Ronaldinho's best commercials

From Joga Bonito to Pepsi Far West, the most iconic videos of the Brazilian 10 par excellence

“I learned all about life with a ball at my feet.” March 21st is no ordinary date, because on March 21st, 1980, the football oracle Ronaldo de Assis was born in Porto Alegre. Ronaldinho was more than a number 10; on the field he developed the ultimate expression of Brazilian imagination, turning tricks, skills and no-looks into charming and functional works of art. His football was a smiling carnival that, inevitably, managed to influence pop culture and the imagery of brands and companies, changing their creative communication. This selection of commercials featuring the so-called “greatest showman in the history of football,” proves it to us: iconic and unforgettable videos, capable of withstanding time and any trend. Enjoy.

Joga Bonito – Nike

Crossbar – Nike

Shuffle – Pepsi

The Wall – Heineken

Footbattle – Pepsi

Play 10 – Nike

Credits

IMAGO / Insidefoto

Gianmarco Pacione


Racism ends when it ceases to exist

Acerbi's racist insult to Juan Jesus cannot be justified

“What happens in the football field stays there. When the referee blows the final whistle, it ends there. Inside the football field it’s okay to say anything.” Juan Jesus’ words at the end of Inter Napoli are a genteel way to protect the status and reputation of Francesco Acerbi. But nothing can erase an N-word said during a Serie A big match, especially on the special day dedicated to the battle against racism. And there is no justification or alibi for a racist insult said by one of the pillars of the Italian national team.

“Acerbi apologized to me, he’s a smart guy,” the Brazilian said after reporting the incident to referee La Penna, who didn’t eject Acerbi. But apologies can no longer be enough. And what happens on the football field, doesn’t stay on the football field. Because one racist word and thought can touch millions of people. Because a man, an athlete who should be an example, cannot afford to ruin a day that’s as symbolic as it’s, sadly, topical.

If Francesco Acerbi’s dramatic and courageous personal story continues to inspire, this shadow will be hard to forget. Racism doesn’t end at the triple whistle. Racism ends when it truly ceases to exist. And the world of football, once again, has proved to be far away from this fundamental social and human goal.

Credits

IMAGO / AFLOSPORT / Goal Sports Images

Gianmarco Pacione


Watchlist - Six Nations: Full Contact

The Netflix series celebrating rugby and its most legendary event

The famous Welsh actor Richard Burton defined rugby as “a wonderful show: dance, opera, and suddenly the blood of a killing.” And the magnificent spectacle of rugby reaches its climax at its most legendary act, the Six Nations. Following the example of similar formats focused on other sports, in ‘Six Nations: Full Contact’ Netflix visits the behind-the-scenes of this mystical event and portrays its atypical characters.

Freddie Steward, Finn Russell, Ellis Genge, Marcus Smith, Sebastian Porter, and Sebastian Negri are just some of the human mountains exposed by the US platform’s cameras: war machines who share muscles and pain, but also insecurities and atypical existential paths. Private lives and mythological stages, such as Twickenham, alternate in a tasty documentary series populated by ordinary superhumans, personal memories, collective emotions and locker room beers. ‘Six Nations: Full Contact’ is a necessary dive into rugby culture, a production capable of bringing mainstream audiences closer to a precious sport and its varied personalities. That’s why it rightfully enters our Watchlist.

Credits

Netflix

Gianmarco Pacione


The never-ending story between Karhu and the European Athletics Championships

Karhu's technical apparel will be part of the Rome 2024 European Athletics Championships

Karhu will join the EuroRoma 2024 Foundation as the official supplier of technical apparel for the European Athletics Championships, scheduled for June 7th to 12th next year. This shared commitment aims to promote the values of athletics, celebrate its history and enhance the image of a major international event.

The agreement extends beyond commercial purposes, reconnecting with a glorious past, thanks to the involvement of a prestigious figure in Italian athletics, Franco Arese, who has been leading the Karhu company for ten years. A former athlete, gold medalist in the 1,500-meter race at the European Championships in Helsinki in 1971, and later entrepreneur and sports politician, Arese was president of the Italian Athletics Federation from 2005 to 2012. He has enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to participate in the Rome 2024 European Championships project, which will bring Italy and its capital back to the center of the international athletics scene.

“Karhu was the sponsor of the 1971 European Championships in Helsinki. Now,than 50 years later, it will return to Rome. It is a perfect link between the most important success of my athletic career, the gold I won in the 1,500 meters in Helsinki, and Italy, my homeland. I am excited to take on this new challenge as an entrepreneur alongside my children and our employees; it is a story that continues to give me great energy and enthusiasm,” explains Franco Arese, Chairman of Karhu.

Athleta Magazine is proud to announce its involvement in this synergy dedicated to athletic prowess in the Eternal City, which will be carried out with media and press coverage that will introduce, follow and chronicle the entire event.


Watchlist - Higuita: The Way of Scorpion

Netflix chronicles the life of the most extreme and controversial goalkeeper in football history

“Football is like life; you go through good and bad times”. The trailer of ‘Higuita: The Way of Scorpion’, the Netflix movie dedicated to one of the most iconic goalkeepers in football history, captures in this sentence the essence of a controversial, iconic and eclectic human being. René Higuita was the most extreme definition of a goalkeeper. Reckless, atypical, unconventional. The saves of this Colombian juggler appeared as continuous profane miracles and challenges to tradition.

Genius or madness, the boundary between these two aspects has never been define in one of fútbol’s most exotic artists: the inventor of the immortal signature move of the ‘Scorpion’, capable of scoring over 40 goals in his career, while he was a Pablo Escobar friend, and even an intermediary in a kidnapping. Nothing has been crystal clear in Higuita’s life, too often obscured by his trademark flights and magical tricks.

Going back in time and delving into Higuita’s turbulent memories, Netflix explain to us the real way of Scorpion. A perfect fit for our Watchlist. 

Text by Gianmarco Pacione

Photo credits: IMAGO Magic / HJS / Buzzi


Watchlist – Wrestlers

The new Netflix series is an ode to independent wrestling and its irrational stars

How many of you are familiar with the glittering WWE violence? And how many of you have witnessed the dynamic rise of AEW up the wrestling food chain? Probably all of you have watched, if only for a moment, a live broadcast of these two entertainment powerhouses. And who among you has ever witnessed an OVW, Ohio Valley Wrestling pay-per-view? Probably no one. Because this independent promotion is the historically little brother of the great American wrestling majors, a purist’s paradise, a hotbed of talent that has created celebrities like John Cena, Randy Orton and Batista, but it’s also a business poised on the precipice of failure.

The economic resurrection of this scrappy, yet fascinating promotion is the focus of the Netflix series ‘Wrestlers.’ The advent of the two businessmen Matt Jones and Craig Greenberg allows us to discover a parallel universe, written and directed by the sole (impressive) imagination of former professional wrestler Al Snow: a universe where heritage matters more than profit, where credibility and inspiration consciously snub the laws of the market, and where dozens of athletes dream of making a living from their art, often colliding with a harsh reality composed of second jobs and economic struggles. ‘Wrestlers’ is an ode to independent wrestling and its heroes: human beings populated by demons, emotional fractures, family contradictions and controversial pasts, who in the adrenaline of the three ropes manage to find answers to even the most complex existential questions.

Greg Whitley directs a magical series that allows us to explore the tumultuous identities of performers in search of their gimmick and their future, as well as the great beauty of a discipline that is too often undervalued. An art form that demands scientific timing and acting qualities. An endless novel that seeks only the viewer’s reaction and loyalty. A theater of pain, shaped by acrobatic hits and performances that are anything but superficial‘Wrestlers’ is a contemporary glossary of ambition, sacrifice, failure and, above all, irrational passion.The transversal passion that drives men and women to challenge their bodies and minds in order to temporarily step into the shoes of superheroes. Even in front of 30 people. Even for a handful of dollars. That’s why ‘Wrestlers’ makes its way right into our Watchlist.

Credits
Netflix

Photo Credits
Gianmarco Pacione


More than an icon, just Beckham

New Netflix series ‘BECKHAM’ allows us to celebrate a cult aesthete, celebrity and footballer

The release of the Netflix series ‘BECKHAM’ is the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to an icon who has left an indelible mark on both football history and aesthetics. And beyond. The dual identity of Beckham, painter of brilliant trajectories and pop star, perfect midfielder and global celebrity, has long divided public opinion, but never left any doubt about the natural communicative power of the Londoner adopted by Manchester and the ‘Red Devils’.

Jorge Valdano wrote that “Beckham is two people in one: he is one person when he is playing and another in daily life. Off the field, like certain Patagonian birds, he takes a dump with every step. But during the ninety minutes he shows qualities of concentration, participation, self-sacrifice, solidarity, and a shot that manages to address where he wants”; Diego Armando Maradona, on the other hand, described him as “Another one too pretty to go on the field. Although he is very much into his Spice Girl, sometimes he finds time to play and he does it well, very well…. With the United he won everything, but he owes something to the national team.” Two coincidental thoughts that define the essence of the current Officer of the Order of the British Empire and owner of Inter Miami CF, as well as multifaceted entrepreneur, meteoric rise.

Because Beckham was simultaneously 7 and ‘Spice Boy’. 23 and ‘Galácticos’. He was his Adidas Predators and the sequence plan of his free kicks. The platinum blond hair and the stylistic evolution. A beauty sensation. A walking advertisement. A winner for every club, but a looser for many Englishmen. He was, quite simply, one of the most influential and sought-after athletes in modern sport, a star capable of changing every market law and demarcating an entire football era. Beckham is still continuing his own marketing and business masterpiece, defining year after year the (also controversial) chapters of his aesthetic legacy

The series ‘BECKHAM,’ directed by the Oscar-winning Fisher Stevens, explains the origins and evolution of this mass phenomenon that, at 48 years of age, has yet to stop dictating standards and trends. ‘Becks’ legacy, however, is not made up of only lights and successes, but also goes through humble beginnings, the dark side of fame, depression and personal obsessive-compulsive disorder. Every perfectionist, after all, hides cracks. And every legend is created through difficulties, misunderstandings, failures and moments of weakness. As this series will show you.

Credits
Netflix

Photo Credits
Imago
AFLOSPORT
Avalon.red
Uwe Kraft
Adidas
PanoramiC
POP-EYE
Action Plus

Text by
Gianmarco Pacione


Watchlist – Swagger

Apple TV+ series that shows us life through basketball

The second season of Swagger, the Apple TV+ series that shows us life through basketball, and vice versa, recently ended. Swagger is a bildungsroman, inspired by Kevin Durant’s story and co-produced by the NBA star himself. The story’s protagonist is Jace Carson (Isaiah Hill), a young basketball prospect who is followed and analyzed along his tortuous high school path. On the hardwood floor anyone can learn to live, says an unwritten law of basketball. And Jace succeeds in evolving as a human being, before he does as a player, inheriting African-American knowledge, experiencing the problems of contemporary society, and building fundamental human bonds.

Episode after episode, the term ‘swagger’ becomes a common thread to define the style, courage and brash but virtuous attitude of a special talent who wants to transcend the simple athlete’s role, becoming a role model for his community, and beyond. The appearance of sports and social legends such as John Carlos, and the cyclical counsels of coach-mentor Ike (O’Shea Jackson Jr), make this series a wonderful journey through the insecurities, pressures and self-discovery of some third-millennium athletes-adolescents: a historical period where socials, money and racial taboos can annihilate the mental balance of any young talent.

The extreme aesthetic quality of this series should also be emphasized. The innovative direction, the use of atypical camerawork, and a cast composed of high-level players allow us to witness credible and spectacular games and highlights, where any difference between athletes and actors vanishes. The soundtrack led by Tobi Nwigwe and the magnetic qualities of the aforementioned Isaiah Hill are the final ingredients in a series that undoubtedly deserves to be on our Watchlist.

Credits: Apple TV+
Text by: Gianmarco Pacione


Matildas: The World At Our Feet

The Disney+ series dedicated to the Australian women’s national team

The nickname of the Australian women’s national football team is ‘Matildas’, a term referring to the bush ballad ‘Waltzing Matilda’, composed by poet Banjo Paterson in 1895. This unofficial anthem is also the title of the Disney+ production dedicated to the Australian women’s footballers’ journey to the 2023 World Cup, which will be played in Australia and New Zealand.

Global superstars like Sam Kerr, Ellie Carpenter and Mary Fowler are followed day after day and match after match. Between goals, disappointments and private moments, their intimate testimonies convey their desire to revolutionise an entire sport and nation, to change the lives of millions of young female footballers and to deal with the pressures of an unprecedented moment in history.

Because the ‘Matildas’ represent greatness not only from a sporting point of view, but also in terms of human and women’s rights leadership. The hyper positivity of Swedish coach Tony Gustavsson and the images from the field are in fact interludes between deep reflections and analysis on the relationship between women and sports and the desire to progress towards a better future for every female athlete.

For this reason, “Matildas – The World at Our Feet” enters our Watchlist as an essential production that can introduce us to the upcoming World Cup.

Photo Credits: Watchlist
Text by: Gianmarco Pacione


Watchlist – Tour de France: Unchained

An intimate and romantic documentary work dedicated to the timeless wonder of the Grand Boucle

Few events in the world boast the same epic and mystique that surround the Tour de France. Since 1903, the yellow race has been a novel built on tears and fatigue; it is a mad cycling marathon conceived by the brilliant ‘tyrant‘ Henri Desgrange and embraced by legendary athletes. Anecdotes, exploits and failures have made the Tour a timeless celebration of an entire sporting movement and an entire country, painting, generation after generation, a masterpiece that is as tragic as it is romantic.

Tour de France: Unchained’ is the Netflix production dedicated to the Grand Boucle and its contemporary heroes. Just weeks before the 110th edition of the world’s toughest cycling stage race, this series allows us to discover the most intimate sides of the long climb to the Champs-Élysées. Stages, individual emotions and the dynamics of each team intertwine, telling us both about the characteristics of the single protagonists and the management difficulties during this huge and complex sports challenge.

The human Red Sea of the Alpe d’Huez, the relationship between Van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard, Geraint Thomas‘s everlasting greatness, the bucolic life of Pinot and the incredible sporting resurrection of Fabio Jakobsen are just a few topics put into rhyme by this exciting series, which rightfully enters our Watchlist.

Photo Credits: Netflix
Text by Gianmarco Pacione