When Newcastle United soccer star Santiago Munez is offered a spot with Real Madrid, he accepts, but the move - accompanied by big money and fame - tests his ties and loyalties to family, friends and business acquaintances.
Up-and-coming sports reporter rescues a homeless man ("Champ") only to discover that he is, in fact, a boxing legend believed to have passed away. What begins as an opportunity to resurrect Champ's story and escape the shadow of his father's success becomes a personal journey as the ambitious reporter reexamines his own life and his relationship with his family.
Samuel L. Jackson,
Santiago's father, Hernan Munez, smuggled his penniless Mexican family over the US border to seek a better, albeit modest future in L.A. Eldest son Santiago dreams of more, like native Angelinos, then joining Hernan's gardening firm. His change arrives when a British ex-pro spots him as an exceptional soccer natural and promises he can arrange a real British talent scout to check him out. Although that falls trough and dad forbids it, Santiago accepts grandma's savings to try out with English premier league club Newcastle. Despite his asthma, he gets in and befriends the freshly transferred, desperately undisciplined bad boy star scorer, party animal Gavin Harris, who becomes his bothersome house-mate, a recipe for trouble and yet each's salvation. Written by
The final scene where Santiago scores to win the game against Liverpool F.C. is the actual goal scored by Laurent Robert in real life. It is noticeable that Santiago, a right footed player throughout the movie, shoots with his left foot in this scene. See more »
When Glen Foy calls Santiago for dinner, we can clearly see that his bed is sideways to the door. The next shot, which is of him getting out of bed, shows the bed at a completely different angle. See more »
This film is basically Rocky but with a football. It's a rags-to-riches tale of a promising Mexican youngster with nothing in life, apart from incredible footballing skills.
Some of the CGI football shots are poor, but the budget for this film was not massive, and they did what they could. The use of cameos from the likes of Shearer, Zidane, Beckham and Raul added to both the credibility and believability of the overall piece.
The film is sad and at times funny, and can be enjoyed by the whole family, including people with no interest in football. It's a story of triumph over adversity, and of people pulling together to help someone get ahead in life, by doing what they do best.
Overall, this is the best football film ever made, in my opinion. You can tell that the people who made it knew their subject matter - something that simply cannot be said for Green Street (Hooligans) which concentrated on fan violence, rather than the beautiful game.
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