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Taika Waititi’s “Next Goal Wins”: The Real Story

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Next Goal Wins, Taika Waititi’s most recent movie, is no exception to this rule. It may seem unbelievable, but the tale of a football team trying to keep their dignity after losing 31-0 and ranking as the worst national team in the world is absolutely real. The true tale of the Samoan American national team’s historic loss to Australia is, as is typically the case, far more nuanced than any film could ever hope to convey.

Next Goal Wins, which is based on the same-titled 2014 documentary directed by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, follows Dutch-American coach Thomas Rongen (played by Michael Fassbender) as he attempts to transform the underdog team—which was regarded as the weakest in the world—into an elite group that would be able to compete against other nations in the 2014 World Cup. The American Samoan team never really got that far, but they did try.

Next Goal Wins is in theaters now.

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