The greatest soccer player in history, Pelé’s story is coming to the big screen. The man, whose skills revolutionized the game and made him an international sensation, finally gets his due.
What Michael Jordan was to basketball or Muhammad Ali is to boxing, Pelé IS for soccer. The film will tell the inspirational story of his rise to glory, from his impoverished youth in Brazil to a soccer prodigy who put the hopes and dreams of his country on his shoulders, to lead Brazil to its first ever world cup victory in 1958 and become the greatest player that ever lived.
Born Edison Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé is regarded by many experts, players, and fans as the best player of all time. He was voted Football Player of the Century as well as being elected Athlete of the Century. He is the most successful league goal scorer in the world, with 541 league goals for a total of 1281 goals in 1363 games. Hailed as a national hero in his homeland of Brazil.
On two occasions, he scored goals that became the stuff of legends. He states that his most beautiful goal was scored at Rua Javari stadium on a Campeonato Paulista match against São Paulo rival Juventus on 2 August 1959. As there is no video footage of this match, Pelé asked that a computer animation be made of this specific goal. He created another memorable moment in March 1961, when once again Pelé scored the gol de placa (goal worthy of a plaque), against Fluminense at the Maracanã. He received the ball on the edge of his own penalty area, and ran the length of the field, eluding opposition players, and fired the ball beyond the goalkeeper. The goal was regarded as being so spectacular that a plaque was commissioned with a dedication to the most beautiful goal in the history of the Maracanã.
The film will be produced by Ron Howard’s and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment and is based on a recommendation by Cosmos chairman Paul Kemsley, who owns the life story rights to Pelé. According to the producers, the plan is to produce “more of a coming-of-age story that will trace Pele’s childhood until he won his first World Cup in Sweden at the age of 17.
The film goes into production this year and they hope to release the film prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will take place in Brazil.
Check out an image of the superstar’s famous “Bicycle Kick” below: