Edson Arantes do Nascimento — Pelé — is still the king of futbol. Unlike Wilt Chamberlain, Rod Laver, Jim Brown, Jackie Stewart, Arnold Palmer and other athletes who dominated their sports during critical growth eras, Pelé has never been overtaken as the enduring icon of his sport around the world. Even Michael Jordan, who became synonymous with basketball after Chamberlain, must contend with challengers like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But while there have been magisterial soccer players since Pelé — Maradona, Eusebio, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Ronaldo, Messi, too many to name — Pelé remains the king. El Rey.
Still the youngest winner of the World Cup in history at age 17, Pelé’s extraordinary story gets the full biopic treatment from Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist in Pelé: Birth of a Legend. The incredibly inspiring story of the young life of the Brazilian superstar opens in theaters May 6 after premiering at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. It must rise to German superstar Franz Beckenbauer’s description of its subject: “If you would use the word perfect, Pelé almost is there. He was the greatest soccer player in the history of this game.”