Goal!2 – Living
The Dream follows the adventures of footballing prodigy Santiago
Munez (Kuno Becker) as he secures a dream move from Newcastle
United to Real Madrid. Reunited with former teammate Gavin
Harris (Alessandro Nivola) this change puts a strain on his
relationship with girlfriend Ros (Anna Friel), just one of
the pressures he has to contend with as he achieves superstar
Goal!2 is the second film in a trilogy of footballing dramas,
and is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, whose previous feature
credit is House of Wax.
There is a big challenge that goes
with making a football movie, isn’t there?
“Yeah, because you love the game so much, you never
feel that you’re making it true. It’s impossible
to really capture everything. You’re trying to make
a movie where you stick to reality and you’re trying
to make it accurate and you only really get one chance. The
Bernabeu Stadium [home to Real Madrid] is full of people
only once in a while, I have a few cameras pointing at the
pitch, but if they’re pointing at the pitch they’re
not pointing at the crowd. And I want to look everywhere.
I want to do it in slow motion, but then they have to reload
faster and every time they reload they’re missing two
minutes, it’s very challenging.”
Is it a problem if the live matches
you film with the real football stars don’t turn
out the way you expect?
“You never know what’s
going to happen. We started shooting the games and then
we realised that maybe the first game we shot was going
to be better later in the movie and other games would probably
be better earlier in the movie, so you just go from there.”
You’ve just filmed the game where Real Madrid went
down 1-0 to Arsenal. Football fans, particularly Arsenal
fans, will always now this is really what happened won’t
“It’s a film, it’s not a documentary.
It’s not propaganda for Madrid, it’s a film and
films will last a long time hopefully. I think that you’ll
be able to see this movie and maybe forget some of the games.
I’m sure the Arsenal fans will never forget it, but
I wish that Madrid had played a little bit better.”
So in your film do Real Madrid lose to Arsenal?
“No in my film Madrid win. It’s
a movie! In the movie they lose against Barcelona.”
You are, of course, a Barcelona
fan aren’t you?
“Yeah, but I’m screwed for life because I’ve
been rooting for Madrid for six months. I can never go back
to Barcelona now. That’s the thing, you grow up hating
Real Madrid and then you come and you meet everybody involved
with the team and they’re wonderful, you start to like
When did you admit your allegiance?
“They all knew from the beginning, the newspaper people
from Barcelona wrote it. They don’t care though, the
players gave me a hard time, but it’s no big deal because
there’s such great respect between the two clubs. They’re
two equally big, powerful clubs.”
Have you worked to get some kind of visual continuity between
this film and the first one?
“Yeah, but this one is a bit more glossy. Obviously
in the first film it’s a rags to riches story, pretty
simple, this one has a natural progression from that, you
take this kid and you put him in the biggest club in the
world, you give him a lot of money, you give him a few personal
problems, a lot of pressure and you see him crash. Which
happens to a lot of these kids. Stylistically we follow that,
but it was my intention to also keep it grounded. It’s
not all about Lamborghinis and parties, we also see the down
and dirty side of Madrid. We introduce some characters from
the poor areas of the city and you see that football connects
all of these things. That’s really the message of this
trilogy, that football is universal, it ties people together.
That’s what we were trying to capture.”
Did you need much persuading to take on this project?
“I said yes when I saw a treatment, and then when
I saw the first movie. I’m a big football fan, and
I always wanted to do a movie about football. That’s
the main reason, because I thought I had something to give
and because I thought it was an incredible challenge. For
me the challenge is not so much where to put the camera and
how to shoot a ball. Give me a million dollars and five days
and I’ll do a commercial that will be amazing. For
me the challenge here is to make it believable that you have
two actors co-existing with all of these soccer stars and
they look like they belong in that group. And then you see
all of the moments that, as a fan, you don’t normally
“Like you never see what they do before a game, what
happens in the locker room. And here you have it, you have
Beckham and Ronaldo and my actor, and they’re playing
football in the locker room before the game. Getting on the
team bus and all of that stuff, I think fans will really
Kuno Becker has admitted he’s
not much of footballer in reality, was that ever a concern
“It would be more of a problem if he was a terrible
actor. Alessandro is as good as you can get, from a non-professional
who likes playing football. And even for him its pretty hard.
We have the same problems. I mean maybe it’s a bit
easier with Alessandro because he can do it, but because
he’s a perfectionist he’ll want to do 20 takes
and make sure it’s right. With Kuno I put in a double
and it’s done in two. Everything has pros and cons.
But I’ll be using visual effects and things like that,
and people will believe it.”
Did you find any of the Real footballers displayed a natural
“They’re all pretty natural, and better than
I expected. I never gave them any lines to memorise or anything,
I just told them to be themselves and to say whatever they
would say. I only got an hour here and there from the players,
and it mostly as the players who are not usually in movies
or commercials because they were more eager, never having
done it. So like with Sergio Ramos for example, I think it
was his first time on a set. It was fun for him to come and
do that. Someone like Ronaldo, he didn’t want to know
because when you get to that level you don’t care.
Why do you need to do this?”
Can you give a clue as to the tone of this film?
“If you look at trilogies the second one is usually
the darkest because you can play. You’ve taken this
wonderful thing that you’ve created, you trash it down
and then you give it to somebody else to fix later.”
In the story Santiago Munez is transferred from Newcastle
United to Real Madrid, whereas in reality Michael Owen went
the other way. Is that reflected in your film?
“Yes, when Michael’s transfer
happened we thought we should get a camera crew to Newcastle
right away to film him being introduced to the press while
we cut to Madrid and see Santi being introduced to in Spain.
Those are the kind of things that changed the script.”
Have you taken inspiration from
any previous sports movies? There aren’t many great
football movies to choose from, are there?
“Escape To Victory – I loved that movie when
I was a kid. You take a reference from a lot of sports movies,
there’s a lot of really great American ones like Friday
Night Lights. But they’re different, they’re
easier, because they recreate everything. With Friday Night
Lights I think it took them a month just to shoot the final
game. And everything is scripted and everything is perfect
in the emotional build up to that final game. In this movie,
I just found out yesterday what I have to play with for my
final game, and I have six or seven days extra to turn it
around. It’s a bigger challenge.”