It’s here! The 2014 World Cup kicks off today! And while we will be glued to the TV during all 64 games, there are some interesting shows that showcase the history of South America through the context of soccer.
Produced by ESPN, these shows are now available on netflix.
The Two Escobars focuses on two figures in Colombia who happen to share a last name. Andrés Escobar, a soccer star for the National team, was killed after scoring an own goal in the 1994 World Cup.
The other Escobar, Pablo, was a powerful figure in Colombia’s drug cartel era. And during his time in “prison”, which happened to be his own mansion, he would arrange for soccer teams to come and play at his estate.
The 30 for 30: Soccer Stories has 8 episodes, but the most interesting regarding South American history is called The Opposition. After a military coup in 1973, Augusto Pinochet ruled Chile by stomping out any opposition. Intertwined in this story is how the Chilean national soccer team qualified for the World Cup when the Soviet Union refused to play in Santiago’s National Stadium, which was used as a torture camp for political prisoners.