Netflix’s new doc, Pelé, explores a soccer legend’s rise from a teen in Brazil to an internationally renowned athlete. Already a professional player at 16 years old, Pelé would go on to win three World Cups, captivating fans and becoming a national hero amid political turmoil in his home country.
Pelé (real name: Edson Arantes do Nascimento) officially retired from the sport in 1977, with over 35,000 fans attending his last game in Portland that August. Though he’d no longer be on the field, he’d still remain a pivotal figure in soccer for years to come; he’d go on to receive several lifetime achievement awards and become a sports commentator and analyst on TV and radio. (In 2001, the footballer was also entangled in a business scandal after his business partner was caught for embezzling $4 million.)
Much of Pelé’s success now is through endorsement deals. (He famously tied his shoes during a 1970 World Cup for a cool $120,000, courtesy of Puma.)
More recently, Pelé has also faced several health issues, including complications regarding a hip surgery in February 2020.
But it looks like he’s on the mend, based on his recent activity on social media. “What an incredible feeling!” he captioned a recent Instagram post regarding the Netflix documentary’s release. “There are so many memories, friendships and stories to share. I look forward to all of you finally watching the documentary about my journey…”
A post shared by Pelé (@pele)
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