The entire history of the world's favorite game? It's an extraordinary challenge that could go have gone horribly wrong, but History of Soccer: The Beautiful Game
is a class act. It boasts top-drawer production values, including narration by Terence Stamp, access to everybody who has really mattered in the game, ever, plus loads of famous, rare, and never-seen-before footage, each volume offering a blend of narrative, action, and illuminating interviews. This is a polished product: part celebration, part commemoration, but always with a sharp investigative sense, digging around the misty-eyed, good ol' days tradition, to explore in the company of those interviewed the reality behind some of soccer's myths and legends.
The breadth of enquiry is naturally impressive, as is the narrative structure, but it's the deft handling of the subplots that really sets this apart, including: analysis of the dominant club sides such as Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Milan (volume 2); the evolution of Brazil (volume 3); the superstar casualties, like Maradona and Garrincha (volume 5); football as an agent of social control in Victorian England (volume 1); the revolution in French football that created the 1998 World Champions (volume 4); and the failure, so far, of Africa to fulfil Pele's famous World Cup prediction (volume 6). There's so little material here that isn't memorable that it's difficult to pick highlights, but action aside (and it's hard to think of an historically important game that isn't featured), an emotional Maradona exposing the "conspiracy" that fixed the 1990 World Cup final (volume 2) is an unforgettable slice of soccer culture.
History of Soccer on DVD comes complete with a heap of extras (between 33 and 54 minutes' worth per volume) including, across the set, every single goal from every World Cup Final game; extended interviews with the likes of Pele, Maradona, Zidane, and Bobby Charlton; loads of "first-ever-recorded-on-film" material including the 1907 England-Scotland game; text-only biographies of the major interviewees; extended tournament highlights of past European Championships, African Nations Cups, World Club Championships, Asian Cups, and, of course, World Cup Finals. The picture itself is presented in widescreen, and there's a Spanish-language track plus an Easter egg of additional hidden material in every volume. --Alex Hankin
With the U.S. making an unbelievable showing in last years World Cup and Beckham controlling the mass media, soccer, more than ever has been dominating the sporting news. Millions of people in the U.S., from soccer families to International transplants are obsessed with soccer - the most popular participation sport in the U.S. and the most popular sport to watch and play worldwide.
Through exclusive interviews and unparalleled footage, this fantastic new seven DVD series provides both an in depth study for avid soccer fans and an enjoyable overview for new converts. It's exhilarating, passionate, glorious, inspiring, fantastic... it's frustrating, demanding, painful, violent, even tragic. A win can produce a mood of near-religious euphoria. A loss can plunge an entire nation into mourning.
Every society is affected by soccer and History of Soccer: The Beautiful Game provides an unrivalled insight into why soccer is so important to so many people across the world. Fans throughout the country can celebrate the international story of the game with this ground-breaking new documentary History of Soccer: The Beautiful Game, the definitive story of the world's greatest sport.