The entire history of the world’s favourite game? It’s an extraordinary challenge that could go have gone horribly wrong, but The History of Football is a class act. It boasts top-drawer production values, including narration by Terence Stamp, access to everybody who has really mattered in the game, ever, plus shed-loads of famous, rare, and never-seen-before footage, with each volume offering a blend of narrative, action and illuminating interviews. This is a polished product: part-celebration, part-commemoration, but always with a sharp investigative sense, digging around the misty-eyed, good ol’ days tradition, to explore in the company of those interviewed the reality behind some of football’s myths and legends.
The breadth of enquiry is naturally impressive, as is the narrative structure, but it’s the deft handling of the sub-plots that really sets this apart, including: analysis of the dominant club sides such as Liverpool, Real Madrid and Milan (Volume 2); the evolution of Brazil (Volume 3); the superstar casualties, like Maradona and Garrincha (Volume 5); football as an agent of social control in Victorian England (Volume 1); the revolution in French football that created the 1998 World Champions (Volume 4); and the failure, so far, of Africa to fulfil Pele’s famous World Cup prediction (Chapter 6). There’s so little material here that isn’t memorable that it’s difficult to pick highlights, but action aside (and it’s hard to think of an historically important game that isn’t featured), an emotional Maradona exposing the "conspiracy" that fixed the 1990 World Cup final (Volume 2) is an unforgettable slice of football culture.
On The DVD: The History of Football on disc comes complete with a heaving platter of extras (between 33 and 54 minutes’ worth per volume) including, across the set, every single goal from every World Cup Final game; extended interviews with the likes of Pele, Maradona, Zidane and Bobby Charlton; loads of "first-ever-recorded-on-film" material including the 1907 England-Scotland game; text-only biographies of the major interviewees; extended tournament highlights of past European Championships, African Nations Cups, World Club Championships, Asian Cups, and of course, World Cup Finals. The picture itself is presented in 16:9 anamorphic aspect ratio, there’s a well-executed menu system, plus an "easter egg" of additional hidden material in every volume.--Alex Hankin.
Features the goals, the action and fascinating insights into what makes the game of football the most exciting sport on the planet. Through exclusive interviews filmed worldwide it explores the tremendous influence that football has globally, the drama associated with World Cup football and the factors that have enabled players to become cultural icons across the world.
HISTORY OF FOOTBALL is a six-part, comprehensive series documenting the rise of football from the playing fields of Victorian Britain, to the global game it is today. Each volume is also available separately. Includes volumes entitled 'Origins & Football Cultures', 'The Evolution Of The European Game & European Superpowers', 'Brazil & South American Superpowers', 'For Club And Country & The Dark Side', 'Superstars & The Media' and 'Africa, A Game for All'.