30 for 30: Season 1, Episode 16

The Two Escobars (22 Jun. 2010)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Sport
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 2,525 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 36 critic

The rise of Colombian soccer is attributed to the influx of drug money into the sport by Pablo Escobar and the other drug cartels. However, the team's swift decline after Escobar's death results in the murder of star player Andres Escobar.


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
María Ester Escobar ...
Francisco Maturana ...
Alexis García V. ...
Jaime Gaviria Gómez ...
Jhon Jairo Velásquez V. ...
Rubén Darío Pinilla C. ...
Juan José Bellini ...
Fernando Rodríguez Mondragón ...
Eduardo Rojo ...
Leonel Alvarez ...
Luz María Escobar ...
Luis Fernando Herrera ...
Fernando Brito ...
Tom Cash ...
Alirio López ...


Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, many believe, Pablo Escobar's Medellín Cartel and the Cali Cartels were largely responsible for financing and building the Colombian National soccer team into one of the world's best. But in an early match against the United States in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, a Colombian defense man named Andres Escobar-no relation to Pablo-committed an own goal that led to the team's elimination. Less than ten days later, Escobar was gunned down outside a bar in a suburb of Medellin. He was shot 12 times, and the murderer shouted "goal" each time the trigger was pulled. Was Escobar's murder an isolated incident, or were gambling organizations controlled by the cartels responsible? Award-winning director Jeff Zimbalist will examine the mysterious events leading up to and surrounding Andres Escobar's death. Written by Anonymous

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A Masterpiece of Tension and Drama
28 June 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

30 for 30: The Two Escobars (2010)

**** (out of 4)

This entry in the ESPN series is somewhat of a masterpiece even though while watching the thing you have to keep reminding yourself that it's all true and not some sort of strange fiction from Hollywood. The documentary tells the story of Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar whose love for soccer had him donating money and soon various other dealers were involved in the sport. We also meet Andres Escobar, a Colombian player who in the 1994 World Cup scored a goal against his own team and soon after wards he was murdered. That just briefly sums up the story told here but it goes even further as Pablo is buying off the government to continue his trade but when he's killed, the underworld pretty much went wild, which could have been one of the reasons why Andres was allowed to be killed. This documentary runs just under two-hours and it's some of the most amazing and downright sad images you're likely to see. Learning how the drug trade pretty much took over the sport and then eventually brought it down. While watching this film it was hard to believe that all of this took place such a short time ago and the fact that this own goal was scored against the U.S.. Directors Jeff and Michael Zimbalist do a terrific job at building an incredibly tense atmosphere that is constantly flowing throughout the film. They really make you feel uneasy while watching these events so you can imagine how horrid it must have been for the players and coaches. The film does a very good job at telling all sides of the story. To some poor people Pablo was seen as a God-like person even though he was killing hundreds of people. Seeing how evil someone could be but at the same time he probably saved thousands by building them homes, keeping food on their table and by making jobs for them. With Andres, reports would vary about what really caused his death but the site of sports players going around with death threats and bodyguards is certainly something you don't see everyday. The amount of danger they were dealing with makes for some pretty big revelations towards the end of the movie. Once again ESPN must be given a lot of credit for playing this movie uncut as it does features some very risky subject matter and contains some bloody images of the death surrounding these events. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles, which was another brave move by ESPN but once again this series pays off.

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