“PELADA” is the Brazilian term for pick-up soccer, literally “naked.” As beautifully explained in this documentary, it’s the game “stripped down to its core. It’s the version of the game played by anyone, anywhere — and it’s a window into lives all around the world.”
In every place I’ve been lucky enough to travel, including Brazil, I’ve always tried to get in on “the game.” It was literally the ice-breaker with the kids next door when I lived in Patagonia, the way I went from being some weird distant outsider to just another human being, someone included — and participating in — their world.
Pelada is a documentary following Luke and Gwendolyn, two former college soccer stars who didn’t quite make it to the pros. Not ready for it to be over, they take off, chasing the game. From prisoners in Bolivia to moonshine brewers in Kenya, from freestylers in China to women who play in hijab in Iran, Pelada is the story of the people who play.
Definitely give this trailer a watch; it will get you stoked for traveling and showing up on the field. Only so much can happen in conference rooms in clean clothes. We need more ambassadors here on the field.