When Newcastle United soccer star Santiago Munez is offered a spot with Real Madrid, he accepts, but the move - accompanied by big money and fame - tests his ties and loyalties to family, friends and business acquaintances.
Santiago's father, Hernan Munez, smuggled his penniless Mexican family over the US border to seek a better, albeit modest future in L.A. Eldest son Santiago dreams of more, like native Angelinos, then joining Hernan's gardening firm. His change arrives when a British ex-pro spots him as an exceptional soccer natural and promises he can arrange a real British talent scout to check him out. Although that falls trough and dad forbids it, Santiago accepts grandma's savings to try out with English premier league club Newcastle. Despite his asthma, he gets in and befriends the freshly transferred, desperately undisciplined bad boy star scorer, party animal Gavin Harris, who becomes his bothersome house-mate, a recipe for trouble and yet each's salvation.Written by
Under Michael Winterbottom's direction 2 nights filming was done at Darlington's football stadium. The first night was supposed to be Newcastle reserves against Darlington reserves with the second night being Newcastle's main team against Marseille with the intention of digitally transferring the pitch and players into a packed St James' Park (Newcastle's home ground). Soon after this the producers saw what footage had been shot and found that it director Michael Winterbottom was making it more as a drama documentary rather than a straight drama as they wanted so they sacked the cast and crew and brought in Dick Clement and Ian la Frenais to write a new script and Danny Cannon to direct. See more »
Right before the last game, Santiago practices free shots in the stadium. When Dornhelm calls his name, he proceeds to kick what appears to be the last ball remaining. However as Santi is shown kicking the "last ball", the shot changes to him kicking one of the many balls that are aligned next to him. When the scene changes back to Santiago walking toward Dornhelm, the balls are gone. See more »
[Roz the nurse is giving a physical examination]
What's your name?
I- I mean your first name.
You don't need to know that.
[she goes over and puts on a pair of latex gloves]
You don't need to know where I live, or what my star sign is, or what I'm doing on a Saturday night. I'm going to have to take blood.
Oh, hey, really? I don't like needles.
Oh, but you have a tattoo or is that a transfer?
That was a gang thing.
[...] See more »
US version was cut for commercial reasons to a PG rating (the original version had a PG-13 rating). See more »
This film is basically Rocky but with a football. It's a rags-to-riches tale of a promising Mexican youngster with nothing in life, apart from incredible footballing skills.
Some of the CGI football shots are poor, but the budget for this film was not massive, and they did what they could. The use of cameos from the likes of Shearer, Zidane, Beckham and Raul added to both the credibility and believability of the overall piece.
The film is sad and at times funny, and can be enjoyed by the whole family, including people with no interest in football. It's a story of triumph over adversity, and of people pulling together to help someone get ahead in life, by doing what they do best.
Overall, this is the best football film ever made, in my opinion. You can tell that the people who made it knew their subject matter - something that simply cannot be said for Green Street (Hooligans) which concentrated on fan violence, rather than the beautiful game.
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