The recent news of Diego Maradona’s death has left the footballing world in a simultaneous state of grief, with some of the world’s biggest stars including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Pele all paying tribute to the Argentinian. Widely regarded as one of the best footballers of all time, there have been plenty of documentaries made about one of the world’s most famous footballing celebrities, but which one is the most accurate? We’ll tell you which one is the best, and why, below.
‘Diego Maradona’ – 2019
The 2019 film, appropriately named ‘Diego Maradona’, gives the greatest ever insight into the life of one of Argentina’s most famous and most controversial footballers. The movie was the brainchild of Oscar-winning director Asif Kapadia, who had already firmly put himself on the documentary-movie map with ‘Senna’, the movie depicting the life and tragic death of Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna, and ‘Amy’, the movie which chronicled the life and eventual death of famous UK singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse. With Maradona now unfortunately no longer with us, the 2019 movie can now be firmly considered an elegy, as his previous two movies were. While it hasn’t yet received the awards the other two movies did, it will no doubt get a lot more attention now that the enigmatic forward has passed.
Never before seen footage
The thing that ‘Diego Maradona’ achieves that other documentaries in the past could not, is that it contains exclusive never before seen footage, provided by the man himself. Rather than trying to tell the typical chronological beginning to end story (of course because the end actually hadn’t happened when the movie was made), ‘Diego Maradona’ begins with the Argentine’s transfer to Napoli from Barcelona in 1984. After a rough time in the Catalan capital, which included him breaking his ankle and getting ill with hepatitis, Maradona arrived in the Amalfi Coast city to fanfare and stardom. What followed was a seven year stint in Serie A that would solidify his position as one of the most talented players in history to kick a football.
Highs and lows
If the movie manages to capture the highs of Maradona’s move to Naples, it also encapsulates the tumultuous lows. Being a passionate South American and moving to a part of Italy where football is considered life and death, Diego quickly found himself the attention of idolisation by an entire city. In his attempts to cope with a new level of ultra-stardom, Maradona turned to drugs and prostitution, both of which were controlled by the local mafia. There’s a hard hitting and surprising moment within the film in which Diego outlines an average week for him which was to play a match on Sunday, go out partying until Wednesday, and then train every day from Thursday until the next game on the Sunday. It was a lifestyle that saw his weight fluctuate constantly and, as we now know, would cause a catalogue of health issues later in his life.
For all of the above reasons, if you’re looking for an accurate, entertaining, and factual account of the life of Maradona, then you can’t do any better than 2019’s hit movie ‘Diego Maradona’.