Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker), an illegal Mexican immigrant living in Los Angeles, lives and breathes soccer, but seems destined to live his life as a day laborer. His father, Hernan (Tony Plana), a stern hardworking man, discourages Santiago from playing soccer, believing it is only a feckless fantasy. One day, a former British professional, Glen Foy, spots Santiago playing in a pickup game, and promises him a tryout for Newcastle United. With the support of his doting grandmother, Santiago travels to England, and finds himself in a world where "football" is king, and "footballers" are Gods. His path to soccer stardom is tortuous and paved with pitfalls. Santiago must overcome a terrible tryout, a secret asthma condition, and the animosity of some of his teammates. However, with the guidance of Glen, the love of a plucky and beautiful nurse (Anna Friel), and the unexpected support by Newcastle United's playboy star Gavin Harris (Alessandro Nivola), Santiago finally finds himself in a position to score a pivotal goal and live his dream.
GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS contains many of the familiar tropes of the zero-to-hero sports story, but it rises above the clichés of the genre through the quality of the screenplay and the excellence of the acting. Each of the many minor roles is played to humble perfection, and the film artfully juggles dozens of subplots: Santiago's problematic involvement with troubled superstar Gavin Harris, his romance with Roz, his friendship with Glen, and his strained relationship with his father. The film proves to be full of subtle warmth and surprisingly moving. Thrilling matches--and cameos by such soccer luminaries as David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane--will certainly appeal to soccer fans, but GOAL!'s charming story will appeal to almost anyone.
Sean Pertwee - British actor
Danny Cannon - Director/Screenwriter
Stephen Dillane - Actor/"Heading Home"
Michael Barrett - Director of Photography
Adrian Butchart - Writer, GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS (2006)
Tony Plana - Supporting Actor
Miriam Colon - Actress/B. Puerto Rico
Mike Jeffries - Writer, GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS (2006)
Graeme Revell - Score composer
Laurence Dorman - Production Designer, GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS (2006)
Kieran O'Brien - ACTOR\"BELLMAN & TRUE"
Anna Friel - Actress
Dick Clement - British Screenwriter/Director
Richard Clement - British Screenwriter/Director
Kuno Becker - Actor, LUCIA LUCIA (2003)
Chris Dickens - Editor, GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS (2006)
Lindsay Pugh - Costume Designer, GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS (2006)
Lawrence Bender - Producer
David Beckham - British Soccer Star/Pop Culture Idol
Gary Lewis - Actor
Frances Barber - British Actress
Ian La Frenais
Theatrical Release: May 12, 2006
"[T]he film is capably acted and somewhat inspiring....Santiago's story of assimilation resonates..." - 05/12/2006 USA Today, p.5E
3 stars out of 5 -- "Its almost shameless embrace of style and sincerity offsets the structural flaws..." - 07/01/2006 Box Office, p.66