Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Threatened by kidnapping, Pelé did not want to be Pelé, reveals Netflix documentary

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The documentary Skin, which debuted today in Netflix, begins with the scenes at the Azteca stadium in Mexico, moments before the final of the 1970 Cup. Seeing the technicolor images of Pelé running, dribbling, falling, seems out of place in time. In contrast to the spectacular colorful plays on the field, they appear in sequence taken in black and white by security guards around Pelé, protecting the idol of the crowds, “idolized to the point of looking almost like a prisoner, threatened with kidnapping and death.

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Walking with the help of a cane, a consequence of a series of injuries and surgical complications in the hip, today’s Pelé gives testimonies about the pressure he felt then. “At that moment, I didn’t want to be Pelé. I didn’t like it, I didn’t want to”, he says, while the scenes show the player very stylish, with a red pinstripe jacket on the selection bus, but with a closed face, or frowning on the field . That, for him, was already certain as his last participation in the World Cup.

There are also scenes at a glance of Pele with personality from all over the world, from artists to monarchs. That was another point off the curve in the life of the ace: he elevated football players to the level of celebrities. Legend has it, confirmed by himself, that Ronald Reagan would have said to him on one occasion: “I am the President of the United States, but you don’t have to introduce yourself. Everyone knows who you are. ”

Pelé’s entrance into the hall of fame was stamped during his time in Cosmos, in the United States, between 1974 and 1977. In New York, the player who was born in the Minas Gerais mining company was Robert Redford’s office neighbor, played tennis with Steven Spielberg at East Hampton, he used to meet Jackie Kennedy.

Pelé could complain about the pressure at the 1970 World Cup, as shown in the film, but he seems to have enjoyed his New York pass. He also had lunch from time to time with Muhammad Ali and had the famous serigraphy portrait produced by Andy Warhol, which was sold last year at an auction for 3.5 million reais. By Warner Communications, the entertainment company he had a contract with, he could use a black Cadillac, with a phone on board, a luxury hard to imagine in the pre-cellular world.

Best and highest paid

Due to the fame, the pressure, the reverence of the fans, Pelé can be considered the precursor to Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, the highest paid players today. Pelé’s achievement deserves even more credit for a simple fact: today’s stars live in a globalized world, in which their matches are broadcast in four corners and their Instagram accounts allow fans a false sense of closeness. “I didn’t know that there were other countries, I thought that Brazil was one of the most beautiful countries in the world”, says Pelé in the film.

In another aspect, it is possible to draw a parallel between the careers of Pelé and today’s stars find a parallel: income. If the King acted today, he would make $ 223 million a year, according to Forbes estimates. The accounts took into account corresponding values ​​for sponsorship quotas and image rights, individual sponsorship, and loyalty quota. The amount of Pelé’s termination fine would amount to US $ 302 million.

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Threatened by kidnapping, Pelé did not want to be Pelé, reveals Netflix documentary