Netflix reveals a key stage in O Rei’s career


The missing Maradona, Messi, Ronaldo or Pelé? They are the names that arise when consulting the best player in the history of football and whose response for Brazilians, as one might suppose, is clear, both for the purely sports and for the emotional.

For them Edson Arantes do Nascimento, or simply Pelé, is the greatest figure in world football, for having brought the name of Brazil to the top of this sport and also being the consolation of some in a troubled moment in its history.

Not a minor detail that reveals the documentary that comes to Netflix, under the simple title of Skin, made by the British Pitch Productions – with director Kevin Macdonald as executive producer – and that has the same athlete as the first source of his story.

A narration that in its first minutes was installed in the World Cup in Mexico in 1970, when the player felt the pressure of the fans and the press; and according to some it was not in its best moment, as a voice assures in the tape: “it was not as good as before”.

Shortly after, in the middle of an empty room, a figure peeks out, walking with difficulty with the help of a walker for the elderly. After the impression, the viewer recognizes Pelé, who sits in a chair and affirms that “Brazil is my country, it means everything”.

A teenager in the Brazil team

Pelé | Netflix

The phrase that takes you back in time, when your grandparents made their living distributing firewood. However, football soon became present in the figure of his father, a player known as Dondinho who encouraged little Edson in this sport when he saw his talent.

Thanks to his innate mastery of the ball, with only 15 years of age he went to try the Santos club, located in the municipality of the same name in the state of São Paulo, where he would join professionally, for the year after he was summoned to the national team.

And it is precisely his passage alongside the “verdeamarela” painting for four world championships the axis of the documentary, starting with the cup that was held in 1958 in Sweden, where Brazil would be champion and Pelé would become the youngest player to play in a final.

Chile 62 would come from there with a new triumph for the Brazilians, but without Pelé on the court due to an injury, to go on to England 66, when they surprisingly eliminated Brazil in the first round, leaving the player in despair.

And as the documentary shows, determined not to play for his team again, while he consolidated in Santos and became one of the highest paid footballers of the time, with commercial contracts for products ranging from gasoline to toothpaste.

Triumph as consolation

Pelé | Netflix

A journey through part of his career where thes interviews with colleagues, family, friends, journalists and politicians, who witnessed her her; Among them are his sister María Lucía, the musician Gilberto Gil and footballers such as Jairzinho and Zagallo.

And there are several of them that help to reconstruct a passage in the history of Brazil where Pelé and football became a consolation for its inhabitants. When the country was under the dictatorship of Emílio Garrastazu Medici and the 1970 World Cup in Mexico was approaching.

A sporting event that his government was going to use as propaganda, but which would also face Pelé again, and for the last time, with the national team. The one that, after the triumph of his squad against Italy, it would become a balm for the Brazilian people.

The revelations that draw a different Pelé, making this new documentary, focused on just one stage in his life, a very good addition to the audiovisual material that O Rei, as the player is also known, has inspired over the years.

A tape that also offers access to many of your close and valuable footage, both from his personal and sports life, where the moving images of his goals stand out, especially those he made in the World Cups where he participated.

Far and Netflix

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