The onscreen lives of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona

As a striking and controversial figure, Diego Maradona has inevitably been the subject of many television and film productions.

Serbian film maker Emir Kusturica presented his documentary about Maradona in 2008 at the Cannes Film Festival after a two-year labour of love, although Kusturica, who narrated it himself pulled no punches in its description of the controversial idol:

“Having given up drugs, he looked first like Falstaff, then an advert for Spaghetti!”

The Netflix documentary series Maradona In Mexico took a look at the latter days of the star in 2018 and 2019. It revolves around his coaching of Second Division Mexican soccer club Dorados de Sinaloa in Culiacán.

Maradona actually throve at the club and one review of the series praised the candid behind-the-scenes footage that showed him as “endearingly unhinged”.

Another director who presented a documentary about the football star at the Cannes Film — this time in 2019 — was Asif Kapadia, following on from his well-received profiles of Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna and the late British singer Amy Winehouse. Kapadia said his film ‘Diego Maradona’ was the third part of his trilogy about child geniuses and fame.

The film concentrates on Maradona’s club heyday, moving from FC Barcelona to Napoli in 1984 and eventually winning Serie A twice but the 1989 UEFA Cup.

Asif Kapadia maintained that Maradona was and is a pivotal figure in the history of the game:

“In one way he is the bridge between people like (Brazilian footballer) Pelé and (Lionel) Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo.”

“He is the guy who crossed over from the black-and-white (television) generation to the megastars we have now, with a billion followers on Instagram. Of my era of watching football, he was the best player in the world.”

In the wake of the idol’s death, these productions surely won’t be the last to look at his remarkable life.


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