‘Pele: Birth of a Legend’ has lessons even non-sports fans can appreciate

Sarah Bailey, Staff Reporter

 “Pelé: Birth of a Legend” is a heartwarming inspirational documentary of the life of Edison Nascimento , directed by brothers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist. The movie takes place after Brazil’s loss in the World Cup in 1950, and goes through the life of Edison as he grew up in Brazil and how was able to make a name for himself, Pelé, in the world of soccer at a very young age.

Taking after his father, Pelé became interested in and playing soccer with his friends around their village in his elementary years, specifically the tradition style of Brazilian soccer known as Ginga. Pelé was recruited by the professional club Santos FC when he was only 15 years old and about a year later was called up to the Brazilian national team.

In the 1958 World Cup, at 17 years old, Pelé was the youngest player to ever play in a World Cup final match. Throughout his life Pelé faced many challenges within his family, sports injuries and most importantly his style of play, giving the movie lots of emotional hardships that many people can relate to and empathize with, as well as many heartwarming successes.

Due to the tradition of Ginga, the Brazilian soccer style, very much from where Pelé’s amazing ball skills came from, was seen as very juvenile compared to European soccer. Through his career at the soccer club, Pelé and many other ginga-style players were forced to abandon their traditional ways and to only play with the more popular European style.

However, this movie shows a great example of how you should never change yourself for the opinion of others, and that who you are and the way you chose to do things is just as good as anyone else’s. If you are interested in sports documentaries, I highly suggest this one for it’s great execution of Pelé’s life growing up from the underdog into who he became in the soccer world and who he is now today.


Rated: PG

Where to find it: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes