Before the Premier League and multi-million pound salaries, in England 'football' was a dirty word. The game was in disgrace, the fans, hooligans, the nation, it seemed, were all played out...
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Swedish soccer referee Martin Hansson had a successful journey towards his big dream in life, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Then one dark night in Paris on November 18th, 2009, all hell broke loose.
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Before the Premier League and multi-million pound salaries, in England 'football' was a dirty word. The game was in disgrace, the fans, hooligans, the nation, it seemed, were all played out. Then there was Italia '90 - The World Cup - a shot at redemption. But this was no ordinary World Cup and no ordinary time. The manager, Sir Bobby Robson, was under intense media scrutiny, and his team described as 'donkeys'. Yet over six short weeks, through their heroic exploits they united a nation, coming within a heart beat of reaching the World Cup Final. Narrated by Gary Oldman, featuring match action - from Platt's last-gasp winner against Belgium to the silky skills of Gazza and the cool finishing of Linekar - and previously unseen footage, this is the definitive story of England's greatest footballing adventure on foreign soil....so far. Written by
James Erskine brings it all back, the hooliganism, the state of English football and that fateful night in Turin. This documentary is a mixed bag of generally well written narrative spoken by Gary Oldman, real footage of games, unseen footage and English footballs bad name. This all works really well apart from the cut scenes of close up ball control and recreated gang scenes which are obviously and badly re-done somewhere in the arse end of Gateshead. It's a shame because it starts to annoy an detracts from the original footage which is more than enough to keep the viewer entertained. That aside it was a mostly enjoyable 98 minutes and the final game against West Germany was played out excellently. Nice little touches are added like subtitles showing what Bobby Robson said to Gazza to console him after the second yellow card, and there is loads of hotel behind the England camp scenes which make for interesting viewing. I was also quite surprised how gracious Lothar Matthäus was to Chris Waddle after that fateful miss which ultimately ended our world cup dream. A recommended watch for any England fan.
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