The Sportsman's Favourite Sports Documentaries From 2022

There has been some excellent documentaries released this past year
08:00, 29 Dec 2022

As we're in that weird part of the festive season where none of us are exactly sure what time of day it is, you might be at a loss for something to watch that isn't an Only Fools And Horses rerun or Frozen II.

The last year has been jam-packed with quality sports documentaries and to aid you in your time of need, we've decided to sift through the best of them. Need something to watch whilst you plough through your 18th tube of Pringles? We've got you sorted! 

Rob Burrow: Living with MND - Rugby league (BBC)

This documentary follows rugby league legend Rob Burrow through his battle with Motor Neurone Disease. Having been diagnosed with the disease in 2019, the BBC have wonderfully illustrated the love, support and challenges faced by the Leeds Rhinos icon and his family while raising awareness and offering support to families that are also affected by MND. Both heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure, this is a must watch for everyone. 


Last Chance U: Basketball - Basketball (Netflix)

Following the success of Last Chance U, which followed young players on the American football circuit, this series follows basketball players at East Los Angeles College. Season one dropped in 2021 and the second season landed in November. It gives you access to the drama, emotion of a once faltering junior college team that has evolved into true title contenders. ELAC's coach John Mosley, a larger than life character, father figure and master tactician, is the beating heart of this series and is worth the price of admission alone. 

Captains - Football (Fifa+/Netflix)

This Fifa-commissioned series follows a handful of international football captains during the qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup. There are eight episodes following six captains, the most notable being Brazil’s Thiago Silva, Croatia’s Luka Modric and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The first season was such a success that a second season has already been commissioned following a select number of captains during the World Cup finals. Upset that the action in Qatar is over? This is perfect for you/ 

Messi - Football (BBC)

If you didn’t manage to check this out before the World Cup, it is sure to move to the top of your list. This documentary follows the journey of Lionel Messi, the newly-crowned World Cup winner and one of football’s all-time greats. From speaking to people who knew him when he was a shy youngster to his former teammates at club and international level, the BBC tries to give the viewer the best insight into the Argentine superstar. 


The Redeem Team - Basketball (Netflix)

Back to the court and this time focusing on the Redeem Team, the nickname given to the USA’s 2008 Olympic gold-winning basketball team captained by the late Kobe Bryant and also featuring LeBron James. After dreadful showing at Athens in 2004, we learn how the US team that bounced back to win gold in Beijing. Produced by James and Dwayne Wade, another member of the Redeem Team, the 90-minute feature was a collaboration project between Netflix and the International Olympic Committee. A slam dunk. 

Welcome to Wrexham - Football (Disney+)

This FX production tracks Hollywood duo Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds through their takeover of Wrexham FC which stole headlines in 2021. This series follows the two stars, the club and its supporters during the 2021-22 National League campaign as the two owners look to get the Welsh club promoted into the Football League. The show has been a huge success with football fans and non-football fans alike, and a second season is on its way. Extra marks for its Charlotte Church cameo. 

The Figo Affair: The Transfer That Changed Football - Football (Netflix)

The rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid is historic and one of the greatest that exists in football. Given how much these two giants despise each other, very few players have ever swapped one for the other - step forward, Luis Figo and one of the most explosive transfer stories of all time. In 2000, Luis Figo swapped the Nou Camp for the Bernabeu in a world record €62 million deal, changing the footballing landscape. This infamous tale is about much more than just a pig's head.

Fifa Uncovered - Football (Netflix)

A particularly apt documentary now the World Cup has been and gone. While what we saw on the pitch in Qatar could arguably have been the best World Cup in recent memory, the decision to give the state the biggest competition was given a mixed response to say the least, and brought allegations over Fifa's corruption back to the forefront. Netflix's expose over football's governing body and the years of alleged corruption, is a no holds barred joyride that might make you feel a little queasy afterwards. It is, however, absolutely vital viewing and will make you look at the beautiful game through altogether different lens. 

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