Three Must-See Soccer Documentaries To Prepare For Qatar 2022

This winter sees the USMNT enter the soccer World Cup in Qatar. It kicks off in November, and coach Gregg Berhalter hopes his team can emerge from the Group stage and put some pride back on the US name.

They didn't qualify for the 2018 event in Russia but made up for it this time out, but it's still not the most beloved sport in the US. It's considered the fifth-most popular, and some of that popularity is courtesy of the USWNT. Unlike the rest of the world, there is real parity between the women's team and their male counterparts. The USWNT's battle for equality made headlines worldwide and was described by 
CBS 42 as historic. It's also having further implications, as the Netherlands has committed to equal pay across the gender gap. That makes US soccer a leader off the pitch.

Berhalter will be hoping they become leaders on it, but recent comments by star play Christian Pulisic won't help relations with fans. He was disappointed at the attendance for their 3-0 win against Morocco, which fell 6,000 short of the stadium capacity. The lack of supporters was partly due to the cost of tickets (upwards of $60) and partly to low interest in soccer. At present, it just doesn't have the traction of other sports.

Perhaps the World Cup will change that. In order for it to do so, people will need to buy into what the team are doing, and for that to happen, you might want to get a better understanding of soccer. If you do, there are a lot of great documentaries you can watch which will whet your appetite. Here are three not to miss as you prepare for the soccer World Cup.

Sunderland 'Til I Die – Netflix

For US soccer fans to truly grasp how important the game is elsewhere, they need to see fans in action. Sunderland' Til I Die follows the fortunes of a huge club in England that experienced terrible fortune. Sunderland was a Premier League side, but by series two, they had been relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history. There are two series, and here's a spoiler; a third would have found them promoted again! They're not among the favorites with Ladbrokes to win the Championship and return to the Premier League, but it is worth bearing in mind as you watch the desolate, gutted fans full of a blind hope on the show. Not to be missed.

Becoming Champions – Netflix

Becoming Champions is the perfect warm-up series for the World Cup because it is all about the World Cup! Former players, coaches and journalists from former World Cup winners discuss what it takes to lift the prestigious trophy. Each episode has plenty of match action, helping deliver a flavor of previous tournaments for those unfamiliar with the event's history. When a World Cup comes around, it is important to appreciate the history and magnitude of the competition; this show will certainly help. Unless you're bilingual, make sure you have subtitles, as many of the winning nations are not native English speakers.

Six Dreams: Amazon Prime

England might be the so-called home of football, but the rest of Europe has a vibrant and diverse football system. There's none more famous than La Liga, home to arguably the two biggest soccer teams on the planet, Barcelona and Real Madrid. This documentary series doesn't follow either, focusing on Atlético de Madrid, Athletic Club, Real Betis, SD Eibar, Girona FC and Sevilla. By focusing on six teams with six dreams, the series delivered a comprehensive understanding of all levels of La Liga. It's fascinating for a US soccer fan to see how the threat of relegation affects a team and how culturally diverse Spain is. The fact the show won an Emmy only underlines how essential it is for soccer fans in the US to gain a wider understanding of the game.

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