Over the last several weeks, sports fans have been treated to one of the finest documentary series ever produced. Netflix and ESPN’sThe Last Dance is a joy for basketball aficionados and novices alike, with the show perfectly capturing everything that made Michael Jordan and his time with the Chicago Bulls so special.
The series had the perfect blend of focus on supporting characters, while never losing sight on who the star of the show was – and what made him tick.
Over the years we’ve seen many truly incredible seasons in football history, all featuring a key figure at the heart of the success. Now that The Last Dance has left us with a hole we didn’t know needed filling, here are eight individual football seasons that deserve their own show on streaming…
Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid – 2011/12
Expectations were high when Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009 – for what was then a world record transfer fee of £80m – and while the Portuguese superstar was great during his first couple of seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, Los Blancos found themselves unable to match Barcelona.
It wasn’t until Ronaldo’s third season in the Spanish capital where he put it all together, leading the club to their first La Liga title since 2008. Madrid broke numerous records in the 2011/12 season including most points and most goals scored in a La Liga season. Several newspapers even called it ‘The League of the Records’.
A documentary series following Ronaldo’s incredible season at the peak of his rivalry with Lionel Messi – who scored a breathtaking 50 league goals that season – would be a truly inspirational one to watch.
Sir Alex Ferguson & Manchester United – 2012/13
After 27 incredible seasons at Old Trafford, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement shortly before the end of the 2012/13 campaign.
The greatest manager of all time, a series documenting Fergie’s final season as Manchester United boss and the search for his successor, while regaining the Premier League crown they’d lost in the final seconds of the previous season, could make for captivating viewing.
There’s also the side-story of Robin Van Persie’s incredible season after leaving rivals Arsenal.
Virgil Van Dijk & Liverpool – 2018/19
The transformation that Liverpool experienced the minute Virgil Van Dijk joined the side is hard to deny. The Dutch centre-back (who scored on his debut against Everton) just instantly made the team better and a documentary series following his first full season at Anfield as Liverpool had one of their greatest ever seasons would be a fascinating watch.
While the Premier League season ended in heart-ache for the Reds, despite toppling a number of records, the celebratory culmination of the documentary would come with the Champions League final in Madrid.
Thierry Henry & Arsenal – 2003/04
The only ever team to go an entire Premier League season unbeaten, Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ are iconic and a fly-on-the-wall documentary following that campaign would have been must-watch TV.
Who better to be the focal point of the series than Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry?
The Frenchman was in scintillating form for the Gunners during their last Premier League title winning season and really solidified himself as the greatest Arsenal player ever – scoring 39 in all competitions.
Jose Mourinho & Inter – 2009/10
Although his stay in Italy was relatively short, Jose Mourinho left a huge impression on the Inter faithful and quickly became one of the most beloved managers in the club’s history.
The only ever Italian team to win the treble, Mourinho’s final season at San Siro would make for a breathtaking documentary filled to the brim with emotion.
Mourinho’s emotional farewell from the club as he joined Real Madrid would make for truly moving TV and highlight what made ‘The Special One’ so special.
Lionel Messi & Barcelona – 2010/11
When even Sir Alex Ferguson calls Barcelona the greatest team he’s ever watched, It’s hard to disagree.
The Barcelona side of 2011 was filled to the brim with talent, but Messi manages to stand out as head and shoulders above the rest.
The Ballon d’Or hogging forward was instrumental in Barça winning the La Liga and the Champions League with a host of youth team graduates in Pep Guardiola’s final season as coach.
There have already been books and films dedicated to that Barça vintage but who wouldn’t want an inside documentary series (with The Last Dance levels of access) following Messi and co as they achieve true footballing excellence?