The Best Soccer Shows To Watch

Watch the best soccer shows on Netflix

Welcome to Free Kick Soccer’s review of what we feel are the best soccer shows to watch. Have you ever watched a sports movie or series, then used a moment from it to help with your team culture or team talks?

There are plenty of inspirational sports movies and shows that can teach us a thing or two. When I first started coaching high school soccer all I wanted to do was win. We would train hard and push ourselves to be the best.  As I gained more experience, read books on coaching, and studied for my coaching licenses, I started to learn an important lesson. It was not all about me, and how great I could make the team.

I was neglecting my duty as a coach by not coaching the whole person. Pep Guardiola said “ I am not dealing with players, I am dealing with people.” This couldn’t be any more true.

I found inspiration from the movie Coach Carter, with Samuel Jackson as a basketball coach. Coach Carter set academic standards for his team. When the team failed to reach those academic standards he closed the gym, putting academics before basketball. 

My teams now have academic standards that we have to meet. Each member of the team has a responsibility to each other and themselves when it comes to school work and grades. We have a 25-minute study hall before every training session. If one player is struggling in a certain subject, a player who is strong in that subject helps his teammate. It’s part of a larger picture that translates onto the pitch. Even though Coach Carter isn’t a soccer movie or series, you can still pick out moments that you can use as a coach.

How about those best Soccer shows to watch!

1. Sunderland Til I Die: Netflix, Season 1

This show ranks as Free Kick Soccer’s number one in Best Soccer Shows. Sunderland Til I Die gives you an in-depth look behind the scenes of Sunderland Football Club. You can truly feel the passion of the fans in the city. The people of Sunderland, mostly a working-class city in England, put their hard-earned money into supporting the Football Club. You can really feel what soccer means to the people of Sunderland.  When the team wins it makes for an enjoyable workweek, and life seems a lot better. Conversely, a loss does the opposite and the fans let you know it!

Feel the atmosphere

You can feel the kick of every ball and the exhilaration of every goal. Each episode you find yourself being drawn into the lives of the fans and players as they let you know how significant the club is.

Season 1 follows Sunderland during their 2017/18 campaign. The camera angles and videography for the series are visually appealing. The cameras take you pitchside for the action and into the boardroom where the hard decisions are made. If you are looking to learn what a soccer atmosphere is really like, then this is the series for you. It’s not just a game to the majority of fans, it is life.

Sunderland Til I Die takes you into the homes of fans, they really do have the club solidified in their heart. Tea-pots, cups, jerseys, wallpaper, you name it, are colored with Sunderland Football Club. One supporter even gets a Sunderland Til I Die tattoo!  You may find yourself supporting Sunderland after you watch the series, or at least following them a little more closely.

2. All Or Nothing Manchester City: Amazon Prime, 1 season

All Or Nothing focuses on Pep Guardiola and his English Premier League team Manchester City during the 2017/18 season.  If you are interested in a behind the scenes look of the players, and especially the manager, this is for you. Manchester City broke and set new records including total league points, wins, and scoring over 100 goals. They won the League Cup and were crowned Premier League champions for the 3rd time.

You are taken on the season-long journey which introduces you to the personal lives of many players. Sergio Aguero’s story really took us by surprise. The parts we were most interested in was when the focus switched to Pep Guardiola.

Getting to know Guardiola

Best Soccer shows to watch. All Or Nothing Manchester City featuring Pep Guardiola

Guardiola is an open book, he doesn’t mind sharing his ideas as his mission is to improve soccer worldwide. All Or Nothing encapsulates his openness. Now, you’re not going to get his top secrets, but you will get an educated look at his player management skills. Pep creates a culture where everyone at the soccer club matters, and we mean everyone. He is genuine and shows that it takes the entire operation of the club to make his vision a success. You may argue that he gets the best players and unlimited money, this is only partly true. Watching this series might just change your opinion of Guardiola and Manchester City unless you’re a Manchester United supporter.

Club culture is important. Maybe you have one and need to make some tweaks, or maybe you haven’t really thought about it yet. Keep in mind, this series is about a professional soccer team. That still doesn’t mean that we can’t learn something and apply it to our youth club or college soccer teams.

3. Sunderland Til I Die: Netflix, Season 2

Coming in at number three of Free Kick Soccers best soccer shows to watch is Sunderland Til I Die Season 2. You are thrust into Sunderlands 2018/19 campaign as the fans expect big things. For us at Free Kick Soccer, season 2 didn’t have the same in-person feeling as season 1. Season 1 made you feel part of the Sunderland community, experiencing every high and the low of a positionally volatile season.

The pitchside cameras and behind the scenes coverage of the club was still professionally done, but we personally didn’t feel as connected to the soccer club as we did in season 1. Season 2 seemed to blow through the emotional roller coaster of Sunderland’s season.

Josh Maja Transfer saga

The main story to follow is the transfer saga of their young striker Josh Maja. Maja’s transfer story is heavily covered, introducing you to the world of soccer agents, players, and club owners. The new owner and his management team try to get the club back on track financially as well as moving towards promotion. We didn’t get to see the owners very much in season 1, but season 2 spends a lot more time getting to know the club’s hierarchy.

After you watch this series you will find that running a soccer team involves many characters. The main takeaway for us is the passion and pride of the Sunderland fans. The community and people who work at ground level for the club love it with every breath they take. Creating a passion for your club or team similar to what you will see in the series is very doable. Players, soccer fans, and your community need something to get behind. Your team may just be that something, and Sunderland Til I Die may just be the ticket to showing you how it can be accomplished.

4. The English Game: Netflix, 1 season

Next up in our Best Soccer Shows to watch is The English Game. A dramatization, with a mixture of truth and fiction. You follow the story of Fergus Suter, the first professionally paid soccer player in the late 1800’s.

Many of the characters and events are based on truth, with a little added massaging for the story lines. As a coach, this series can help you understand part of the game’s evolution, and what soccer means to a community.

There is a part in the series when Fergus challenges the way soccer is played. You will notice the old physical play and bumblebee formations in matches the series shows. Fergus introduced the playing style of using space and passing, unknown to many at the time. At Free Kick Soccer, we took great notice of this small scene because as coaches we always have new ideas. At times we are afraid to go against well known and trusted tactics.

Stick to your ideas

Soccer is always evolving and there is only one way it can do this. Your new ideas are what evolves the game. Do not be afraid of trying something new. If your idea works, you and your club can reap the rewards.

The English Game shows us that soccer is for everyone. The rich teams and communities tried to keep soccer for themselves as a hobby, whereas the poorer communities saw soccer as a way of hope. If there is one thing that is needed in everyone’s life, it is hope. Soccer is a worldwide sport of inclusion and should be made available to everyone regardless of social standing. As soccer coaches we can offer this hope through the game we love so much, and inspire players by introducing them to a world of possibilities.

We would like to know your best soccer shows to watch Let us know how they have inspired you and helped to implement new ideas into your teams.