Across most of the world, football is at a standstill. Only a handful of leagues are playing through the coronavirus pandemic, including Belarus, which is promoting vodka and sport.
We're here to offer some relief. There might not be any live games to watch for some time, but for our audience in the U.S., we've compiled a list, including a couple of instant classics from earlier this season, that will help tide you over and a deep list of documentaries that will help you pass the hours in isolation.
30 for 30: The Two Escobars
While drug cartels warred in the streets and the country's murder rate climbed to the highest in the world, the Colombian national team set out to create a new image for their country. What followed was a mysteriously rapid rise to glory, as the team catapulted from decades of obscurity to become one of the best teams in the world. Central to this success were two men named Escobar: Andres, the captain of the national team, and Pablo, the infamous drug lord who pioneered the phenomenon known in the underworld as "Narco-soccer."
Just when Colombia was expected to win the 1994 World Cup, the shocking murder of Andres Escobar dashed the hopes of a nation.
Through the glory and the tragedy, "The Two Escobars" daringly investigates the secret marriage of crime and sport, perhaps best displayed in the heartbreaking scenes of the team coping with death threats received ahead of their match against the U.S. Stream "30 for 30: The Two Escobars" on ESPN+.
"Diego Maradona" brings to life the story of arguably the game's greatest of all time, from his giving hope to the city of Naples at a time when it was in short supply to his delivering Argentina its second World Cup trophy in the span of eight years. He was the most celebrated man on the pitch, and he was treated like a god off of it.
It was off the pitch that his life grew ever more complicated, as drugs and corruption raised questions about an icon of the sport. The documentary relives Maradona's role in Naples' seedy underbelly in painstaking detail. Stream "Diego Maradona" on HBO.
Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool | FA Cup fifth round | March 3, 2020
Liverpool's 44-match Premier League unbeaten run had come to an end at Watford three days prior, and a second consecutive defeat heaped pressure on England's champions-elect heading into their make-or-break Champions League round-of-16 second leg against Atletico Madrid -- which they went on to lose in dramatic fashion. The historic season promised by Liverpool's sensational first two-thirds of the campaign well and truly was put into jeopardy by this loss at Chelsea.
For the West London club, the result was an oasis in a desert of disappointment, as they had won just twice in their previous eight contests across all competitions. It kept their hopes of a ninth FA Cup alive. Stream a replay of Chelsea and Liverpool's FA Cup fifth-round tie on ESPN+.
Alex Morgan: The Equalizer
"Alex Morgan: The Equalizer" provides fans with a behind-the-scenes, up-close look at Morgan as she prepares to lead the U.S. women's national team in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France. The four-episode series follows her exploits from the tournament to her victorious return to the U.S. after a record fourth World Cup win. It also delves into Morgan's background and rise to prominence on soccer's world stage, as well as her efforts off the field as a role model for girls and a trailblazer for the future of women's sports.
Beyond the endless preparation and the pressure of being the favourite team, episode three, "That's the Tea," illustrates the hectic schedule off the field that comes with the national team's success and documents the team's quest for equality upon their return from France. Stream every episode of "Alex Morgan: The Equalizer" on ESPN+.
Take Us Home: Leeds United
Leeds United are one of England's most storied football clubs, having won three first-division titles, an FA Cup and League Cup, but they haven't contested the Premier League since their relegation in 2004. But there is hope at Elland Road ahead of the 2018-19 season, as owner Andrea Radrizzani has brought in manager Marcelo Bielsa to lift the club out of the Championship and back to the top flight they once called home. (When the 2019-20 season resumes, the table-topping Whites are primed for promotion.)
This six-episode series pulls back the curtain for an inside look at Leeds' promotion push, with the "Spygate" incident with Derby County making for particularly engrossing viewing, culminating in the Championship playoffs, with the riches and prestige of the Premier League in the balance. Stream "Take Us Home: Leeds United" on Amazon Prime.
30 for 30 Soccer Stories: Hillsborough
"30 for 30 Soccer Stories: Hillsborough" is a comprehensive account of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster, a tragedy that occurred during a 1989 FA Cup semifinal between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The film focuses on the events that unfolded before, during and after the horrifying afternoon that led to the deaths of 96 people.
Featuring firsthand accounts of fans in attendance as well as police officers -- many speaking on camera for the first time -- the film explores the tragedy through the experiences of families who lost loved ones and undertook a painstaking journey in a quest for justice that is ongoing. The accounts of those who survived that day, particularly former ESPN contributor Tony Evans, are nothing short of haunting. Stream "30 for 30 Soccer Stories: Hillsborough" on ESPN+.
Your #UltimateQuaranTeam 2020 Quarter Final line up;— Ultimate Quaran-Team (@QuaranTeam2020) March 31, 2020
🏴 Middlesbrough v Standard Liege 🇧🇪
🇨🇭 FC Sion v Wolves 🏴
🇫🇷 Lille v FC Groningen 🇳🇱
🇹🇷 İstanbul Başakşehir v Feyenoord 🇳🇱
Fixture dates are UNKNOWN at this time and will be posted as soon as they are announced.
League Two side Leyton Orient grew tired of the lack of football earlier this month and took it upon themselves to come up with some form of the sport to pass the time. What resulted on March 15 was a 128-team FIFA 20 tournament, with representatives from clubs around Europe, North America, Australia and Africa.
The Ultimate Quaran-Team tournament is raising money for EFL clubs facing a funding shortfall in the absence of matches, with 25% of funds raised divvied up among the EFL's chosen charity, MIND, and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund from the World Health Organization. Leyton Orient's Twitter feed has the latest updates, as the quarterfinals are set to kick off, with streams of matches found on participating clubs' social media accounts.
We Are LAFC
"We Are LAFC" is a 10-part, all-access documentary series that brings fans into the heart of one of the most highly anticipated soccer projects ever: the creation of LAFC. Offering unprecedented access, the show chronicles the birth of the club, its historic debut 2018 season in MLS and its run to the MLS Cup playoffs.
From the opening scenes, the series provides an intimate look into the hearts and minds of the likes of star Carlos Vela, manager Bob Bradley and GM John Thorrington -- from the board room to the locker room, from tactical meetings to closed training sessions, from the pressure of matchday to the release of life off the field. That's no more evident than in the team meeting in which Bradley tells Vela that he wants him "to be as good as [Lionel] Messi." Stream every episode of "We Are LAFC" on ESPN+.
Sunderland 'Til I Die
"Sunderland 'Til I Die" documents the dark days of the 2017-18 Sunderland season, a campaign that saw the Black Cats contest the Championship for the first time since 2007 after their relegation from the Premier League. The eight-episode season follows incoming manager Simon Grayson and his side's quest to return to the pinnacle of English football, but as the club struggles to improve and as episode five, "Sticking Plasters," foreshadows, it's the other end of the Championship table that Sunderland will remain rooted in.
A second season of "Sunderland 'Til I Die" was released Wednesday. Stream it on Netflix.
Juventus 2-0 Inter | Serie A | March 8, 2020
Inter were meant to be Juventus' great rivals for the Serie A crown this season, and for much of the campaign, that was the case, but the Bianconeri found a new level in 2020 -- something their rivals in Milan had been unable to do. With a win, Inter could've cut the lead to the league leaders down to three points. Instead, Juve's victory extended the gap to nine and left them one point ahead of second-placed Lazio.
This match was played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the echoes of shouting players' instructions reverberating off the empty seats of the Allianz Stadium, foreshadowing what was to come for the game in so many parts of the world. Stream a replay of Juventus and Inter's Serie A match on ESPN+.