Resigned to making a virtue of necessity, sports fans seek in these days of house arrest and absence of competitions imaginative ways to calm your voracious appetite. Discarded as unsupportive and irresponsible the option of putting on shoes and going outside to jog and stretch muscles, they are forced to watch old games over and over again devoid of the excitement of an uncertain result or to set up the gym at home and dust off the aerobic videos of Jane Fonda and Cindy Crawford, preferably on VHS (if even TVE has recovered the legendary ‘Tuning’ of Eva Nasarre!).
A less ‘vintage’ formula is to resort to increasingly overwhelming offer of sports-themed documentaries and docuseries Available on the various audiovisual streaming and rental platforms. This is a stormy jungle in which sweetened chronicles abound on the insides of a team (from the glittering ‘Matchday’ on Rakuten TV dedicated to Barça to the esteemed ‘We are a team’, available on Filmin, which portrays Osasuna’s latest rise ) and the hagiographic stories of overcoming that relate the rise to the top of some well-known athlete of unavoidably humble origin.
Away from those more ‘mainstream’ lands, here they are offered a dozen recommendations (including a couple of fictions) that stand out for their originality, their rare honesty or their interest. In no case is it a canon, so it is worth continuing the search because there are many more.
‘MARADONA IN SINALOA’
El Diego lands in the Mexican city of Culiacán, home to a renowned drug cartel (“it’s like sending a diabetic to a candy store,” says a journalist), to take over the depressed local team and try to get him into the First Division. . It is one step away from achieving it, but along the way it leaves a handful of incredibly rare images and memorable phrases (“Presi, here we are. The Maradonian revolution begins!”) That justify the viewing. Seven half-hour episodes. Available in Netflix.
‘THIS IS FOOTBALL’
From the passion that Leo Messi generates throughout the planet to the conciliatory role that football played in the reconstruction of Rwanda after the genocide and the exciting move of the Icelandic team for the 2016 Euro Cup to the rise of women’s football in Japan devastated by the tsunami from 2011, the ambitious four-handed series cooked by John Carlin and Raimon Masllorens aims to capture the universal and almost religious dimension that the sport of ball and kick has acquired. Six one-hour episodes. Available in Prime Video.
“Anyone who goes to a football game and expects Torquay to win is silly,” says a & mldr; Torquay. Accustomed to the trumpet chronicles of feats and victories, we often lose sight of the fact that defeat is also part of the sport. This luminous series reminds us of this through eight stories (here is football, but also athletics, boxing, skating, golf, and even curling!) That highlight how important and difficult it is to lose well. Eight half-hour chapters. Available in Netflix.
‘SUNDERLAND ’TIL I DIE’
If there is a series that rises above the rest in the increasingly populated sub-genre of documentaries dedicated to following the season of a team, it is undoubtedly this. Conceived as a chronicle of what was to be the glorious return of Sunderland to the Premier, it ends up being the portrait (admirably honest) of a full-blown sinking. It is impossible not to get a bit of the Black Cats after seeing it. Eight 40-minute episodes. Available in Netflix.
Remarkable (and addictive) Norwegian fiction series that explores sexism in the world of soccer with the help of a coach who assumes the leadership of a modest male team that has just promoted to First. His nemesis is a player in the twilight of his career who aspired to the same position and, attention, is played by former Valencia striker John Carew. Better not to speculate on how the thing would have been if the action had been located in a more southern country. Two seasons. Available in Filmin.
‘KAISER. THE BEST FOOTBALL PLAYER TO EVER PLAYED A MATCH ‘
The false center forward Carlos Henrique Raposo passed in the 90s for some of the most distinguished soccer clubs in Brazil (Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense, Vasco de Gama, Palmeiras & mldr;) and for as many foreign teams without ever playing a single match. This documentary relates his incredible epic told by himself and by friendly soccer players such as Bebeto and Ricardo Rocha. Halfway between ‘Catch Me If You Can’ and an ad for Speedo swimwear. Available in Movistar Plus.
Reggie Miller, a franchise player for the Indiana Pacers in the 1990s and an Olympic champion in Atlanta 96, has always maintained that his older sister, Cheryl, was better than him. This documentary directed by Alison Ellwood reconstructs the inspiring story of Cheryl Miller and USC Trojan, the overwhelming varsity team that forever changed the history of women’s basketball in the United States in the 1980s and laid the foundation for the creation of the professional league ( WNBA). Available in HBO.
‘RUNNING FOR GOOD’
Refrain from confined runners with withdrawal syndrome. After undergoing 17 knee operations, vegan ultramarathon runner Fiona Oakes (type her name in Google if you want to know her amazing achievements in the world of long distance running) faces, at 47, the imposing Marathon Des Sables: 250 kilometers in six days through the desert of Morocco. And all for a good cause. Just seeing it leaves you exhausted. Available in Amazon Prime Video.
‘ALI AND CAVETT’
Throughout his titanic career, Muhammad Ali attended the popular talk show ‘The Dick Cavett Show’ more than a dozen times as a guest. Over the years, the fighter entered into an unusual friendship with the presenter, which led to his appearances on the program leading to revealing conversations in which, without filters or barriers, both discussed issues such as race, politics, religion and also, from time to time, boxing. Available in HBO.
‘HIGH FLYING BIRD’
Perhaps the best fictional movie about basketball in which basketball is not played. The reputed Steven Soderbergh shot it with a ‘smartphone’ in just two weeks and focuses on the handling of the agent of a promising player who tries to save the career of his client during a ‘lockout’ (lockout) of the NBA, providing In passing, a lucid reflection on the nature of the sporting event and who its true owners are (or should be). Available in Netflix.