transforms from a mild-mannered fella into a bit of a monster (like his dad). Funny but poignant.

9. Green Street (2005)

Harvard Journalism student, Matt (Elijah Wood) is expelled from the grand old school after being found with cocaine. So he heads to England to visit his sister, Shannon (Claire Forlani) who introduces him to her brother-in-law who heads up a soccer hooligan firm (never heard of these before!) There’s a few soccer matches, a pretty bloody fight and a lesson for Matt who returns to the USA to confront the kid he took the fall for.

8. Escape to Victory [or just ‘Victory’] (1981)

I had to include an 80s film in this lot and this one is pretty corny 80s fun! It’s WWII and some POWs in a German camp organise a soccer game against the Germans. The allied team consists of Englishman John Colby (Michael Caine), Hatch (Sylvester Stallone) and other less famous character actors. Someone escapes, the team plays the Germans in a tough, biased match that ends in super-exciting drama.

Snack 1: Mini Meat Pies

Ok, so these are a little Aussie, but I’m a little Aussie too, so bear with me and try them. They’re delish! And they’d be perfect to eat while watching your favourite team play (or soccer-themed movie of course). They are Mini Aussie Meat Pies from Heirloom.

Image: Heirloom

Image: Heirloom

7. In the Hands of the Gods (2007)

We have a documentary, people. Five English soccer players show off their awesome soccer skills to raise money to travel to Buenos Aires to meet their hero, Maradona. Two of them were living on the streets before their trip, so you can imagine how amazing this trip would have been for them. They end up getting enough money to travel to South, Central and North America and it’s tough going that ultimately changes their lives for the better.

6. The Cup (1999)

This one is a little different, but good different. It follows two Tibetan novice monks who are mad about soccer. So crazy for the game, in fact, that they desperately try to track down a television so they can watch the 1998 World Cup final in their monastery. Sounds simple, you say? Well watch the movie and find out how difficult it actually is to get a TV in your monastery if you live in Tibet and then tell me it’s simple, aye!? Here’s the trailer.

5. The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939)

I had to include an oldie/goldie in this list. It’s just how I roll. This movie was one of the first to feature the game of soccer, which justifies its place on my top 10. The mystery begins when a soccer star drops dead from poisoning while playing in a friendly game against Arsenal. Fingers are pointed, detectives are called in and players are grilled. Thrilling soccer drama at its best.

Snack 2: Fries!!!!

Yes, you have to eat fatty, crispy, amazing hot chips/fries at a freezing cold game. There’s nothing better, is there? Here’s a great recipe: Sunny’s Handcut Fries with Mango Mayo from Delish.

Image: Delish

Image: Delish

 4. Bend it Like Beckham (2002)

Ah, the movie that launched an actress or two. You’ve seen this, haven’t you? Keira Knightly in her teenage best stars (or, rather, co-stars) as a soccer star with Parminder Nagra (from ER). Nagra’s character, Jess comes from a fairly traditional Indian family who are not that thrilled about her taking up the sport. But she does and they have great success, a cat fight and a few games to boot. So to speak. It’s fun and funny and poignant. You’ll love it.

3. The Damned United (2009)

Based on a true story. Brian Clough (Michael Sheen) becomes soccer team, Leeds’ new coach but it doesn’t mean he’s a fan of the team. In the past he bagged the boys because they were rough nuts, violent and thuggish. Flashbacks reveal the root of Clough’s bitterness and, as we all nod in mutual understanding, we’re taken back to the present where Clough takes Leeds through his first training sesh. Games, drama, controversy.

2. Offside (2006)

This is an Iranian film (yayyy!) about a bunch of girls who are desperate to watch a World Cup qualifying match but aren’t allowed because they’re girls. A girl dresses up like a boy so she can try and sneak in but she’s arrested. She joins a whole load of other women in a cell at the stadium who had been trying to do the same thing. The soldiers guarding them have their own issues with what’s happening and don’t really care. This is a fabbo film, a kinda different World Cup movie, so give it a watch.

1. Shaolin Soccer (2001)

One of my all-time favourite movies, let alone a soccer film. This is sheer brilliance and a lot of fun, especially if you love martial arts and soccer. A bunch of misfits create a pretty unique soccer team combining amazing and out-of-this-world acrobatics with their passion for the game. They take on an equally fierce team in the final match that will get you out of your seat, cheering. This really is the best soccer film of all time. Don’t let the fact it’s a foreign film (Hong Kong) put you off. It’s so funny and awesome.

Snack 3: Hot dog

Snacks are meant to be kinda unhealthy aren’t they? Well this one is far from nutritious but looks yummy. It’s BBQ Potato Chip Crunch Dog from Better Homes and Gardens.


Who are you barracking for in the World Cup 2014?

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