Argentine Diego Armando Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players (that’s soccer to Americans) of all time. The short but fearless athlete was renowned for his leadership and uncanny ability to create scoring chances for himself as well as his co-players, leading club teams to championships in Argentina, Italy, and Spain. Able to maneuver better than most other football players, he was often singled out by opposing teams who were in awe of his talent, and made a concerted effort to contain him, although not always successfully.
The pinnacle of his career came as a member of the Argentine national team that won the 1986 World Cup.
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And now, a new documentary film directed by Asif Kapadia, the Academy Award and BAFTA-winning director of “Senna” and “Amy,” highlights one of the most celebrated and controversial footballers of all time.
Titled “Diego Maradona,” the film begins when Maradona, at the height of his career, transferred to Naples for a world-record fee, in July 1984. The charismatic Argentine was worshiped on and off the field and led Napoli to its first league title.
The documentary, which pulls from more than 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from Maradona’s personal archives, decades-old news footage and interviews with historians and journalists, recounts the feats of wonder that he performed on the field, as darker days loomed ahead.
Made with the full support of the man himself, now 58 years old, “Diego Maradona” opens in US theaters this weekend. And in recognition of that accomplishment, here are 10 more films about real-life great athletes to check out afterward.