If football is a religion in Argentina, then Lionel Messi is the messiah; attracting the fervent support and wild attention of thousands of loyal followers.
And football’s greatest ever player will be the focus of a new, four-part Apple TV+ documentary, set to premiere in early 2024.
Having competed at the game’s highest level since his debut in 2004, Messi spent much of his international career living in the shadow of Diego Armando Maradona, the man who single-handedly delivered Argentina World Cup glory in 1986.
At the most recent World Cup, Qatar in 2022, Messi reached his career zenith, inspiring Argentina to World Cup glory, ending his international silverware drought and ensuring his position as football’s finest ever player is undisputed.
As his career approaches its end, we will likely see the greatness of Messi appreciated and celebrated more and more in the coming years. While ‘Messi’s World Cup: The Rise of a Legend’ doesn’t cover his whole career, it focuses on the game’s greatest player’s exploits on its greatest stage.
All the key details of Lionel Messi’s Apple TV documentary
When is ‘Messi’s World Cup: The Rise of a Legend’ released?
February 21, 2024
Whip your calendars out, shake up your Sharpie, and mark 21 February 2024. That’s the day Messi’s World Cup: The Rise of a Legend will hit screens, and honestly we cannot contain our excitement.
Is there a trailer?
Of course, there is. The streaming giant released a short teaser trailer featuring the man himself as well as one of football’s bubbliest and loveliest commentators, Gary Lineker.
What will the documentary cover?
The docuseries will chart the Argentinian great’s stellar career, including his five FIFA World Cup appearances, including his triumphant 2022 World Cup in Qatar. So, not just the most recent tournament.
Messi’s relationship with the World Cup is both complicated and enthralling. This is largely due to the relationship between his country of birth and the tournament, which dates back to an inaugural triumph in 1978 but is more tightly fused with Maradona’s exploits in 1986.
Despite being viewed as the greatest player to ever kick a football by most fans, Messi’s World Cup shortfalls placed him beneath Maradona in both the hearts and minds of Argentinian football fans.
It is within this context that his World Cup escapades have occurred and before 2022 it seemed heartbreak was all he’d ever extract from a World Cup.
The documentary will see Argentina’s star man ‘tell the definitive story of his incredible career with the Argentina national football team, providing an intimate and unprecedented look at his quest for a legacy-defining World Cup victory’, according to the streaming service.
For football fans, this is a finger-licking revelation. Not only will the game’s ‘GOAT’ discuss the psychology of incredible triumph, but also delve deep into the heartbreak of going agonisingly close to glory in 2014, and the pain of coming back from defeat again and again in pursuit of undeniable greatness.
His international career has been incredibly topsy-turvy, to say the least. During his peak years in the mid-to-late 2010s, the forward was the victim of countless bouts of footballing heartbreak with several legacy-defining losses in finals forcing him into an early retirement in 2016.
Despite it all, the Inter Miami man returned to the international stage, shouldered the weight of a nation’s expectations on his slender frame, and persevered until glory was finally bestowed upon him.
Not only will we hear from the man himself about the highs and lows of his career, but fans will also be blessed with insights from teammates, coaches, fans, opponents, and commentators. Imagine the calibre of individuals interviewed for the series.
Think Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria, Lionel Scaloni, and Marcelo Bielsa are a few potential Argentinian national team stars whose faces we might see throughout the series.
Who is the team behind the production?
Messi’s World Cup: The Rise of a Legend features an all-star production team. Emmy Award winners, Tim Pastore, Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, and Matt Renner, comprise the executive production team, alongside Jenna Millman and Juan Camilo Cruz.
Many of this crew worked on the exhilarating film, Free Solo, which follows Alex Honnold as he attempts to become the first person to complete a free solo ascent of El Capitan’s 900-metre vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park.
It’s a nail-biting production which featured in our list of the greatest documentaries ever. While the Messi series won’t have similar life-or-death high stakes, the crew behind it are some of the finest filmmakers anywhere in the world.
Any news on Netflix’ World Cup documentary?
Earlir this year, the streaming giant teased a documentary on the 2022 FIFA World Cup but so far we’ve received no updated news on the series. There’s been no trailer, no release date, no news at all really, almost as if the documentary was promised as an early April fools joke.
We will be sure to keep you update on the series, should any new news arise.