Discovery Channel to premier series 'More Than A Game' on World Cup

MUMBAI:Starting 28 April, Discovery Channel is set to premiere six-part series More Than a Game, which will chronicle the emergence of international football's greatest teams and players interwoven with the story of how the World Cup evolved as a tournament and shaped the nature of football worldwide.

This series will air every Friday at 9 pm and each episode will be repeated on the following Saturday at 10 am.

More Than A Game will feature the six giants of the game - Brazil, Germany, France, England, Argentina and Italy.

The football World Cup has evolved into a cultural event that unites the entire world for one exhilarating and unforgettable month. More than just a sporting extravaganza, it has impacted the economy of countries and their presence on the global map, informs an official release.

Made in collaboration with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and featuring exclusive footage from FIFA's film archive and recollections from some of the world's greatest players including Beckham, Beckenbauer, Zidane, Platini and Zoff, the show will present the definitive account of the World Cup – its glorious goals, legendary players, fanatical fans and enduring appeal.

The release also adds that with previously unseen footage from matches dating back over 40 years, viewers will get a fresh perspective on even the most familiar football legends. They will also witness how winning or losing a game can change the fortunes of a nation.

Discovery Channel’s spokesperson said, “More Than A Game showcases how the World Cup has been a carnival of innovation, advancing both the game and the business of football. It presents the fascinating account of the extraordinary brilliance and the gallant failures of the superpowers of world football. Identifying and capturing the defining moments of the football World Cup is what makes More Than A Game so captivating.”

The Ambassador of Brazil, His Excellency Jose Vicente Pimentel said “I am delighted to be part of this special programme by Discovery Channel which will provide the football enthusiasts in India an insight into the history of the World Cup. Each of the six nations covered in the programme represent football in its truest form. Each episode will give viewers an insight into the various manifestations of the sport and how single-handedly football can bind an entire nation.”

MORE THAN A GAME programme schedule:
• Brazil on 28 April at 9 pm
The World Cup has defined Brazil as a nation. The five-time winners have given the world legends like Pele, Carlos Alberto, Tostao, Socrates and Ronaldo. In this episode, you can also watch 17-year-old Pele leading the Brazilian charge to their first World Cup win in 1958 and then taking it to the event to its greatest height: the superlative final of 1970.

• Argentina on 5 May at 9 pm
Argentina’s Diego Maradona became the biggest football star since Pele. Never has one man so dominated the World Cup. But after the bravura and brilliance of 1986, it has all been downhill for Maradona. His well-publicised descent into drug addiction and psychological deterioration mark a sad end to an incredible career. Also see the memorable celebrations in Buenos Aires in 1978 after Argentina won against a background of intimidation and corruption with a military junta governing the country.

• England on 12 May at 9 pm
The British boycotted the World Cup till 1950 and have won it only once – in 1966. They were the first nation to win as hosts. With a passionate (and infamous) fan base and the superstar status of their players, it has always shared a love-hate relationship with the sport they invented. Their story of the World Cup ranges from disaster to gallant failure.

• Germany on 19 May at 9 pm
It’s hard to imagine a time when Germany was not a footballing superpower. But in the 1954 final, they were definitely the underdogs against the talented Hungarians. An extraordinary comeback set the foundations for future dominance, and till now they remain one of the most difficult sides to overcome. Watch how the World Cup has helped Germany to emerge as one of the leading nations in world football.

• Italy on 26 May at 9 pm
Paolo Rossi’s hat-trick helped Italy beat Brazil 3-2 in one of the greatest World Cup games. Their World Cup victory in 1982 ended a fifty-two year wait for their demanding supporters. The famous Azzuri are characterised by their stubborn, defensive approach that has, according to their critics, overshadowed the beauty of their game. They have, however, won the World cup three times and those who underestimate them, do so at their own peril.

• France on 2 June at 9 pm
The 1998 World Champions had included 15 squad players from different ethnic backgrounds embodied by Zidane, Desailly and Lizarazu. As the most racially troubled country in Europe, France was divided by the question of immigration. The multiracial make up of the French national team was openly criticised till their stunning 3-0 victory over favourites Brazil, which led to four days of euphoric celebrations across the nation. The win also summed the international nature of a sport which is More Than A Game.

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