With sporting codes and leagues shut down all over the globe in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, sports fans have been left clutching at straws to get the thrill of a last-minute goal. But while you can bet on the weather, or re-live the glory days through replays, what else are streaming companies doing to help us get through this sporting drought? While saved primarily for the off-season, the time has now come for sports documentaries to come off the bench and take centre stage – but what sports docos are out there, and which are worth watching? Canstar Blue looks at some of the best sports documentaries on Amazon Prime Video.
Top sports documentaries on Amazon Prime Video
Here are some of the best sports docos available on Amazon Prime Video, sure to keep you entertained until the players hit the pitch again:
- The Test
- Take the Ball, Pass the Ball
- All or Nothing series
- Class of ‘92
- Becoming Zlatan
- One Night in Turin
- Andy Murray: Resurfacing
- This is Football
- Death of a Gentlemen
- Take Us Home: Leeds United
- Fire in Babylon
- Make Us Dream
- The Real Sergio Ramos
One of the most recent additions to the Amazon video library, The Test details the journey of the Australian men’s cricket team after the events of ‘Sandpapergate’ – the ball tampering scandal that saw three players banned from the squad, and the Australian coach stepped down. The documentary follows the squad from the South African test up until their Ashes redemption a whole year later, with plenty of interviews and behind the scenes footage.
Take the Ball, Pass the Ball
Based on the book ‘Barca: The Making of the Greatest Football Team of All Time’, Take the Ball, Pass the Ball follows the success of Barcelona FC during the 2008-2012 seasons, which saw the club take home 14 trophies under coach Pep Guardiola. It Includes interviews from star players like Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Andres Iniesta, as well as behind the scenes footage of one of Europe’s most successful teams.
All or Nothing series
Ranging from the All Blacks to the Brazilian national football (soccer) team, to the Dallas Cowboys NFL team and Manchester City in the EPL, Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing’ series follows sporting teams across all sporting codes in the lead up to big events and seasons. With multiple episodes per team, watch behind the scenes footage and interviews as you follow players during the lead up and through a season of their respective codes.
Class of ‘92
If you know football, you know that the late 1990s Manchester United team was in a league of its own. Featuring talent such as Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and a young David Beckham, the Class of ’92 follows how these players helped Manchester United win the treble in the 1998-99 season, as well as bring home the Champions League trophy in 99. The documentary showcases the cultural change of Great Britain in that time, as well as how the players stayed friends over the years.
Following the life and death of F1 star Ayrton Senna, ‘Senna’ showcases archival race footage, photos provided by the Senna family, and retrospective interviews about the World Championship winning driver, and particularly his rivalry with former teammate Alain Prost. The documentary also follows Senna’s battle with the governing bodies over driver safety before his own death on the track in 1994.
One of the top-flight footballers of his generation – and certainly one of the most confident – Zlatan Ibrahimović has been playing professional football for over 20 years, although he wasn’t always known for his confidence. Through archival footage and retrospective interviews, ‘Becoming Zlatan’ follows Ibrahimović’s formative years at Malmo FF, Ajax and Juventus, along with his personal struggles and upbringing.
One of the most recognisable sporting figures of the past century, Mike Tyson was a force to be reckoned with inside the ring, and a hugely controversial figure outside of it. ‘Tyson’ outlines the boxer’s life through interviews, archival footage and photographs to paint a picture of one of the most destructive boxers of all time.
One Night in Turin
Following the English national football team on their 1990 World Cup campaign, the documentary looks at both the team and players’ situations, as well as the political and social aspects of the times, including the UK government’s stance on football hooliganism. Including previously-unseen archival footage, the documentary interestingly contains no contextual interviews, with the archive footage doing the talking.
Andy Murray: Resurfacing
When Andy Murray announced he was undergoing hip surgery in 2018, many said that spelt the end of his tennis career. At 32, the former world number one had been under the knife multiple times before to repair and correct injuries, but ‘Andy Murray: Resurfacing’ follows the tennis star’s 18-month journey through surgery, rehab and triumph as he returns to the court.
This is Football
They say football is the world’s game, and once you watch ‘This is Football’, you’d be hard pressed to argue against that statement. Following stories from people all over the world, from the Iceland national team reaching new heights, to the untold stories of Claude-Romeo and Alexis from Rwanda, as well as featuring interviews from legendary players about the game they love, This is Football is must watch, even if you don’t like football.
Death of a Gentleman
Recent years have seen many changes to the traditional five-day cricket format we all grew up watching and loving. With the introduction of T20, Test cricket was beginning to fade into the background for the quicker, arguably more entertaining format, which led to a number of decisions – and investigations – into how the governing bodies reacted to the changing game, with ‘Death of a Gentleman’ exploring the dark side of cricket.
Take Us Home: Leeds United
To some, sport is more than just a simple game, it’s a way of life. Your team is your family, and their wins are your wins. That’s the way the people of Leeds seem to live their lives by the looks of the trailer for ‘Take Us Home: Leeds United’. Following Leeds United during the 2018-19 English football season, the documentary features interviews with coaches and players during the tough season, ‘Spygate’ and the intensity of English football culture.
Fire in Babylon
Documenting one of the most devastating cricket bowling line-ups in history, ‘Fire in Babylon’ explores the rise of West Indies dominance of the international cricket scene during the 70s and 80s, along with the social impact it had. Featuring archival footage and interviews, Fire in Babylon showcases how fast bowling has changed in cricket over the years.
Make Us Dream
Steven Gerrard is a name etched into English football. From leading Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League title in the 2004-05 season and captaining England in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, Gerrard is considered one of the best midfielders of his generation. But with success comes intense scrutiny and debate, with ‘the slip’ haunting Liverpool fans for years. Through ‘Make Us Dream’, Gerrard explains his career highs and lows, and what it means to represent your club and country.
The Real Sergio Ramos
Arguably the biggest pantomime villain in the game of football, Sergio Ramos is explored through the lens when he’s off the pitch. Primarily spending time with family and pursuing his other hobbies, ‘The Real Sergio Ramos’ looks to paint one of the most red-carded players in football history in a different light (although we won’t blame you if you don’t forgive him for that foul on Salah).
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