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Life of Brazilian Football King Pelé Explored in Netflix Documentary

'Pelé,' the new Netflix documentary.   -  
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Mark Lennihan/AP

Brazil

Life of the Afro-Brazilian Football Icon Pelé

Pelé, a Netflix documentary that chronicles the life of the Afro-Brazilian football player, Edson Arantes do Nascimento — better known as Pelé.

Viewers can look back on the extraordinary trajectory of Pelé — the only player to win three World Cup titles, as he goes from a young prodigy in 1958 to a national hero in Brazil.

David Tryhorn, the co-director of the film, expressed his views on the cultural significance of the Afro-Brazilian international star within his own country.

"Before 58 (1958 World Cup) Brazil wasn't known as the country of football elsewhere. After 70 (1970 World Cup) the first thing you think about with Brazil is football. And while that's down to a generation of gifted players. Pele was always the unifying factor. He helped shape a nation's cultural identity. That sounds like a huge thing to say but I don't think it's that unfair in this case."

From Ambitious Beginnings to Superstardom

The film charts Pelé’s remarkable journey to becoming the 'King of Football’ and leading his nation’s team to their historic win at the 1970 World Cup.

With rare and exclusive filmed access to Pelé himself, the film emotionally showcases the star reflecting upon his impressive career.

Tryhorn talks about the popularity of Pelé in Brazil.

"No-one compares to Pele, because he became such a global phenomenon, it's a bit like he belonged to the world more than Brazil. Which is actually a bit unfair because he played his entire career in Brazil, he brought home three World Cups to Brazil. I think he probably suffers like a lot of very famous people do in the fact that he's still around, it's been 50 years since he last kicked a football."

Produced by award-winning Kevin Macdonald and already abuzz with positive reviews, Pelé launched worldwide on Netflix on February 23.

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