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If Ken Burns Did a Soccer Documentary, This Would Be It!
on January 8, 2005
This 6 DVD box set is titled, "History of Soccer: The Beautiful Game" on the outer package, but in fact, the documentary is actually called "History of FOOTBALL," so I will be using the word "football" to describe this great game, as it should be called.
At any rate, this is a very meticulous package. It contains the first ever, motion picture of football. Film footage of the 1901 FA Cup Final between Spurs and Sheffield United. Every World Cup final goal ever scored. And these are just the EXTRAS.
The real show is the documentary, narrated wonderfully by Terence Stamp. It starts from the beginning, where a multitude of cultures and nations began to kick a ball around, and it moves through every significant event that has shaped the football world since.
There is the Soccer War, where an actual war was started as a result of a football match.
There is the Moscow Dynamo team, captured in Nazi-occupied Russia, whose exploits against Nazis in a concentration camp were the stuff of communist legend, but are revealed to have been less than legendary now that the truth can be told.
There are the giants of club football, such as Manchester United and Liverpool on the England side, Juventus, Milan, and Inter on the Italian side, Real Madrid and Barcelona on the Spanish side, and many others. And there is even a look at the darker side of the game, such as hooliganism, various victims of air crashes, and the horrendous Hillsborough tragedy.
A spotlight is shone on every football-loving nation, from England, where the game's governing body was founded, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Holland, Germany, Russia, and many more.
There is tragedy and triumph, elation and dejection at every moment. Scores of interviews from actual participants of many matches lends a human side to every story, and if you love this game of football, you will eat this DVD series up like I did.
Buy this if you are curious. Buy this if you are a fan. But most of all, buy this because it is a quality piece of documentary work with so many extras that it will take you a long time to complete viewing the entire set. You won't regret it.