Communism and Football (2006)
1h · Documentary, Drama · 11 April 2006
After the Russian Revolution, the Soviet authorities sought to exercise control over every aspect of social, political and cultural life, including Russia's national sport, football. Throughout the 20th Century, the football grounds of Eastern Europe became battlegrounds as ruthless politicians tried to use football to lend legitimacy to communist rule. In this film, footballers from Russia, Hungary and East Germany recall how the beautiful game was manipulated by ruthless communist leaders, and reveal how the careers of several great footballers from behind the Iron Curtain were destroyed simply because they refused to co-operate with the Eastern Bloc's most brutal totalitarian regimes. The central tale is of the George Best of Russian football, a seventeen-year-old slinky, skilled forward with a teddy boy haircut, Eduard Streltstov, who was the inventor of a back-heeled pass, still known as "The Russian Pelé", whose career was wrecked by the KGB.
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