Antoine Griezmann: The Making of a Legend is a typical and effective against-all-odds football documentary, now streaming on Netflix.
The against-all-odds sporting documentary is nothing new, much less on streaming platforms, where we’ve had Manchester City: All or Nothing on Amazon Prime, and First Team: Juventus and Sunderland Til I Die on Netflix, all within the last year or so. But those shows were about entire teams at pivotal moments in their histories. Antoine Griezmann: The Making of a Legend, the hour-long documentary that debuted on Netflix today, is about an individual; French striker Antoine Griezmann, who more or less embodies the spirit that documentary films like this burn for fuel.
Entirely in French and featuring interviews with Antoine and his father spliced with archival footage, Antoine Griezmann: The Making of a Legend looks to parallel the footballer’s hard-fought rise with his greatest successes, from failed tryouts to the Champion’s League, and from being called up through Real Sociedad’s youth program to lifting the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
“Legend” might seem a grandiose term for a footballer, but Griezmann has been a regular feature of the French national team since he was a teenager and has played in two World Cups, being particularly instrumental in France winning the most recent. And all from humble beginnings, which is, of course, the point of a documentary such as this. Everyone loves an underdog, and this 60-minute Netflix Original does a good job of painting him as one while also highlighting his talents and the intrinsic appeal of the beautiful game.
If there’s a drawback to Antoine Griezmann: The Making of a Legend it’s that it occasionally feels as though there isn’t quite enough material even to fill its scant running time, which even a cursory study of Griezmann’s career would prove false. Instead, it seems as though the filmmakers had particular accomplishments they wanted to highlight and bits of footage they wanted to use and were content to use them more than once to make the point clear. And the point is clear indeed, even if another couple could have been made besides.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.