Football may be America’s sport, but soccer is the world’s game — which means the FIFA World Cup is everyone’s Super Bowl. Wait no more, soccer fans: The World Cup is just around the corner, set to begin on Nov. 20. To get you excited for game day, we curated all our favorite shows about soccer to binge before kickoff.
Ted Lasso can be described as “a big hug” of a TV show. It follows Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), a jilted ex-wife who’s hellbent on getting revenge on her billionaire ex-husband. Welton hires Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) as the manager of her ex-husband’s beloved football club, and we learn that Lasso’s a failed American football coach who has no experience with soccer. However, he’s also one of the most lovable, optimistic and dedicated coaches in the business, and he’s dead set on winning Welton, and the players, over. But the question remains — can he coach them back to success? If you’re a fan of The Office or Parks and Recreation, you’re sure to love this heartfelt comedy.
Yellowjackets is a SHOWTIME series that’s more “soccer-adjacent,” but it’s worth watching if you’re also a fan of horror. It’s a twisted take on “now and then” storytelling, in that it tells the present-day and flashback stories in parallel. We follow a champion girls high school soccer team in 1996, who are preparing to go to nationals, but their plane crashes in the middle of the woods on the way to the big game. Simultaneously, we follow them twenty-five years later, where we discover that something terrible happened while they were trying to survive in the woods, and they’re desperate to keep a particular secret from getting out. This one offers a great transition from spooky season to soccer season.
‘The English Game’
The English Game is an upstairs-downstairs look at the beginnings of soccer — or “football,” as the English say. During the 1800s, the upper class created an amateur league that crossed class lines, and as such, the upper-class teams dominated. This was in part because the aristocrats nominated themselves as board members of the Football Association, and as the administrators of the league, they changed the rules whenever they pleased. If you’re a fan of period pieces and stories that celebrate the triumph of the human spirit, this is a must-watch.
‘All or Nothing: Arsenal’
All or Nothing is a docuseries that covers professional teams all over the world, includig American football, rugby, hockey and soccer. Its most recent season, All or Nothing: Arsenal, follows the Premier League team, Arsenal, over the course of their pressure-packed season. A once world-class football club, over the last few years, the team has gone downhill. At the helm is Mikel Arteta, who is the youngest manager in the Premier League and a former Arsenal captain. Since Arteta took over, the team has been inconsistent, and as a result, the fans are frustrated and impatient with their downward spiral. So, this year, Arteta formed the youngest team in the league, signing multiple new talents and spending upwards of 150 million pounds. Will Arteta be the one to lead the club back to success? You have to watch and find out.
English Premier League fans never have a dull moment. Find schedules, teams and more in our Premier League Guide.
‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’
Sunderland ‘Til I Die is a docuseries that follows another Premier League’s football club, Sunderland A.F.C. The team had been in its heyday for decades, but around 2010, it started to deteriorate. And last year, they were relegated out of the Premier League, down to the Championship League. The players now have their backs against the wall, and the club must figure out a way to get promoted back into the Premier League. However, while the docuseries is about the team, a large of focus is on the fans, or “supporters,” and how there’s a symbiotic relationship between a team and its fans. Sunderland is an impoverished area, and the football club means the world to its supporters because it gives them hope. But in its recent slump, the fans are in need of a boost. Here’s to hoping the team can give that to them by the end of the season.
‘Welcome to Wrexham‘
This FX docuseries follows actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, who are inspired by Sunderland ‘Til I Die to buy a Premier League football team. The two take over the failing Wrexham A.F.C. team, promising to return them to greatness. But they have a lot of work to do because Wrexham is relegated to playing in the fifth tier of the English football system, below the Premier League and three of the English Football Leagues. Needless to say, the fans have had enough … and Reynolds and McElhenney have their work cut out for them.
‘The Men in Blazers Show’
If you’re a true football supporter, you’ll love The Men in Blazers Show. Hosted by Michael Davies and Roger Bennett, this talk show reviews the prior week’s football games (or “matches” to the Brits), and they add a true comedic flair to their commentary. It’s what Inside the NBA is to basketball and what Inside the NFL is to American football. If you’re looking for a laugh and the latest news on the Premier League and all its players, be sure to catch this one.
Soccer or futbol’s popularity spans the globe. Keep up on Liga MX schedules, teams and more.
‘This Is Football’
This emotional must-see docuseries focuses on soccer’s impact on various communities throughout the world. It shows how soccer is more than just a sport; it’s embedded deep within the hearts and minds of the players and supporters. With over four billion fans all over the world, it shines a light on how the sport has affected people from the streets of Delhi to the survivors of the Rwandan genocide. This is a very inspirational, moving show. A pro tip — you may want to have a few tissues handy before you start this one.
Prepare for the FIFA World Cup with DIRECTV, where you can watch your team as they take on the world.
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