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All about Bill Nighy's new Netflix football movie 'The Beautiful Game'

All about Bill Nighy's new Netflix football movie 'The Beautiful Game'

Bill Nighy and Colin Farrell bring a moving sports story inspired by a real-life football tournament to Netflix.

Nighy, 74, stars alongside Michael Ward (Empire of Light) in the player's new movie The beautiful gamewhich follows athletes and teams competing in Homeless World Cupan international street soccer tournament that brings together homeless athletes from all over the world.

In the film, Nighy plays a British soccer coach named Mal, who works with a group of homeless athletes who are training for the Homeless World Cup in Rome. Mal recruits skilled striker Vinnie (Ward, 26), who is struggling to support himself and his young daughter, to join the England team just before they travel to the tournament, leaving Vinnie to face his childhood dreams of playing professional football.

Farrell, 47, was once attached to star in the film Delivery time Reported in 2021; He worked as a producer on the film instead. In quotes from the film's set, Farrell said he was first introduced to the Homeless World Cup when he narrated the 2008 documentary. He kicks herwhich follows those who participated in Championship 2006 In Cape Town, South Africa.

“The tangible story of our brothers and sisters living on the streets is still one of persecution, but the Homeless World Cup turns that narrative on its head,” Farrell said. “By feeling a growing belief in themselves and each other, our players once again find a sense of belonging, inclusion and meaning in a world that often turns against them again, all too quickly.”

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Michael Ward (left) and Bill Nighy (right) at Netflix The beautiful game.

Alfredo Valvo/Netflix


While the characters played by Ward, Nighy and other actors in the film are not specifically based on real people, they are inspired by the stories of those who have participated in the annual tournament since its inception in 2003 in Graz, Austria. Previous real-life competitions have included athletes such as Lisa Wrightsman, a former NCAA Division I football player who played in the 2010 Homeless World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. Reitman, who now works with… Street Football USA In Sacramento, Calif., he says “there's a lot of love and respect for everyone” regardless of their life circumstances in the tournament.

“You feel like you're leaving with a new family that loves you, cares for you, and respects you,” Wrightsman tells PEOPLE of her experience competing in the Homeless World Cup. “There was something about waking up every morning and seeing all the players and teams first thing in the morning, knowing we were going to play football all day and finish the day with everyone. [I] “I never felt alone once.”

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Michael Ward (left) and Bill Nighy (right) at Netflix The beautiful game.

Alfredo Valvo/Netflix


Mel Young, co-founder and president of the Homeless World Cup, tells PEOPLE in a statement: The beautiful game “It's about succeeding against the odds.”

He adds: “The film shows the hope, the drama of sports, the joy of this real-life tournament, and the enormous potential of the people left behind by society.”

Young and the late co-founder Harald Schmid co-founded the competition in 2001 after attending a conference on International Street Papers Network — Street papers are a popular means of employment for people experiencing homelessness or poverty. After lamenting that their conference didn't actually include any people struggling with housing, Young told PEOPLE that he and Schmid “came up with the idea of ​​soccer, the universal language” to better help people actually affected by homelessness.

“You just need a ball to play this beautiful game,” he says.

Bill Nighy on Netflix The beautiful game.

Alfredo Valvo/Netflix


The Homeless World Cup has been held annually since 2003, except for years that were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic between 2020 and 2022. The tournament will then be held in Seoul, South Korea, from September 20 to September 21. 21 – 28, with teams from 64 countries invited to participate and separate competition groups for men's and women's teams, in accordance with the organization's requirements. website.

“It's not really the mission of the film to humanize any of these characters,” Farrell said of the film. The beautiful game. “It is just an attempt to reflect the lives of a few players, teammates and opponents, and by doing so it is a call against the process of dehumanization, which is so prevalent in our world today.”

The beautiful game It's streaming on Netflix now.

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