shaolin soccer

Shaolin Soccer (少林足球) is a 2001 martial arts comedy movie about a team of martial arts experts who use their skills to play football (soccer), while also promoting Shaolin kung fu to the masses.

The movie was directed by Stephen Chow, who was also a co-writter, and played the leading role of Shaolin kung fu master and football striker Mighty Steel Leg Sing.

The story revolves around Sing, a Shaoline kung fu master who wish to find a way to promote the spiritual and practical benefits of kung fu in modern society. Finally, he is compelled by the idea of using football to promote kung fu, and coaxes his former Shaolin brothers to help him form a team. Together, they take on Team Evil, a super-doped football team owned by the currupt businessman Hung.

The movie was both a box office succes in Hong Kong and got fine reviews by most critics. The film holds a 91% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes and has a 68/100 score on Metacritic.

Shaolin Soccer grossed over HK$60,7 million at Hong Kong box office, making it the highest-grossing film in the region’s history at the time. (In 2004, the record was broken by Stephen Chow’s movie Kung Fu Hustle.) Worldwide, Shaolin Soccer grossed US$42,776,760.

The Chinese authorities banned Shaolin Soccer from cinnemas and DVD/VCD, because Stephen Chow did not apply for permission for public screenings in Hong Kong.



Actor Character Info
Stephen Chow Mighty Steel Leg Sing Shaolin kung fu expert


Soccer striker

Ng Man-tat Golden Leg Fung Played soccer in the 1980s, is now crippled
Wong Yat-fei Iron Head The oldest of the Shaolin brothers


Specializes in headers during soccer games

Mok Mei-lam Hooking Leg The second Shaolin brother


His skills resembles ground tumbling boxing

Tin Kai-man Iron Shirt The third Shaolin brother


Can absorb blunt force attacks without much injury


Can shoot the ball using his stomach

Danny Chan Kwok-kwan Empty Hand Lightning Hand The fourth Shaolin brother


Resembles Bruce Lee

Extremely fast hands

Lam Chi-chung Light Weight Vest The sixth Shaolin borther


Can jump extremely high

Zhao Wei Mui Baker and tai chi expert


Sing’s love interest

Patrick Tse Hung Team Evil’s coach


Corrupt businessman


Golden Leg Fung’s former team mate

Shik Zi-yun No. 9 Team Evil’s striker


Can back flip, soar into the sky and kick a fiery ball

Cao Hua No. 21 Team Evil’s goalkeeper


Increadibly strong hands

Cecilia Cheung No.7 Team Dragon player


Can run very fast

Karen Mok No.11 Team Dragon player


Can run very fast

Fung Min-hun Captain of Team Rebellion Captain of Team Rebellion


Vicious mobster


Fights using a crescent wrench and a steel mallet.

Vincent Kok Captain of Team Tofu Captain of Team Tofu


Basic info about the movie

Chinese title 少林足球
English title Shaolin soccer
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese
Lenght 1 hour and 52 minutes
Budget 10 million USD
Box office 42.8 million USD

Behind the scenes

Producer Yeung Know-Fai
Production company Star Overseas Ltd

Universe Entertainment Ltd

Director Stephen Chow
Written by Stephen Chow

Tsang Kan-cheung

Music by Lowell Lo

Raymond Wong

Cinematography Kwen Pak-Huen

Kwong Ting-wo

Edited by Kai Kit-Wai
Distributed by Universe Entertainment Ltd

Miramax Films


  • Stephen Chow
  • Zhao Wei
  • Ng Man-tat
  • Patrick Tse
  • Danny Chan Kwok-kwan

Examples of awards won

  • Blue Ribbon Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
  • 38th Golden Horse Awards for Best Action Choreography and Best Visual Effects.
  • 7th Golden Bauhinia Awards in the categories Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor.
  • Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award for Best Picture.
  • 21st Hong Kong Film Awards in seven categories:
Best Picture
Best Director (Stephen Chow)
Best Young Director (Stephen Chow)
Best Actor (Stephen Chow)
Best Supporting Actor (Wong Yat-fei)
Best Sound Effect (Kinson Tsang)
Best Visual Effect (Frankie Chung, Ken Law, and Ronald To)