We have already gone through 10 days of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. And the fans of various teams have had to deal with a mixture of feelings during this time – ranging from fear and trepidation when their favourite team is about to meet a much tougher opponent, shock and surprise when they’re beaten by ‘unworthy’ opponents to euphoria and jubilation when they triumph over superior teams which previously viewed their team as underdogs. And this is expected to continue in the coming weeks, till mid July.
Already, we’ve seen several upsets as well as unexpected – and previously unthought of and unimaginable – outcomes during the group stages of this year’s World Cup in Russia. For who would have imagined that Egypt and Morocco would both lose their opening matches; that Spain would be held to a 3-3 draw by Portugal (with Cristiano Ronaldo getting the hat-trick) and that Argentina (with Lionel Messi in the squad) would be beaten by 3 goals to nothing by Croatia, which had earlier on beaten Nigeria by another 2 goals to nil? I’m sure we’ll see more of such unexpected outcomes.
As a soccer fan with favourite team(s) at the World Cup, it’s a fact that the countries you support won’t be taking to the pitch to take on opponents daily during the football extravaganza. And as a Showmax subscriber, these breaks during which your favourite teams don’t have scheduled matches, is the time to spend on the platform catching up on some insightful soccer related content.
Below are highlights of some of the football documentaries and magazine shows available on Showmax:
This new football documentary, released in 2018, ties in nicely with our earlier discussion about upsets and unexpected outcomes at the Fifa World Cup. With emphasis being that the favourite team doesn’t always win, it’s collection of shocking results (and unexpected outcomes) from previous FIFA World Cups. The 26-minute documentary highlights the performance of teams, traditionally considered underdogs, which surprised the football world by defeating opponents that appeared superior to them, leaving both supporters and opponents in shock. It begins with the Italy versus North Korea match at the 1966 World Cup in England which the Koreans won by a solitary goal and concludes with the 2002 World Cup match between South Korea and Spain which the former won on post-match penalties.
This 15-part sports series, released in 2015, takes viewers behinds the scenes – and football fields – to enable them explore the private lives of their sports icons, providing an avenue to learn about their off-field activities. Some of the players highlighted in the show are retired, some are still active; some are currently playing at the World Cup, others appeared at previous editions; some lead quiet lives in and out of the pitch, others can’t go a week without courting controversy.
Just like Football Stars, this soccer series was released in 2015 and features 60 episodes, bringing fans the highs and lows of what goes on behind the scenes as relates to club loyalty in the world of premier league football. Among the featured players and clubs are Roman Abramovich and Chelsea; Paul Pogba and Ajax; John Terry and Tottenham Hotspur; Gianluigi Buffon and Valencia; and Robin Van Persie and Arsenal. In some episodes, it goes further to highlight the history behind selected premier league clubs.
Currently enjoying a superb form at the World Cup after scoring 4 goals in 2 matches, the Portuguese striker has his own documentary on ShowMax bearing his name. The show, directed by Antony Wonke, takes the viewer, currently considered in many football quarters as the world’s best footballer, through a journey of Ronaldo’s 2014 – 2015 season, with the focus being what makes him as the person that he is, a friend, a family man and a champion. The documentary, which runs for over an hour and a half, begins with Ronaldo stating that: “Winning, that’s the most important to me. It’s as simple as that”.
There’s a video clip doing the rounds online where a Nigerian Super Eagles fan is heard shouting repeatedly: “Over the bar, over the bar, over the bar…” before an Iceland player took the penalty during the Nigeria versus Iceland World Cup match on Friday June 22, 2018. And just like he had wished, the shot went ‘over the bar’.
Now, there have been allegations of teams and players using black magic in order to win matches during matches and tournaments. And I’m sure the incident witnessed during the Nigeria vs Iceland match on June 22 will be used as a reference by those who want to advance the issue of black magic in African football.
Which brings us to Supernaturally Weird, a movie about a man who rises to fame via fake supernatural powers then has to use these “powers” to help out a struggling football team. The Swahili movie, set in Kenya and produced by Africa Magic in 2014, features a local cast and runs for slightly over an hour.
Now, before your favourite team takes to the pitch for its next match, why not log onto your Showmax account and get acquainted with some soccer history? Remember being a fan is not just knowing the number of goals scored but the story behind the players who score them as well as the teams they represent.