Eight football documentaries to get you through the rest of winter

Raf Diallo picks out a few worth watching when you have some down-time

Class of 92, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt,

Picture by: Yui Mok / PA Archive/PA Images

To turn a Game of Thrones saying on its head, winter is going. Just not yet of course, but in a few weeks' time.

And with the weather likely to throw up a few more bad days - granted our summer weather is hardly a guarantee either on past evidence - your couch becomes something of a sanctuary from the wind and incessant rain.

All of which means, you'll have plenty of time for other things, like the telly or the more modern DVD, Netflix etc.

For those who love the beautiful game, there are plenty of football documentaries to work your way through.

Coming up are some examples you may have seen, but also others that you can add to your list of ones to watch. 

Gazza's Italian Diaries

Narrated by James Richardson of Gazzetta Football Italia fame, this Channel 4 documentary follows Paul Gascogine during his eventful time at Lazio in the early to mid-1990s.

As injuries and increasing tabloid scrutiny take their toll, you do get an insight into Gazza's state of mind at the time and his achievements and challenges on and off the field.

Watch Gazza's Italian Diaries below:

Incidentally as Richardson told Team 33 in March, Gazza was originally slated to be Gazzetta Football Italia's presenter, and judging from the evidence of this doc and other appearances in the media at the time, the former England midfielder was a natural in front of the camera.

Memorable quote:  "I went to EuroDisney and [my son] Mason was tired. And the kid is only three years of age and you have to tell a little kid like that when all these people are coming round with cameras. You have to explain how they are or he's going to start worrying. He was tired and I said 'come on, I'll put you in the push chair'. He went 'I don't want to be in the papers in a push-chair'. Three years of age. I felt like crying for him. I felt really upset" - Paul Gascoigne.

More than a game

With the far right seemingly politically relevant in France again and major questions being asked about integration and immigration, this documentary about the development of the French national side itself feels relevant once more.

Starting with the multi-ethnic France side of the 1950s, all the way to Michel Platini's Euro 84 winners and 1982 World Cup semi-finalists, and culminating with the side fronted by a star of Algerian descent in Zinedine Zidane that won the World Cup in 1998, it looks at how France has always had a diverse national side even despite the sideline barbs of former Front Nationale leader Jean-Marie Le Pen - whose daughter Marine is currently trying to show French voters a more acceptable face for the far right party - and how Les Bleus went from underachievers to winners in half a century.

Memorable quote: "There's always been a conflict in French football culture. Should we win or should we go out and play brilliantly?" - Cultural historian Dr Andrew Hussey. 

The Class of 92

One for Manchester United fans of the '90s and early noughties, but not exclusively.

At its heart, it's the story of a group of lads who grew up together in the youth team before going on to win every single major club trophy together at senior level.

You get a bit of an insight into the characters of David Beckham, the Neville brothers, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs to see how they blended together on but also off the pitch as kids and then as adults.

Memorable quote: "There was not one piece of jealousy between any of us. We all had each other's back" - David Beckham.

I Believe in Miracles

When the inimitable Brian Clough took over Nottingham Forest in 1975, the club were in the Second Division, with just two FA Cups to their name.

By the 1980s, the club had experienced a miracle, winning the First Division and two European Cups.

The story of Forest's rags to riches story is the centre-piece of I Believe In Miracles and recently on Off The Ball, the hero of the 1979 European Cup final, Trevor Francis, gave us the inside track on his time with Clough's Forest and some of his experiences from the documentary.

Memorable quote: "Familiar with making back page headlines. But this was front page headlines". 

The Four Year Plan

For clubs trying to make it and become Premier League fixtures, the likes of Leicester City, Swansea City and Southampton provide diverse examples of how to go about it.

Queens Park Rangers, on the other hand, a little less so. Something of a yo-yo club in recent seasons despite spending quite heavily at times, The Four Year Plan goes back a bit further in time to 2007 when a consortium led by moneyed men Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone took over the London side and set about trying to make it into the Premier League in the aforementioned four-year span.

As a documentary, it takes you behind the scenes, not just as a fly-on-the-wall but the tea tray in a football boardroom.

Memorable quote: "This season when you sit here, don't scream at the players. Be positive!" 

An Impossible Job

One of the greatest football documentaries ever made for entertainment value and insight alone, it clearly inspired the satirical Mike Bassett: England Manager.

Following a gentleman in Graham Taylor as he grapples with the challenge of an England manager's job not suited to gentlemen, given the relentlessness of the tabloid press and the expectation levels not matched by consistent ability on the pitch, An Impossible Job leaves us with many an iconic clip and quote by Taylor as the Three Lions are left roaring on the sidelines as 1994 World Cup qualification slips from their grasp. 

And let's face it, it's unlikely a documentary like this about an England manager will ever be made again.

Memorable quote (if you have to pick just one from so many): "Do I not like that" - Graham Taylor. 

The Two Escobars

Football and drug barons intertwine in this excellent ESPN 30 for 30 film about a challenging and tragic time for Colombian society.

While Pablo Escobar ruled the narco-trafficking scene until his death in 1993, his namesake (but no relation) Andres Escobar was part of a talented generation of footballers, tipped even by some (**cough** Pele **cough**) to win the 1994 World Cup.

Sadly, things go wrong and end tragically for Andres as brilliantly charted in The Two Escobars.

As Colombia shone at the 2014 World Cup, 20 years on, director Michael Zimbalist joined Ger Gilroy on Off The Ball to talk about the then and now. 

And he returned to the airwaves on Newstalk again earlier this year, when he joined me on Team 33 to talk about the other Escobar, Pablo, and his ties to football as Netflix series Narcos shone light on the most notorious drug lord of them all. 

Memorable quote: "With my own hands, I've killed about 250 people ... but only a psychopath keeps count" - Jhon Jairo Velasquez Vasquez AKA "Popeye".  

Once In A Lifetime

In late 2014, we were researching a piece on the late-1970s era New York Cosmos side of Pele and Franz Beckenbauer in a piece which we were ultimately joined by the Cosmos' official historian David Kilpatrick and New York Times' veteran sports columnist George Vecsey.

As part of that look back at that iconic team, I watched Once In A Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos and hand on heart, it's one of the best documentaries I've ever seen, football or otherwise.

Fun and fascinating, it tells the story of how the Cosmos went from nothing to herald an era where they were able to attract top South American and European veterans to the NASL.

Memorable quote: "The New York Cosmos were the best and worst of what soccer in America was".

The Referee

Qualifying for consecutive European Championships means the memories of that night in Paris 2009 has receded a little bit.

But for any Irish fans who were in the Stade de France for that 2010 World Cup qualifier, Thierry Henry's handball remains forever stark.

The Referee follows the Swedish official who failed to spot that infringement by the Arsenal legend.

And even despite he and his linesmen's terrible error, you can't but feel sorry for Martin Hansson as you realise just how testing refereeing is on and off the pitch.

Memorable quote: "2008 was my worst year ever. I was under enormous pressure and wanted to succeed as a referee, at my work as a fire-fighter and at home with my family. And they are three things too big to combine. I seriously considered stopping being a referee" - Martin Hansson. 

And if you have any suggestions you want to add, like One Night In Turin etc, tweet us at @newstalksport or @raftastico.