The 16 Best Sports Documentaries to Watch on Netflix in 2021

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It might have taken sports coming to a full stop for some of us to realize just how much they mean to us in our everyday lives. Whether you’re the kind who’s a sports fanatic and is fully invested in and dedicated to multiple sports just due to the aspect of competition or you’re an extremely casual viewer, there’s a particular value in sports that’s easy to appreciate. They bring out the best in many and evoke raw human emotion.

Some of the best sports documentaries capture these emotions, encapsulating them for our viewing pleasure. At a time where normality in sports feels a long way away, we made an alphabetical list of the 16 best sports documentaries that are available on Netflix. Check them out below.

1. 'Barca Dreams'

Barça Dreams is a deep dive into the history of one of the greatest soccer clubs in the world. The documentary takes us through their inception, all the way up until today, the era of Lionel Messi. It’s a great watch for those getting into the sport and even if Barcelona isn’t your club, they’re to be respected and this documentary will help you with that. It’s a good base understanding of the team.

2. ‘First Team: Juventus’

This offering gives us a new look at Italian soccer giants Juventus at numerous points throughout their 2017/2018 season. As well as documenting them on the pitch, it follows them off of it; in the locker room, on the road, and even at home. While it’s not necessarily a deep dive into the intricacies of the game or their lives, it is an interesting watch for Juventus fans and does a good job of humanizing soccer stars in general.

3. ‘Icarus’

Without a doubt one of the most famous sports documentaries of all time, Icarus does a deep dive into the Russian Olympic doping program. It’s a documentary that has all the makings of an incredible movie. Watching this is a special experience because it will change the way you perceive sports as a whole. To top it off, it managed to win Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars in 2018.

4. ‘Little Miss Sumo’

Little Miss Sumo is a sports documentary about a 20-year-old sumo wrestler Hiyori Kon, as she attempts to make her mark on a traditionally male-driven sport. Along the way Kon encounters different forms of misogyny, including being banned from competing professionally. Though it all, however, she is able to conquer the trials and rise to success.

5. ‘Last Chance U’

Last Chance U is an episodic docu-series that follows East Mississippi Community College’s football program, exploring the players’ struggles both in and out of the game and school. Players must perform at the junior college level to try to get back to Division I and eventually make it out of their small town of Scooba. As the best documentaries do, it makes for a genuinely riveting tale and replicates the drama of your favorite movies.

6. ‘Losers’

Across its eight episodes, Losers looks at eight different people from eight different sports who did not manage to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Golf, soccer, boxing, and even figure skating runner ups come into play here. This one is great because while athletes’ success drives us, failure in some way, shape, or form is relatable to us all. We lose out more often than we win, making this docu-series hit home harder than we’d like it to.

7. ‘Maradona In Mexico’

Whether you’re a soccer fan or not, you might know Diego Maradona as the greatest of all time. But what people aren’t so familiar with is his history of managing teams. The Argentinian has been in charge of eight different sides since 1994, one of the more recent ones being Mexican club Dorados de Sinaloa. Maradona In Mexico is a captivating look at his time with the team, ups, downs, and all.

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