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NEXT GOAL WINS

Director: MIKE BRETT, STEVE JAMISON

90 minutes, U.K., 2014, Colour, D-Cinema


EXCLUSIVELY AT IFI

Since suffering a record 31-0 defeat against Australia during a World Cup qualifying game in 2001, the pacific island of American Samoa has had the notoriety of producing the worst football team in the world, frequently trounced by their opposition and stranded rock bottom of FIFA’s world rankings since 1998.

Facing another seemingly hopeless attempt at World Cup qualification, the national football association reaches out for help, and eccentric Dutch coach Thomas Rongen offers his services to a team that includes a number of players who are unfit or obese, a veteran goalkeeper scarred by failure and a defender who is the first transgender player ever to compete at international level. Can Rongen’s drive and ambition be enough to inspire these perennial losers? Filmmakers Mike Brett and Steve Jamison deliver a documentary with characters and charm in abundance, a film that will resonate with anyone who has that natural inclination to cheer for the underdog. (Notes By Michael Hayden.)

Don’t forget we now schedule weekly.

★★★★★ RTE TEN

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