Wednesday 18 September 2019

How a classic noughties film is helping Newcastle make new signings

It’s a good film, but really?

Footballers Islam Slimani and Kenedy
Footballers Islam Slimani and Kenedy

By Max McLean, Press Association

Newcastle United are a big football club, but it seems not everyone knows them just for their four league titles.

Islam Slimani is the latest addition to the Magpies’ squad, having joined on transfer deadline day with the North East side just one point above the relegation zone.

Newcastle have a rich and varied history of success, and more recently came close to winning the Premier League twice in the 1990s, but according to the Evening Chronicle, it seems a 2005 feature film is partly to thank for what little Geordie education their new striker has.

“When I was young, the film ‘Goal’ was around,” the 29-year-old Algeria striker said. “But, more importantly, there were legendary players like Alan Shearer.”

Indeed, Shearer is legendary. But then so is Goal’s protagonist, young dreamer Santiago Munez.

Goal follows Munez from America to Newcastle, where he earns a place in the Magpies’ first team and helps them qualify for the Champions League after a 3-2 win against Liverpool in the last game of the season.

It’s a touching tale, and one that Slimani is not the first to learn from.

Isaac Hayden moved to Newcastle from Arsenal in the summer of 2016, and shortly after spoke of how, as a child, the film convinced him Newcastle must be a big club. Chelsea loanee Kenedy also referred to Goal after moving to St James’ Park earlier in January.

The result is that fans are recognising the influence of the Geordie football feature film in helping bring players to the club.

Who knows, perhaps one of them can help Newcastle reach the heights they did when Munez broke into the side?

Fans would probably settle for avoiding relegation this season, but that doesn’t exactly scream Hollywood.

PA Media

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