TV Shows

Review of the Apple TV+ series ‘Real Madrid: Until the end’

Too long documentary series about how Real Madrid won the Champions League for the fourteenth time in 2022.

Director: Jesus Marcos, Pablo Posada | Cast: David Beckham, Carlo Ancelotti, Florentino Pérez, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Thibaut Courteois, Vinícius Júnior and | Number of episodes: 3 | Time to play: 48-62 minutes | Year: 2023

Real Madrid won the Champions League last year. In the past, a cheap sixty to ninety minute video has been released for fans who wanted to revive that. Now that it’s a three-part series on a streaming service almost twice as long. That is very long. In addition, it is still difficult to empathize with the umpteenth success of the most successful club of all time, no matter how much the architects of Real Madrid: until the end also trying to make him an underdog.

Real Madrid won the Champions League for the fourteenth time, twice as many as any other team. While the first five times were in the 1950s, this time is also the fifth time in eight years. Some of the players from the team that won last year were also in 2014 when they won for the 10th time. Others are new. Four of the stars (Benzema, Modric, Courtois and Vini Jr.) and coach Carlo Ancelotti have their own segment in the middle and their story is quite entertaining for the enthusiast.

However, those stories are not very inspiring. This is not amateur club SV Spakenburg, who, to everyone’s surprise, reach the cup semi-finals (there is, by the way, an excellent half-hour documentary about their compatriots IJsselmeervogels online at NPO Start) or Leicester City, who he won the Premier League in 2016. But about one of the richest, if not the richest football clubs in the world. Who would then supposedly be an underdog against clubs like Paris Saint Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Now, it is true that the season seems to start disastrous and that in each of the Champions League round of 16 there comes a time when it seems that Real Madrid has been eliminated. The almost miraculous comebacks, sometimes in discount or overtime, seem made for a movie and therefore excellent documentary fodder.

But for the result of all that to be a three times impossible task for a team like Real Madrid, who are constantly portrayed as underdogs outdoing themselves, is ridiculous. And who, apart from the fans, will be impressed by how the club is presented in a great crisis, having not won the Champions League for several years?

The tension of those matches and those unlikely comebacks are somewhat undermined by all the interludes. They are meant to strengthen the story, but the structure isn’t good enough for that. There are more anecdotes of not always nice characters. David Beckham’s monologues at the beginning of each episode are especially entertaining because of the way he pronounces “Real.” There is also sometimes a very forced attempt to create additional tension by presenting the end of an episode as a cliffhanger.

For example, the first episode ends with the defeat in Paris, before the return in Madrid, with the question of whether the club will ever be able to overcome this. But who in the intended audience for a docuseries like this doesn’t know the answer yet? Real Madrid: until the end It’s only for the true fans who sing in front of the TV when the club song is playing. The docuseries are also a thinly disguised promotion of the club as a brand, but it really takes too long for that.


Real Madrid: until the end can be seen in AppleTV+.

Ritika Prasher

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