Where is the great Hollywood soccer movie?

With the advent of the World Cup, it appears we don't have that many soccer movies to help us wet our appetite for the sport leading up to the big event.

Graham King has worked with countless A-listers: Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Jack Nicholson, Cameron Diaz and Daniel-Day Lewis, to name just a few. But ask the Oscar-winning producer of "The Departed" which celebrities made him giddy like a star-struck teen, and he won't mention any actor, saying instead it was the players from the Chelsea FC soccer team.

The day the English-born filmmaker won the best picture Academy Award for "The Departed," King awoke before dawn to watch his beloved soccer squad defeat Arsenal in the Carling Cup final (one friend says it was a sweeter victory for King than his Oscar triumph over "Little Miss Sunshine"). King has hurried off the American set of several of his films on a Friday, flown to England to see a Chelsea match, and been back in the States before cameras rolled Monday morning. King interrupted his 2008 Cannes Film Festival stay to share a private jet to Moscow for the Champions League Final between Chelsea and Manchester United (Chelsea, King's team since age 4, lost in a shootout).

King's passion for the beautiful game is shared by many inside Hollywood — directors, studio executives, actors and other producers. But for all of the industry's most devoted soccer supporters, the movie business has yet to make what anybody considers a definitive mainstream movie about the sport, an especially glaring omission on the eve of the World Cup, opening Friday in South Africa.

Boxing might have "Raging Bull" and "Rocky," baseball "Bull Durham" and "Field of Dreams," football "North Dallas Forty" and "The Longest Yard," basketball " Hoosiers," ice hockey has "Miracle" and "Slap Shot," and even billiards has "The Hustler" and "The Color of Money."



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