Argentine football legend Diego Maradona passed away on November 25 at the age of 60. He was battling health issues for a while and had undergone emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma some weeks ago. The cause of his death is believed to be cardiac arrest, according to various media reports. The athlete, who for many was the entry point to football, left behind a legacy constituting of his inaccessible high and lows. Over the years several documentaries — much like his ardent admirers — have tried to make sense of the phenomenon he was, documenting his life at various stages.
Here are some of them.
Diego Maradona by Asif Kapadia
Kapadia’s oeuvre consists of compelling documentaries like Senna and Amy; but unlike previous times, the football legend was alive when this documentary was shot. Having said that, Kapadia is more preoccupied in tracking a certain time in Maradona’s life — beginning from 1984 when he went from Barcelona to the Napoli team for a record $13 million. This decade stood out for World Cup wins and championships and encapsulate memories of the Maradona we have grown up watching.
It is an affecting instance of filmmaking featuring never-seen videos and archival footage, the documentary eggs us to go on a journey with the best footballer the world has witnessed and justifying our constant admiration for him and his craft.
Maradona in Mexico by Angus Macqueen
Streaming on Netflix, this seven-part docu-series presents a more recent Maradona, the footballer we have seen making news off the field more than on it. It opens with him confessing he is a good man if not perfect, and distils his undying love for the sport in a declaration that he wants to improve football. That this remained his single-headed goal even as recently as 2018-2019 after being analysed and criticised for that very engagement is telling of his no-barred investment in the sport.
Directed by Angus Macqueen, it traces Maradona coaching Mexico’s second division club Dorados de Sinaloa in Culiacán.
Maradonapoli by Alessio Maria Federici
This 2017 documentary is a touching collation of fan testimonials and their memories of the footballer. Shot entirely in Naples, it unravels the lasting impression he left there and the club he was associated with. It is a compelling examination of Maradona’s fandom by turning the lens to the other side.
Loving Maradona by Javier Vázquez
This 2005 documentary is an origin story tracing the humble beginning of the fabled-footballer in Buenos Aires and his meteoric rise to power. It also provides inside snippet from when was secluded in Cuba and also an overview of some of his finest games.
Maradona by Kusturica by Emir Kusturica
This 2008 documentary gathers instances from his life as we knew it. It gains from the Serbian filmmaker’s exclusive access to Maradona himself laying out moments of his global domination and his fall from abuse. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008.