Apple TV+ has announced a new untitled four-part documentary series from SMUGGLER Entertainment, featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes access to Lionel Messi, whom many consider to be the greatest-of-all-time in a sport that commands the devotion of five billion fans around the world.
The series filmed in Paris, Qatar and Argentina, tracks the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner through his five FIFA World Cup appearances and his FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 win, in one of the most exciting finals in history. In his own words, Messi tells 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.
Just days before the tournament kicked off, Messi told the filmmakers, “It would be the ultimate experience to win a World Cup and to be able to close out my career in that way. I’ve daydreamed about it after many years of fighting for it. I made a million possibilities of what could happen … the first match, the round of 16, the quarterfinals, the semifinal and the final. I’m also going to live it as something special, because it’s the last one. To finish my last year winning a World Cup would be the dream ending.” In a matter of weeks, and in front of record-breaking viewership, Leo Messi solidified his place in the pantheon of sport as he hoisted the World Cup.
The currently untitled documentary event is executive produced by Emmy Award winner Tim Pastore (“Free Solo,” “Jane”), Emmy and Tony Award winners Patrick Milling Smith and Brian Carmody, and Emmy Award winner Matt Renner (“Free Solo,” “Limitless with Chris Hemsworth”) of SMUGGLER Entertainment, alongside Jon Henion (“Welcome to Wrexham”) and Juan Camilo Cruz (“In Her Hands”). The series is produced for Apple by SMUGGLER Entertainment, and produced in association with Pegsa.
Here’s how the documentary series is described: The filmmakers followed Messi throughout the thrilling FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, providing rare and unique access before, during and after the monumental feat of becoming a legendary champion. From Qatar’s training grounds to the chaos of press junkets to the quiet contemplation of Messi’s private room, the series highlights a thrilling mash-up of the public and private worlds of the planet’s top living athlete as well as that of his loyal supporters across Argentina and those who made the pilgrimage to Qatar.
The series also features the most personal interviews to date with Messi, alongside conversations with teammates, coaches, competitors, devout fans and commentators testifying to the incredible influence and impact he has on a nation and the world, along with the grace, fortitude and willpower he has demonstrated throughout his career. The docuseries charts the dramatic path of his first match with the Argentina national football team where he was shown a red card in his first minute, to carrying the weight of a country on his shoulders through several elusive World Cup wins, leading to his early retirement in 2016, and ultimately the comeback to become a FIFA World Cup champion and be crowned the 2022 tournament’s best player.
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