Apple’s Real Madrid documentary succeeds where Netflix’s Drive to Survive fails

Real Madrid documentary, Until The End on Apple TV Plus
(Image credit: Apple)

Real Madrid: Until The End, Apple TV Plus’s latest sporting documentary, shows an insight into Real Madrid’s historic 2022 Champions League campaign. The three-part Real Madrid documentary is a must for football (soccer) fans around the world. 

Over the last couple of years, Amazon has cemented itself as the go-to destination for backstage access to the globe’s biggest soccer teams. Arsenal, Manchester City, Juventus, and more have released All or Nothing sports docuseries detailing the highs and the lows of professional soccer. 

In Real Madrid: Until The End, with an introduction from David Beckham, Apple TV Plus has opted for a faster-paced retelling of the club’s 2022 heroics that I find far more appealing to fans of the sport than Amazon’s lengthy approach. 

In the first episode, titled “The Rebuild”, viewers are shown a dormant giant with challenges to face in rebuilding their squad after the departure of soccer megastar, Cristiano Ronaldo alongside club captain Sergio Ramos. Apple TV Plus is quick and punchy showcasing the difficulties of the club with a new manager and new players arriving on the scene. 

Within the first half hour, viewers are shown over ten matches with quick and punchy explanations from journalists and players alike - this is in stark contrast to All or Nothing which drags out single matches across episodes with locker room chat and an over-glamorization of the behind the scenes in soccer. 

As a huge fan of the sport, I’ve not clicked with any of the attempts to capture the stories of a soccer team’s season bar Netflix’s Sunderland’ Til I Die, the pioneer in this space. What Netflix’s original show did was stay real to the sport without the added glamor that just isn’t necessary in my opinion. That’s where Real Madrid: Until The End stands out, it feels authentic and, with the decision of focusing on a journey to reaching the highest of highs, warranted. 

After watching four seasons of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, I had totally given up on sporting documentaries. As a massive fan of most sports, I had attempted documentaries about sports I am obsessed with, like football and those that I’m interested in but not fully immersed in, like Formula 1. Drive to Survive highlights everything I dislike about sports docuseries: drama for the sake of drama, oversimplifying everything, and focusing on the aspects that don’t actually matter while manufacturing strange rivalries. This is where Real Madrid: Until The End thrives, it’s fun to watch, it’s short but sweet, and it’s insightful.

Real Madrid: Until The End

I watch soccer (it pains me to not say football every time I type this), most weekdays and every single weekend. My girlfriend has slowly warmed to the sport and knows the majority of players that she sees in the background every Sunday. While watching Until The End, she remembered the exact matches from last season that have gone down in recent memory as some of the greatest comebacks in soccer history.

I believe that this Real Madrid documentary could be the best way to get your friends and family who aren’t that interested involved in the sport – it’s just great television. The sheer disbelief of the manner in which Real Madrid achieved success in the 2022 Champions League is definitely something worth seeing for yourself and Apple has captured the story far better than I was expecting. 

Watch out Amazon because if Apple continues this trend of creating specific stories from the world of soccer it'll quickly become the premier platform for fans worldwide. 

Real Madrid: Until The End is available now on Apple TV Plus. You can stream all three episodes on one of the best iPhones on the market, the iPhone 14 Pro, although the bigger the screen the more impressive the feat.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.