'Escape to Victory' is the Film to Watch Before the World Cup

With the World Cup in Brazil about to get underway in June – now seems a good time to remember how good a movie the 1981 film “Escape to Victory” was, at a certain level anyway. The film starred, amongst many other players and actors, the legendary Pelé – depicted plying his trade in a way that no other player before or since has quite been able to.

The Brazilian number ten is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time and the Brazilian team that won the World Cup in Mexico in 1970 is also regarded by many as the best ever. It’s a moot point – but Pelé was certainly a wonderful player and his nation is always a favorite to win the trophy any given time and more so this time around on home soil – the first time Brazil has hosted a World Cup since 1950. Currently, Brazil are slightly better than 3-1 favorites with Betfair, the gambling exchange-betting site.

Betfair football gambling is a fair representation of the views of ordinary people as it’s simply a market of buyers and sellers. Currently, those people have Brazil’s arch rivals Argentina and Germany installed as second and third favorites to win at around 5-1 with Betfair. And it was, the German side that the legendary Pelé played against with in "Escape to Victory" – a movie made 11 years after Brazil’s World Cup triumph in Mexico.

The film is a real funny film about an escape attempt organized around a football match between prisoners and a selected German XI – and memorably features a young Sylvester Stallone in goal for the allied prisoners! Besides Pelé, the film also featured many other professional players including the late Bobby Moore, Kazimierz Deyna, Osvaldo Ardiles, Paul Van Himst, Hallvar Thoresen, Mike Summerbee and Werner Roth. Various Ipswich players also had bit parts in the movie such as Russell Osman, Laurie Sivell, John Wark, and Robin Turner – whilst other players from the club worked as stand-ins for the actors in playing scenes, including Kevin Beattie for Michael Caine.

If you have never seen "Escape to Victory", then watch it in advance of the forthcoming World Cup. It is the perfect film for the most hardcore of football fans.

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