HISTORY scores access to football’s top talent

Original series include interviews with renowned players, coaches, managers and broadcasters, and premieres in over 160 territories outside of the U.S. 28 May - 10 June.



A+E Networks announced that HISTORY® has officially secured many of the biggest names in football for its upcoming mega television event – HISTORY OF FOOTBALL: THE GREATEST STORY EVER PLAYED.



This unprecedented event will run on HISTORY® in over 160 territories outside of the United States, 24/7 for 14 days, from May 28 to June 10 and will present a selection of original, globally and locally focused premium series and documentaries, carefully curated films and short form specials.


Many renowned football players, managers, coaches and sports broadcasters will be featured in the highly anticipated HISTORY programming slate. HISTORY around the world will also broadcast locally sourced television series and documentaries that will offer a unique lens into each country’s particular passions for football and capture the global anticipation and excitement leading into the 2018 World Cup.


Highlights of the talent lineup for HISTORY OF FOOTBALL include: Pelé, the only player to win three World Cups; Ryan Giggs, the most decorated player in British history and current manager of the Wales national team; Gary Lineker, England’s record holder for goals scored in World Cup finals; internationally renowned sports broadcaster, Louis Van Gaal, former manager of Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Ajax Amsterdam and Holland; Philipp Lahm, captain of Germany during the 2014 World Cup and current Bayern Munich player; Claudio Ranieri, former manager of Leicester City, during their 2016 English Premier League win and current head coach of Nantes; Roy Hodgson, current manager of Crystal Palace in the English Premier League and former manager of England; and Michael Owen, former striker for Manchester United and the England national team; together with a number of players from the FIFA World Cup winning teams of 1970, 1978, 1990, 1998 and 2014, including the likes of Rivellino, Mario Kempes, Lothar Matthaus, Paul Breitner, Toto Schillaci, Emanuel Petit, Christian Karembeu, Manuel and Philip Lahm.


The weeks-long television event also takes a look at the sporting events that made such football luminaries and players as Pelé, Maradona, Messi, Ronaldo, Zidane, Villa, Rummenigge, Matthäus and Müller, household names around the world.


David Villa, World Cup Winner and one of the most decorated players in the world, will continue to represent HISTORY OF FOOTBALL as its global press spokesperson.


Over 160 territories around the world will be airing HISTORY OF FOOTBALL including in Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom; as well as across Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia (in Southeast Asia the event will run for one week not two). Every major territory will present over 40 hours of content which will be a blend of global and local programming.



At the heart of HISTORY OF FOOTBALL are global, original, premium series, including:


History’s Greatest Moments in Football (5 x 60’) chronicles the teams and players in recent World Cup history, whose skills and achievements transcended their sport to represent something far greater to fans and non-fans alike and fueled the sport’s unstoppable growth into the commercial behemoth we know today.  Episodes include: 1. Pele and the Boys from Brazil and Argentina; 2.Pavarotti, Gazza and the Lions of Cameroon; 3. The Three Musketeers; 4. Bring Me the Head of Diego Armando Maradona; and 5. Seven Goals That Shook the World. Each reveals the stories behind football’s most incredible and significant moments with the players, coaches and fans who made them happen. Episodes 1, 2 and 3 are produced by Goalhanger Films; 4 and 5 are produced by North One Television.


Football Godfathers (5 x 60’) presents five powerful documentaries delving into the minds and strategies of the world’s greatest and most revered club managers, revealing how they rose – often from relatively undistinguished playing careers – to become the global superstars of the sport we know today. Each of the five titans of our modern game is profiled in an intimate and honest portrayal of their achievements, both on and off the field using archival and interview material with the people and players who know them best.  Produced by Zig Zag Productions.


Football’s Greatest: Head to Head (5 x 30’) matches up the greatest players of yesteryear with the greatest of today, to find out once and for all, who is the greatest of them all.  Every generation has an opinion on who is the world’s greatest player. For the older generation, it’s Pelé, Puskas, Eusebio, Di Stéfano or Charlton. For today’s generation, it’s all about Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi or David Villa vs. Thomas Müller.  And for those of us in between, it’s a discussion of the respective talents of Maradona, Zidane, Gullit or Van Basten. With an expert panel of World Cup players and winners, and using hard science of statistics, as well as the romance of style and passion, this series will set out to resolve the most vexing question in sport.  Produced by Goalhanger Films.



No matter where you watch HISTORY OF FOOTBALL around the world, there will be local programming particularly focused on that respective market.  The local content will hone in on the cultural nuances which drive the passion for the game for some of football’s most avid fanbases. Below is a small glimpse of the localized programming set to roll out:



In the United Kingdom, plans are underway to showcase compelling specials, including Britains Greatest Managers, which speaks to the ultimate lineup of the best bosses in British Football.



Germany will premiere an original special, with a local talent who will embark on a road trip throughout Germany to find out what makes people love this game so much.



To complement Italy’s vast array of premium docs, viewers will enjoy some locally curated specials, including the story of the most famous coach in Italian history: Vittorio Pozzo. In this one-hour documentary, viewers will experience the life, successes and defeats of Vittorio Pozzo, the first coach in the history of the Italian national football team to win the World Cup.



Japan will be co-producing an original special, The History of Japanese Football, an in-depth look at Japan’s love for the game – and how it’s become more important to the country’s sport culture through time, across all ages and generations.



In Latin America content will be created and curated in support of HISTORY OF FOOTBALL. Among the projects to come, Argentina will air a feature bio, Messi, which tracks the journey of one of the greatest players today, from his childhood through his rise to international stardom.




HISTORY will also unveil short-form original specials which will focus on everything but the game…from the origin of the ball to the insanity of the superfan, the acumen of photographers and so much more. The shorts will provide deeper insights into the sport of football.


Among the featured “Shorts” will be:

  • The Photographer – Gerry Cranham and Mark Leech have been widely credited as capturing some of football’s most memorable moments. From the ‘60s onward they have captured and immortalized the most incredible highlights from the greatest show on turf, many of which have never been seen before.  These are the World Cup’s forgotten images.


  • The Scout – Piet De Visser is considered one of the greatest football scouts in the world. He is credited with finding global footballing superstars such as Jaap Stam, David Luiz, Marc Overmars, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne.  Here, he reveals his secrets for the first time.


  • The Superfan – Manuel Caceres Artesero, better known as ‘Manolo el del bombo’ [Manolo the bass drummer…], is a national institution in Spain and a mega fan who wears a number 12 jersey every day and runs his own unique fans’ bar in Valencia, which doubles as a museum of Spanish football. He came to international prominence when his famous drum was stolen last year.


  • The Referee – Jawahir Jewels has been described as one of the most remarkable referees in England. At 23, she is the only FA-qualified female ethnic Muslim official currently working in the game, where she regularly tackles rowdy players at pitches on the infamous Hackney Marshes in East London.


  • The Prodigy – Four-year-old Marco Antonio might be young, but his football skills have many already calling him the next Neymar. His parents see his skill with the ball as a ticket out of one of Rio de Janeiro’s toughest favelas. But his promising future career hangs perilously in the balance due to severe intestinal problems that require medical expertise not available in his country.