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Editorials, Sports

Captains of the World: Six Things We Noticed

Captains of the World is a captivating Netflix limited series telling the stories of renowned national team captains during the FIFA 2022 World Cup.

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 9th January 2024
Captains of the World

In contemporary football docu-series, a captivating trend has emerged—providing fans with untold stories and behind-the-scenes glimpses. Netflix’s “Captains of the World,” a limited series chronicling the FIFA 2022 World Cup, stands at the forefront of this movement. Produced in collaboration with Netflix, Fifa+, and Fulwell 73, the six-episode series centers its narrative round revered national team captains, featuring football stars such as Messi, Ronaldo, Kane, and Lloris. BOUNCE takes a look into the intricacies of this series, several observations come to light.


The Pacing and Emotional Resonance:


The series adeptly follows the timeline of the 2022 World Cup, offering a well-paced narrative that captures the exhilaration of each match. With two to four matches per episode, the emotional rollercoaster of the tournament is condensed into a compelling storyline. Interviews with team captains and key football figures add depth to the narrative, creating a connection beyond the pitch.


Selectivity and Coverage Challenges:


While the pacing is commendable, “Captains of the World” faces criticism for its selective coverage, especially during the group stage. The series leaves significant moments unexplored, raising questions about the promised “exclusive access to all 32 teams.” The absence of teams like Qatar, the host nation, adds a layer of complexity to the overall representation.


Beyond the Matches:


The documentary doesn’t solely focus on on-field action but delves into the rich history of the World Cup. It pays tribute to football legends like Maradona and Pelé while also acknowledging lesser-celebrated heroes like Gary Speed and Papa Bouba Diop. This broader perspective adds depth to understanding why the World Cup holds such significance for expectant nations.



Spotlight on Messi and Ronaldo:


The inclusion of Messi and Ronaldo, two of football’s greatest, offers a fascinating glimpse into their mentalities and experiences. While Messi’s private nature makes his inclusion a surprise, the series intelligently observes his trajectory as the final episodes unfold. The documentary refrains from picking sides, uplifting those in the spotlight without creating heroes.



Technical Brilliance:


The technical aspects of the series, from editing to the recreation of football matches, stand out as world-class. Multiple camera angles and Peter Drury’s poetic commentary elevate the viewing experience, capturing the speed, intensity, and battles on the pitch.


Addressing Controversies:


One noticeable drawback is the series’ handling of political controversies surrounding the Qatar World Cup. The attempt to discuss these issues appears brief and lacks depth, especially when compared to the more nuanced portrayal of the Iranian national team’s response to societal challenges.


While “Captains of the World” shines in many aspects, its brevity leaves room for improvement. The absence of certain episodes diminishes the series’ potential depth. A longer format could have accommodated the richness of content hidden within this six-episode journey, ensuring a more comprehensive exploration of the World Cup’s multifaceted narrative.

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