The Best Films Based On The FIFA World Cup

The Best Films Based On The FIFA World Cup English Article

There have been many soccer films released in the past that have focused on the sport's biggest international stage, the FIFA World Cup, often telling the story of a legendary player's rise to the peak of the game. In addition, there have been films made of the great Diego Maradona and the iconic Brazilian Pele. But which delivered the higher quality soccer film?

Diego Maradona

The Maradona film is documentary-based and includes exclusive archived footage of one of the greatest soccer players of all time. It focuses on Maradona's career following his departure from Barcelona: he joined Napoli, where he won two Serie A titles and the 1988/89 UEFA Cup, and then went on to win the World Cup with Argentina. Maradona captained his Argentinian side to a World Cup win in a tournament that featured many bizarre headlines.

It was a tournament hosted by Mexico, and North American rivals Canada was appearing for the first time, which has turned out to be significant as they only secured their second outing at the tournament this year in 2022.

In the Canada World Cup odds, the Maple Leafs are again not expected to go far this time around with Argentina being one of the key favorites, led by Lionel Messi and offered at a price of +900. They are certainly not as dominant as the team led by Maradona in 1986 but Argentina always remains one of the strongest nations.

The standout moment of the 1986 tournament was Maradona's 'hand of God', which was termed as a result of his controversial handball to lift the ball over the goalkeeper to score against England in the quarter-final. Of course, this had huge implications, as Argentina went on to win their second World Cup title and England departed rather unfairly.

The Maradona film certainly offers an in-depth insight into the 1980s sector of his career and his time at Napoli, as well as at the international level during the decade. It's showcased in detail, with genuine footage as it's a documentary and not a biography film like the Pele film.


The Pele film offers a significantly contrasting experience to the documentary based on the Argentinian legend. It is a biography-based film that involves actors playing out key moments in Pele's upbringing and his journey that led to winning the World Cup in 1958.

It focuses largely on the relationship between Pele and his father. Pele's father was his trainer and mentor and was a professional soccer player himself. The film looks closely at this relationship and how Pele's father inspired him to become one of the greatest players of all time and to achieve glory for his nation.

The film also shows how Pele did not emerge from a privileged background. He grew up in poverty in Sao Paulo and had to fight against the odds to achieve his dreams. The film has received criticism for not including enough detail, but it is certainly difficult to represent the organic upbringing of Pele with actors.

While the film offers a much longer timeline than the Maradona film, this is also a drawback in some ways, as focusing on a smaller period of time allows more detail to be included in the storytelling. In the Maradona documentary, his upbringing and childhood are barely touched upon, but the peak of his career is explored in detail, with very little left out. It focuses on a World Cup winner's career highlights whereas Pele's film focuses on the road to greatness more than it showcases the glory itself.

Overall Maradona's film is much superior in terms of the World Cup genre, but the Pele film offers an interesting outlook into a young soccer player's unlikely path to becoming one of the greatest to ever grace a soccer pitch.