Gearing up for its coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer, ESPN launches a series of documentaries in its popular 30 for 30 franchise devoted to soccer, looking at some fascinating but little-known or long-forgotten stories surrounding the world’s most popular game. The “Soccer Stories” series includes two feature-length documentaries and six 30-minute films, each examining key moments and figures in soccer and placing them in the context of historical events.
The series opens with Hillsborough (April 15, 8pm ET), a feature-length study of the 1989 disaster in which 96 people were killed and 766 were injured in an overcrowded soccer stadium in Sheffield, England. The investigation and subsequent changes helped give rise to the English Premier League.
Future subjects include Diego Maradona’s famous “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup (April 22), the unbelievable 1966 theft of the World Cup’s Jules Rimet Trophy (May 6), the 1994 Ceasefire Massacre in Northern Ireland (April 29), Pelé’s colorful teammate Mané Garrincha (April 29), and two Argentinean footballers whose stardom in England was upended by the 1982 Falklands War (July 1).
ESPN’s 30 for 30 Soccer Stories Schedule
Tuesday, April 15, 8pm ET – “Hillsborough”
Tuesday, April 22, 7pm ET – “Maradona ’86”/“The Opposition”
Tuesday, April 29, 7pm ET – “The Myth of Garrincha”/“Ceasefire Massacre”
Tuesday, May 6, 7pm ET – “Mysteries of the Rimet Trophy”/“Barbosa: The Man Who Made Brazil Cry”
Tuesday, July 1, 8pm ET – “White, Blue and White”