If you’re looking for something soccer-related to watch, there’s plenty of documentaries out there. Here’s a longer guide at some shows to watch and avoid.
But if you want something with a San Jose Earthquakes angle included, check out the 30 for 30 on George Best, called “George Best: All by Himself,” directed by Daniel Gordon. The movie was originally released in 2017, but it’s available on demand on ESPN+.
The movie which lasts a little over an hour, traces the life story of Best, a Northern Irish winger who was probably the best dribbler of his generation in Europe. A rising star with the Manchester United team that had to rebuild after the Munich air disaster, Best helped the Red Devils win the European Cup, but his instant success came at a considerable price to his mental state, and coupled with an unfortunate family history, meant a long and swift decline.
The film primarily focuses on his Manchester United heyday and his off-field troubles in the final decades of his life, but there is some footage of his days as an Earthquakes player in the original NASL, and a considerable breakdown of the goal he said was his best ever.
There’s even a cameo in the film from a face very familiar to Earthquakes fans in 2020, a nice little easter egg from a San Jose perspective.
But, George Best’s story is not a happy one. Like Maradona, he was gifted with immense talent on the field and immense appetites off it, and it became his undoing. Still, for a player who came before the time of many of us, “George Best: All by Himself” is a great window into history and a good way to spend time while learning about one of the greats the old timers always mention when discussing the best ever.
You can watch “George Best: All by Himself” on ESPN+.
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