World Cup documentaries on TV: 8 best programmes to watch about football tournament, including FIFA Uncovered

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Over the years the World Cup has produced some of the most memorable moments in the history of the sport

The World Cup is one of the most watched sporting events on the planet and it takes place just once every four years. The 32 nations competing at this year’s tournament will all be dreaming of glory and many of the underdogs will be hoping to take inspiration from Croatia’s surprise run to the final in Russia 2018.

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Over the years the World Cup has produced some of the most memorable moments in the history of the sport from Diego Maradona’s hand of god in 1986, to Kylian Mbappe’s heroics in the 2018 World Cup final.

With that in mind we have taken a look at some of the best football documentaries and shows to provide you entertainment throughout the biggest football tournament in the world.

What are the best documentaries for the upcoming World Cup?

How to win the World Cup - BBC iPlayer

Some of the greatest teams in football history have graced the pitch during the 92 year history of the FIFA World Cup. Some of the most recent examples of those teams include France 2018, Germany 2014 and Spain 2010.

BBC’s new documentary How To Win The World Cup will feature interviews with some of the key players in bringing those success stories to life such as Bastian Schweingster and Per Mertesacker of Germany, Andres Iniesta and Xavi of Spain as well as a detailed discussion with French manager Didier Deschamps who has enjoyed success from the perspective of a manager in 2018 and as a player 20 years earlier in 1998.

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No side has ever successfully defended the World Cup in two consecutive tournaments since Brazil in 1962. France and Deschamps will be aiming to make history by breaking that 60 year wait.

FIFA Uncovered- Netflix

The FIFA World Cup is creating a great deal of excitement and anticipation for football fans around the world but this year’s tournament also comes with a great deal of scepticism and controversy.

The decision to select Qatar as the host nation of the World Cup has had a turbulent effect on football’s governing body FIFA and led to the demise of long time president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini. This documentary is set to delve into the reports of bribery and corruption in the build up to the historic tournament.

The Phenomenon: Ronaldo - BBC Four

Brazilian striker Ronaldo remains one of the most talented footballers to grace the pitch and some of the most notable moments of his illustrious career came in the World Cup whilst representing Brazil.

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Ronaldo was an integral part of the Brazil squad throughout his career but suffered from a series of long term injuries throughout his career. The Phenomenon is set to tell the story of Ronaldo’s heartbreaking injury in the final of the 1998 World Cup, before focusing on his incredible redemption four years later as he guided Brazil to World Cup victory in 2002.

Diego Maradona - Amazon Prime

At the height of his powers Diego Maradona was viewed as the greatest footballer of his generation and in some people’s eyes he remains the best ever. Maradona was a World Cup winner for Argentina in 1986 and a star man for the likes of Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors.

Diego Maradona is a critically acclaimed documentary which features footage from the late Argentine’s personal archives. The documentary will feature exclusive interviews through the people who knew him best both through the high and lows of his life.

Gazza - BBC iPlayer

Paul Gascoigne is one of the most gifted footballers to play for England and the Geordie midfielder played a defining role for the Three Lions during runs to the semi-final in both the World Cup in 1990 and the European Championship in 1996.

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Gascoigne was viewed as a national hero during the 1990s for the Three Lions and his tears during the 1990 World Cup semi-final resonated with football fans from around the world. This two part documentary will be an in-depth study of both the rise and fall of Gascoigne during the 1990s and it will ultimately culminate from his controversial exclusion from the 1998 World Cup under manager Glenn Hoddle.

Former England manager Bobby Robson talks with player Paul Gascoigne during a training session in 1990. (Getty Images)Former England manager Bobby Robson talks with player Paul Gascoigne during a training session in 1990. (Getty Images)
Former England manager Bobby Robson talks with player Paul Gascoigne during a training session in 1990. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

England Lionesses: When Football Came Home - BBC iPlayer

England’s Lionesses roared to victory with a heroic display during Euro 2022 - ending 56 years of hurt for English football.

England’s women produced an exceptional performance throughout Euro 2022 with a number of incredible moments including the semi-final victory over Sweden at Bramall Lane and an historic victory over rivals Germany in the final. BBC iPlayer’s new Lioness documentary will provide you with behind-the-scenes content and interviews, whilst also allowing you to relieve all the best moments from the tournament.

Bobby Robson: More Than A Manager - Amazon Prime

Bobby Robson was one of English football’s most inspirational figures and he enjoyed a very long and successful managerial career with the likes of Ipswich, England, Barcelona and Newcastle. Lifting a series of honours along the way.

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Robson oversaw England during their controversial World Cup exit in 1986 via the hand of god and also guided The Three Lions to the World Cup semi-final in 1990. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1995 and was given just a few months to live, miraculously in less than a year Robson found himself managing one of the worlds biggest teams in Barcelona - where he would win a domestic treble.

Robson went on to return to his boyhood club Newcastle later in career and enjoyed great success - steering the club from relegation contenders to title contenders. The documentary features interviews from a number of football’s greatest managers such as Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola who have both cited Robson as an influential figure in their managerial career.

Bobby - Amazon Prime

Bobby Moore famously led England’s football team to World Cup glory as captain in 1966. The former West Ham defender is the first and only captain to ever achieve the feat with the Three Lions and remains one of the most iconic footballers in English history.

The story of Bobby Moore is told by his two wives, his friends and fans including footballers of his generation such as Pele and Geoff Hurst. These words are mixed with previously unseen footage from the life of one of football’s greatest ever defenders.

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