5 documentaries to watch if you want to understand the world of professional footballers

Why it’s difficult to have a career in football as documentaries shine light on the struggle.

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Amazon Prime recently released a trailer of their upcoming Wayne Rooney documentary which is set to come out in 2022.

It is going to be about the Manchester United legend’s life and career, his ups and downs, and his problems on and off the pitch.

It promises to be an eye-opening experience for football fans and will allow them to have a glimpse into the lives of a professional footballer.

From the outside, being a pro footballer seems like a perfect life. Money, fame, expensive cars, job security are just some of the perks that make it such as attractive prospect.

It all seems so perfect, perhaps too perfect.

What football fans don’t seem to realize is the immense pressures and responsibilities that come with the job.

Footballers, who are normal human beings just like us, have to often shoulder the weight of expectations of hundreds of thousands of fans, if not millions.

One day, you can be the hero but the next time you drop a poor performance, those same people are quick to resort to criticism and sometimes even abuse.

Another tricky aspect of being a pro footballer is to juggle between their jobs and family. These players, aside from their day jobs, are also fathers, sons, husbands and siblings.

It can be so gruelling for the family of a pro footballer to move cities or even countries once every few years, completely uprooting their lives.

These responsibilities take a toll on the mental health of the players, many resorting to alcohol, women, and gambling, among other vices to cope with.

Phil Jones of Manchester United recently opened up about how the constant fan abuse harmed his mental health. Fans must be made aware of the difficulties a pro footballer faces and one of the ways is through documentaries and TV shows.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ones out there.

George Best – All by himself (2016)

This documentary follows the life of the Manchester United legend and his ups and downs. Best, who was a star in the famous United sides of the late 60s, had European Glory in his name by the tender age of 22.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, the Ulsterman was immensely popular off the field and was seen as a ladies’ man. He was as fond of alcohol as he was of football.

All by himself tells the story of Best’s life post-Manchester United and his struggles with his vices which ultimately lead to his sad demise in 2005.

Bobby Robson – More than a manager (2018)

The late great Sir Bobby Robson was a successful player and an even better manager, guiding the likes of Ipswich Town, PSV, Barcelona, and Newcastle United to glory in his legendary career.

More than a manager goes deep into the life of Robson and breaks it down for the fans to celebrate one of the greatest football men to come out of England.

He was known for his leadership, his man-management, and above all, being a terrific human being. This is a must-watch for all football fans.

All or Nothing – Manchester City (2018)

The Manchester City leg of this popular documentary series follows the 2017-18 season. Pep Guardiola’s men did not have the best of starts to the Premier League season but under his stewardship, ultimately went on an unbelievable run that saw them be crowned the champions of England.

The documentary offers an insight into the daily running of a football club, through behind the scene footage, interviews, and in-game clips. It is narrated by the legendary actor, Sir Ben Kingsley.

Take Us Home – Leeds United (2019 – 2020)

Take Us Home follows the journey of English giants Leeds United and their journey back to the top flight in 2020. The club had been languishing in the second tier for sixteen years before their new owner Andrea Radrizzani appointed the legendary Marcelo Bielsa to ascend the club into the Premier League.

It features player interviews, behind the scene footage, and clips of the intriguing Bielsa. Few big clubs have had a tumultuous time in the 21st century as Leeds and this documentary offers an insight into their journey full of ups and downs.

Make Us Dream – Steven Gerrard (2018)

Steven Gerrard is one of the greatest players in Liverpool’s history, and one of their most influential captains. Joining the club as an 8-year-old, Gerrard carried the club to one of the most iconic Champions League triumphs of all time and was the anchor of the team throughout his career.

Despite this, he could never win the coveted league title. Make Us Dreams gives us an in-depth view of the legendary midfielder’s career for his beloved Liverpool and England, his high and low points, and his foray into management post-retirement. The documentary is available on Amazon Prime.

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