Just watched a documentary called Next Goal Wins.
It's about the American Samoa NT that was defeated 31-0 by Australia in 2001, the worst loss in international football history. They're ranked 194th in the world. They've only won 2 games in their history. All of their players are not professional players. The coach before Rongen, a Samoan who lives in the US and volunteered as NT coach. Before the WC Qualifiers, they reached out to US FA for help and the only applicant was Thomas Rongen. Under Rongen, they've won their first game in 17 years. The GK in that historic loss, has moved to US and retired to NT duty and came out of retirement for their WC Qualifiers. He plays against Australia every night in his Xbox.
Samoan coach: "They needed 9 goals but we only gave them 8. These are steps, steps all going to the right direction."
Jaiyah Saelua, a member of the squad since 2003 is the first fa'afafine (transgender) player to compete in a men's FIFA World Cup qualifier. Fa'afafine are a third-gender people of Samoa and the Samoan diaspora.
The movie also shows how she interacts with his teammates and how she is accepted by them and even earning the respect of their new Dutch coach.From the director why they wanted to make the movie:
“It seemed obvious that the players in a team that had never won anything, but continued to play in the face of defeat time and time again, must love the sport more than anyone,” he explained. “And that set us thinking...”
It's was an enjoyable movie for a sport so glamorized and monetized, we get to glimpse the simpler and purer side of football. A side just for the joy of playing and just for representing one's country even if it doesn't pay anything but tears.