Due to its status as by far the most popular sport on earth, several movies have been made on football. While international examples abound such as The Damned United, Goal, Bend it Like Beckham, Escape to Victory and United, India too has produced its fair share of top films around the subject.
This Bengali film was released in 2011, exactly a hundred years after a historic moment in Indian sports. In 1911, a bunch of men from Mohun Bagan football club in Calcutta defeated the East Yorkshire Regiment, the first time a British team lost to an Indian. The Indian teams did not even have boots to wear so played barefoot against the well-stocked regiment. Beyond sport, this event had massive repercussions in the freedom movement, as it inspired Indians that they were a match even on the physical front. Egaro stars Monu Mukherjee and Shankar Chakraborty in lead roles and is directed by Arun Roy.
Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal
Possibly the most popular name on this list, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal stars Bollywood ace John Abraham along with Bipasha Basu, Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani. It speaks about the travails of the South Asian community in British pro football through a humorous take.
Possibly of the best sports movies of all time from India, this one stars iconic Bengali actor- Uttam Kumar. He stars as this football-obsessed young man, struggling to make ends meet. Starring opposite him is the equally illustrious Sabitri Chatterjee with Partho Mukherjee as the lead support.
This arthouse production revolves around the dilemma facing a 14-year old kid in the Kashmir Valley. His parents have been killed by terrorists and he is also getting lured by them. The only thing that can stop him from joining those ranks is the game of football and his love for scoring goals.
Sudani from Nigeria
This film realized earlier this year to tap into the huge popularity for the football world cup. It is about the travails of a small, non-distinct town in Kerala whose only glory lies in trying to win a local football tournament. A bunch of Nigerians get recruited and they change the scenario, taking the team up many notches. One of those star players Samuel gets embroiled in a police case so needs to leave. His departure is tinged with an emotional outpouring.
Vijetha is a remake of the Hindi film Saaheb which stars Anil Kapoor as an upcoming football-player. In this Telegu version, Ravi played by Chiranjeevi is a rising star, though his family does not consider football as a viable career option. But when adversity strikes the family, Ravi takes up the mantle at the cost of his budding career.
Like Sudani from Nigeria, this too is a latest release from 2018. And like the former, this too is laced with emotional drama. But where it differs is the content. The former is fiction, this is a biopic on a former Indian national team player- V.P. Sathyan. Malayalam star Jayasurya plays his role.