July 31, 2021

Michael Fassbender, an unorthodox soccer coach

Michael Fassbender.

Filmmaker Taika Waititi is directing ‘Next Goal Wins’, the story of the American Samoa national soccer team


The filming of
‘Next Goal Wins’, director Taika Waititi (
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ and the most important premiere of this week,
‘JoJo Rabbit’), which tells a true story: that of the American Samoa national soccer team, which had suffered the worst defeat in World Cup history, losing 31-0 to Australia in 2001. In 2014, when the new World Cup was approaching, the The team is at risk by hiring an unorthodox coach to try to change their luck. Michael Fassbender plays this coach, the Dutch Thomas Rongen, the architect of carrying out a practically impossible task at a sporting level: taking the reins of the football team and trying to turn a group of losers into natural winners.

The film’s cast, which is filmed in locations in Honolulu, Hawaii, is completed by Elisabeth Moss, Oscar Kightley and David Fane. Waititi himself and Iain Morris signed the script that combines drama, comedy and passion for football. The film also has as a reference a documentary of the same title from 2014, which premiered in Spain with the title of ‘The worst team in the world’, by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, around what was considered the worst soccer team after the historic win against Australia.

Following Rongen’s hiring, the Samo-American team eventually defeated Tonga 2-1 and came close to qualifying in the oceanic continental tournament. However, when they fell to Samoa 1-0 in the final match, they were eliminated. The film will also tell how Jaiyah Selua, the first transgender woman to participate in a men’s soccer World Cup, who is played by Kaimana, also participated in the national team.

The film’s producers, David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield, commented: “Taika Waititi has a tremendous talent and is a master at bringing honesty and humanity to any story. We are happy to be working with him again on such an extraordinary story about perseverance to overcome defeat. He has brought together a fabulous group of actors, artists and athletes to bring this unique story to life. It should be noted that Waititi, after this filming, is planning to bring an adaptation of the famous manga to the screen in real image

The film is a production of Imaginarium – Defender – Garrett Basch for Fox Searchlight Pictures, a specialized film company dedicated to financing and acquiring films and, since this year, is part of The Walt Disney Studios.