As we all know, Goal! is the 100% totally true story of how a young Mexican by the name of Santiago Muñez escaped poverty in his homeland to chase his dream of becoming a professional football. It did happen. It did.
Obviously, Goal II continued the story, but we don’t know what happened next for our valiant heroes (because we don’t discuss anything after Goal II, understood?). Fortunately, we’ve done some research to find out all the answers.
Let’s take a totally real look at what the cast of Goal are up to these days, 15 years on from the film’s release…
After shining for Newcastle United and leading them to the Champions League, Muñez earned a switch to Real Madrid – a move which saw Michael Owen move to St James’ Park in return. As we see in Goal II, Muñez managed to win the Champions League, but all is not well at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Following the events of the film, off-field issues, such as hitting a cameraman and getting involved in a Lamborghini chase, cast doubts over his future.
Muñez was given one more season in Madrid before being shipped out. Obviously, Newcastle wanted him back. He’s a legend.
After a few uneventful years, Muñez was joined at St James’ by Demba Ba and Papiss Cissé, whose goals took the league by storm. It’s Muñez who made the most difference, however, as his magic created even more goals for the Senegalese duo to steer them back to the Champions League once more. He’s part of the ‘Streets Will Never Forget’ brigade.
Did they go on to win the Champions League? No, of course not, it’s Newcastle. This might be Hollywood, but let’s not get too crazy.
Santi spent a few more impressive years in Newcastle before heading back home to Mexico to end his career with Tigres (via a stint at LA Galaxy and a better-forgotten half-season at Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng).
He bought the club soon after with his small fortune from his stint in Europe. However, the Santiago Muñez Soccer Talent Academy in Los Angeles closed down in 2018 amid financial ‘irregularities’.
Harris was the one to head for Madrid first, but his time in Spain didn’t go to plan. He bagged a contract extension after starting in the Champions League final, but Los Blancos still weren’t convinced. He was shipped off that summer.
Was his poor form down to his age? That was the belief of most sides around Europe, who didn’t feel as though bringing in an ageing troublemaker would be a wise move. Fortunately, he got a shot with newly-promoted Birmingham City.
Harris managed a few respectable seasons but failed to match the output of the electric Cameron Jerome, and relegation with the Blues eventually lead to Harris retiring. His focus was now purely on enjoying his life, so he headed over to Spain to open a bar with Wayne Lineker.
Harris spent a few years on the Costa del Sol, drowning in beer and attention from inebriated tourists, but he eventually decided that he needed to get back into football somehow. Nowadays, you can find Harris as the coach of third-tier side Marbella FC.
Erik Dornhelm was all the rage during his time at Newcastle. His love of fast, attacking football had turned the Magpies into one of England’s top sides. Dornhelm wanted his players to pass the ball and fly forwards up the field, and he is often mentioned as an inspiration to both Jürgen Klopp and Marcelo Bielsa.
Unsurprisingly, many teams wanted on Dornhelm, but he stuck it out with Newcastle for a little while. He got them to the Champions League and his goal was to see how far they could go. A few giant-killings at the group stage – both AC Milan and Marseille fell to the Magpies – only enhanced his reputation, but a humbling elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich next time out changed his outlook.
He expressed an interest in taking over at Lyon, who were looking for a new face to continue their reign of dominance in France, and he was given permission to speak to them. A deal was quickly agreed and Dornhelm wasted little time picking up even more silverware.
Unfortunately, after a few trophy-laden years, Qatari investment in PSG blew Lyon out the water, and the Lyon chiefs ultimately decided that it was time to move on from Dornhelm. He soon returned to England and now spends his days keeping Graeme Souness in check on Sky Sports.
McGowan did his best to keep Muñez down during his trial with Newcastle, cropping him at each opportunity. His smug ‘adios, amigo’ after Santi was down in the mud told you everything you needed to know about the reserve player.
Somehow, he landed a switch to Arsenal, but the Gunners needed just one season to realise that he was yet another failed signing (Carl Jenkinson before Carl Jenkinson was a thing), and his two-year contract was allowed to expire. Floundering as he searched for a new club, he joined Gateshead for a few years to try and rebuild his reputation, but that never happened.
McGowan demanded to be made club captain, but was swiftly shown the exit door as a result of his diva attitude. After bouncing around various non-league sides, McGowan hung his boots up at the age of just 26 and can now be found working on the checkouts at Tesco.
Life wasn’t fair to Drew. After leaving Tranmere Rovers to join Newcastle with Muñez, he failed to make an appearance for the first team before a serious injury brought an abrupt end to his career.
Drew spent a while away from football as he came to terms with his situation, but always remained close to Santi and was there to support him through thick and thin. He spent time working as a PE teacher as he worked on gaining his coaching badges.
Tranmere gave Drew his first taste of coaching in the academy, and he’s now leading the first team on their quest to avoid relegation from League One.
Mino Raiola once revealed that Rankin taught him everything he knows about being an agent (disclaimer: no he didn’t).
The man known as ‘Scumbag’ only wanted money and was rarely interested in the professional side of things. Players in England soon clocked what he was doing and refused to do business with him anymore, so Rankin made a career out of bringing young South Americans over to Europe.
However, after a police sting revealed he was scamming his clients out of 80% of their wages, Rankin was arrested and jailed in 2017. He was only due to serve six months, but a failed escape attempt saw him moved to the high-security unit, and nobody has ever heard from him since.
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