Although soccer is by far the most popular sport, there aren’t too many movies that deal with the most important sideline in the world. One of the reasons is probably the fact that football does not enjoy such popularity in America where they prefer to make movies about basketball, its version of football or baseball. If we exclude the legendary Huston’s “Escape to Victory”, the only thing that comes to mind is the silly “Goal” about a South American footballer who first arrives in Newcastle, and then signs for Real. This Swedish biographical sports drama actually offers a completely different and not at all romanticized view of football and the raw professionalism that goes along with it.
The film “Tigers” is based on the memoirs of the once promising Swedish football player Martin Bengtsson, who earned a transfer to Inter Milan as a 16-year-old. Since he was a child, Martin (Erik Enge) has subordinated everything to becoming a football professional, and with the transfer to Inter it seems that his dreams have started to come true. But the dreams will very quickly start to turn into a real nightmare because as soon as he arrives in a new environment and in a club where they have huge expectations from him, Martin will realize that it is not as wonderful and wonderful as he imagined.
They will immediately find themselves at the peak of their new teammates, and what they will experience is a great example of Darwinism in which only the strongest survive and stay while the mentally and physically stronger devour the weaker ones. The only teammate with whom he will have a relationship will be the American goalkeeper Ran, who will tell him right from the start that he must have cost a lot when everyone else already hates him so much. It is clear to Martin that it is a completely different world and that every training and preparatory match is a real audition in which each player thinks more about himself than about the result. It is obvious that Martin is extremely talented, but the big question is whether he is ready to bear this psychological pressure and whether he is really ready to sacrifice everything for success.
The sports drama filmed by Ronnie Sandahl really realistically depicts the life of young soccer players and the merciless world of top professional sports in which only the most mentally and physically prepared can succeed. The young Swedish actor who embodied Martin is also convincing and the camera is often on his face, and we understand how difficult it is for him to be far from home in a foreign country, among a team that cheers for his downfall and tries in every way to make it happen as soon as possible happens. It is the film that raises the question of the mental health of all those young and obviously talented football players who dream of becoming professionals one day and have subordinated everything to it, but we know that only a few succeed.