Pep Guardiola’s tiki-taka football shook the foundations of the game between 2008 and 2012, and whether you thought it was beautiful or downright annoying it could not be ignored, nor its success denied. Based on the book “Barça: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World” by football journalist Graham Hunter, Take the Ball, Pass the Ball offers an exclusive, first-hand account of that iconic Barcelona era, the heated Mourinho-Guardiola rivalry, and the assembly and operation of arguably the greatest football team there has ever been.
Amazon Prime’s All Or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur docuseries is the latest among a string of studio productions that uncovers the operations and practices behind select sports franchises. This season sees the arrival of serial winner, José Mourinho, to a promising but perpetually trophyless club of “nice boys” in Spurs. The series - oddly but effectively narrated by Tom Hardy - reveals some interesting behind-the-scenes moments, but ultimately it is Mourinho’s charm that shines through, making this the must-watch series of the moment.
All Or Nothing: Manchester City is narrated by Oscar-winning actor and velvet tongued Ben Kingsley. The series goes behind the scenes of new kids on the winner’s block, Manchester City. The viewer is given an intimate look at what an entire season looks like for the team, how they prepare inside world-leading training facilities, the galvanizing effect that manager, Pep Guardiola, has had on the entire staff, and their utter determination to penetrate global culture and become the biggest club in the world. Definitely a must watch.
The polarizing Sergio Ramos is often criticized for his on-field exploits and aggressive style of play, but off the field we know very little about where that fire comes from. This Amazon docuseries shares a glimpse into Ramos’ life, and is filled with telling anecdotes from his family, including one from his mother in which she reveals he broke his own brother’s nose while playing against him in a youth tournament. Sounds about right.
“It was too crazy to be true,” says the series director, Angus Macqueen. “Maradona, a coke addict, going to the world capital of cocaine.” Maradona in Mexico is a mad parade from start to finish but undeniably enthralling at the same time. Documenting the controversial Argentinian’s stint as coach of Mexico’s Dorados de Sinaloa club from 2018-19 – a team that sat dead last in the standings when Maradona arrived – he attempts to inspire the team to victory. A journey which in many ways mirrors his own. We see an underdog, fallen from grace, leading other underdogs in an uphill climb from the depths of despair. Can he turn the club around, or will he just drive them further into disgrace?
Executive-produced by Asif Kapadia, who directed Senna (2010) and Amy (2015), Ronaldo was shot over the course of 14 months in Madrid and offers virtually never-before-seen access into Ronaldo’s private life. We all know he is self-driven, self-affirmed and self-practically everything – propelled by some inner interpretation of perfection. That said, beneath it all he’s a mama’s boy, a heedful friend and father, even a softie, but haunted by his own father’s self-destruction and committed wholly to the opposite.
First Team: Juventus is an American and Italian six-part docu-series following the club throughout the 2017–18 season as well as their round of 16 and quarter-final Champions League Champions League match-ups against Tottenham and Real Madrid. Though all a bit corporate and not quite as insightful as you might have hoped (unless you’re keen to learn that Gonzalo Higuain trims his beard every 15 days), the series is still an interesting watch, and you come away that much wiser to the calculated ambitions of the Italian club.