Every football fan has their favourite goal of all time.
For sports writer David Goldblatt, that goal was during a 2002 match between Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen, when Zinedine Zidane scored in the 45th minute.
“I was floating on the ceiling – lifted up out of my armchair – looking down on the television,” Goldblatt says in the debut episode of his new podcast, Game of Our Lives.
“As I settled back down to Earth I thought: Nothing much compares to this.”
For Goldblatt and many others, watching football can be a transcendent experience.
It’s also a way to talk about the big issues that affect everyone’s lives: economic and political power; race and class; gender and culture. Game of Our Lives isn’t just a recap of last weekend’s English Premier League or Champions League matches. Instead, it’s a conversation.
Over the course of multiple seasons, Goldblatt will examine the dual themes of globalisation and human nature through the lens of the world’s most popular sport. And he’ll do it at a time – the run-up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia – when attention to all of these issues will be ramping up.
The debut episode features acclaimed film director Werner Herzog, who joins Goldblatt to discuss his first encounters with the game, the intersection of cinema and football, and his plans to make his own football film.
“Whenever, for example, I arrive in a city in England, I try to see the next big football game,” Herzog tells Goldblatt. “Because I understand immediately the country and the people. Their collective soul.”
Game of Our Lives is the second podcast from Jetty, Al Jazeera’s new audio venture. Listen to the show’s trailer in the player above, and subscribe for free in Apple Podcasts or on your favourite podcast player.
The first episode will air on March 15.