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Is Football Better Than The Movies?

We love both films and football here at

But, if we were, like, stranded on a desert island or something and could only take one or the other, would we choose football or films?

There's only one way to find out... Unfairly comparing football moments with film moments and delivering a snap, generalised conclusion about which is the bestest thing...

1. The bit in Marley & Me when the dog nearly escapes from the car VS. Paul Gascoigne's goal against Scotland at Euro '96.

The film: On the way to the vet to get Marley snipped, Owen Wilson opens the car window so the dog can "get a little air".

But Marley wriggles out and Wilson has to hold him by the arse as he trots alongside the car on his front legs for a bit.

The football: The mighty Gazza - peerless and imperious in his bleach-blond pomp - dinks a lofted pass over the orange head of Colin Hendry, putting the bandage-skinned defender on his flabby arse.

He then takes the ball first-time on the volley, drilling it past the keeper, before collapsing sprawled and open-mouthed on the ground as his teammates splash water into his gaping, hysterical gob.

The winner: Football. Gazza's goal is an inspired and inspirational moment of breathtaking mercurial genius, while the bit from Marley & Me is just a dog walking outside a car.[page-break]

2. The bit from Watchmen where Rorschach gets rescued VS. Cristiano Ronaldo missing a penalty at the 2008 Champion's League final.

The film: Loads of explosions and fire and Malin Akerman's hair and dramatic music and slow-motion and a really, really massive explosion at the end - in slow-motion!

The football: Looking like he's about to cry with fear and self-doubt, Ronaldo takes his run-up, checks his stride (in an attempt to fool the goalkeeper) and kicks the ball feebly towards the net where it's punched away.

He's devastated. Really, really upset. Look at his face. Look at it!

(Ronaldo miss at 1:00)...

The winner: Films. Ronaldo's miss is one of the funniest moments in the history of the sport, but it's soured by the knowledge that his team went on to win the trophy, ultimately easing his pain.

The Watchmen clip is best because, unlike Ronaldo's miss, it has a slow-motion explosion and the eventual outcome - Rorschach getting rescued - is more satisfying.[page-break]

3. The scene in Yes Man where Jim Carrey is a bit hyper and says 'Red Bull' a lot VS. Liverpool coming from 3-0 down at half-time to win the 2005 Champion's League final on penalties.

The film: Jim Carrey says 'Red Bull' a lot, quickly.

The football: After a disastrous start, Liverpool haul themselves back into contention through force of will, propelled by inspiration from their captain - the immense Steven Gerrard.

After pulling the score back to 3-3, a career-best performance from goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek sees them go on to win the game and lift European football's most glittering prize for the fifth time.

The winner: Football. Liverpool's win, whatever your team allegiance, was a glorious vindication of the raw drama, unpredictability and theatrical splendour of football. The Yes Man clip is just a man talking quickly. [page-break]

4. Jamal pretending he's a tour guide at the Taj Mahal in Slumdog Millionaire VS. The Gay Referee.

The film: Mistaken for a tour guide by a pair of German tourists, Mini-Jamal takes their money and improvises lots of made-up facts about the Taj Mahal ("The swimming pool was completed on schedule in top-class fashion.")

The football: In viral-video favourite The Gay Referee, a referee flounces and prances around the pitch like a joyful pony, over-theatrically issuing cards.

The winner: Films. The Jamal Tour Guide scene is a funny skit of light relief with some cash-bloated Germans the butt of the joke.

The Gay Referee, while funny, merely illustrates the culture of homophobia still sadly endemic in our national game and should be taken down from YouTube and the hundreds of other websites it's hosted on immediately.[page-break]

5. The rollercoaster-accident scene in Final Destination 3 VS. Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan saying he would love it - love it! - if Newcastle beat rivals Man Utd to the 1996 Premiership title.

The film: During a ride, the tracks and seat-locking mechanism of a rollercoaster suffer a catastrophic failure. The riders shift from mock-fright and excitement to being terrified for their lives...

The football: The over-emotional manager loses it during a post-match interview after being wound up by notoriously evil rival manager Alex Ferguson.

The winner: Films. The rollercoaster scene is tense and terrifying and beautifully edited and confirms the worst nightmares of anyone who's too blousey to even go on a rollercoaster.

Keegan's meltdown is hilarious, but has been overplayed - and anyway, we love Kevin Keegan. Too many football managers are dull and analytical and media-trained. We wish there were more like Keegan - or Cloughie - or... Joe Kinnear...



6. Sharon Stone teasing David Morrissey in Basic Instinct 2 VS. England winning the World Cup in 1966.

The film: Sharon sits down provocatively and invites David to think about how he might like to do sex with her ("Do you want to beat me up... just a little?"). He stares and says nothing. The music is quite ominous.

The football: England beat West Germany 4-2 in the final at Wembley Stadium with a controversial third goal and a triumphant individual winner from striker Geoff Hurst.

The winner: Football. Winning the World Cup is the ultimate goal of anyone who enters professional football - and to do it on home turf against your arch rivals is the stuff of fantasy.

In the film, a miscast man is the subject of mildly dirty talk from a woman who looks about 80.


7. Meryl Streep singing 'The Winner Takes It All' in Mamma Mia VS. Diego Maradona's second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final.

The film: Meryl Streep sings Abba's 'The Winner Takes It All'.

The football: The greatest footballer of all-time scores the greatest goal of all-time.

The winner: Football. In a dazzling, balletic display of physical and psychological domination, Maradona skips and scurries and dribbles the ball around five England players before slotting it home.

Meryl Streep, on the other hand, crucifies Abba's anthemic, bittersweet elegy to marital breakdown by squawking it on a hilltop in Greece to Pierce Brosnan with his hands in his pockets.

And the overall winner is... Technically, football. But surely there's room for liking both films and football in our modern, information-overloaded, credit-crunch world. And what if you don't like football in the first place? Look - just forget it ...

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