Ronaldinho, Gennaro Gattuso, Jamie Carragher and Hernan Crespo are to appear in an ambitious soccer documentary series as broadcasters around the world are gearing up for the World Cup this summer.
British production Zig Zag has teamed up with Infinity Creative Media, the Chinese-backed production company chaired by British TV grandee Michael Grade, to produce The Football Show, a six-part series about the sport.
The pair are developing the series for linear broadcasters, mobile networks and digital SVOD platforms with 24 films featuring soccer players from all over the world. Presented by Layla Anna-Lee and Jonny Nelson and show across Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Manchester, Barcelona, Rome & Mumbai, the series is being pitched to platforms at Mip TV next month. Former Chelsea striker Hernan Crespo is heading to the Cannes market to help the producers pitch the show.
Other players and managers involved include Michael Owen, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Álvaro Morata, Juan Mata, Marcelo, Edison Cavani, Christian Atsu, Pablo Zabaleta, Asmir Begovic, Rafael Benitez, Javier Zanetti, Carles Puyol, Ramires, Troy Deeney, Rafinha Alcantara, Harry Winks, Ledley King and Tammy Abraham.
It is the latest soccer doc to appear ahead of the tournament in Russia this summer. Last month, HBO revealed that its European division and Latin American unit are teaming to produce Destino Rusia 2018, a ten-part series featuring leading South American and European players.
Zig Zag has history in football programming. Run by Tottenham Hotspur fan Danny Fenton, the British firm recently produced The Next Jamie Vardy for Sky and has previously produced series including The Premier’s League’s Most Amazing Moments.
The show is also a football take on Infinity’s popular The Wine Show, the Matthew Goode and James Purefoy-fronted travelogue for Hulu and the company, run by Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan’s former manager Russ Lindsay, previously produced The Best Fifa Football Awards 2017.
“As a massive football fan, having the opportunity for Zig Zag to produce this global football lifestyle show, whilst filming with the biggest names in the world of football and visiting the most iconic football locations, is a dream come true,” said Danny Fenton, CEO of Zig Zag Productions.
Russ Lindsay, founder of Infinity Creative Media, said, “The world of football consistently gives back to global and local communities and charities, most of which is unseen and mainly unreported. The inspiration to produce this positive, beautifully shot, high-end television series was the desire to highlight the very best of football and its global icons”.
The series is being distributed globally by Dick Clark Productions, whose EVP of International Distribution Mark Rafalowski added, “The Football Show delivers like the beautiful game itself. It lets fans hang out with the players and come away feeling as though they are now one of the same family. This is a rare gem, it scores on all levels, emotional, playful, engaging and fun.”