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Rise and fall of Diego Maradona: New documentary perfect for football tragics or novices

10:53 GMT+3 29/07/2019
Diego Maradona Napoli
The film about the life of one of football's most infamous characters was released in Australia last week

The Diego Maradona documentary - the latest piece from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia - expertly caters for its target markets: viewers both knowledgeable or in the dark about the Argentinian superstar's story.

The stunning goals, rampaging partying and extra marital affairs are on show in all their rawness - in a way that captivates a Maradona fan as much as it does someone new to his story.

Using footage from the archives - including Maradona's own collection - and audio from recent interviews, Kapadia puts together a superb narrative, with the help of editor Chris King.

It explores Maradona's incredible rise from the slums on the outskirts of Buenos Aires to becoming a football superstar at Barcelona - where he joined from Boca Juniors for a then world record fee of AU$9 million.

Despite two years of brilliance at the Nou Camp, Maradona was forced to move on because of a series of controversial incidents, and he surprisingly made the move to Italian side Napoli for another record fee - a struggling club based in Naples.

This is when Kapadia's storytelling talents take over as he explains Maradona's journey to being labelled the 'God' of Naples by leading the team to glory for the first time and also becoming 'king' of Argentina by lifting the 1986 World Cup.

But gradually through drug use, scandals and alleged mafia connections, Maradona's downfall began with the film brilliantly showing him up on his perch before the decline that ended his playing career.

Many players, including legendary defenders Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini, swear that Maradona was the best they have ever played against.

But unfortunately his peak was ended prematurely as the stresses of extreme fame and fortune simply became too much.

Kapadia's most well-known documentaries are about British performer Amy Winehouse and Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna - both stories ending with a tragic death.

His Maradona film is laced with tragedy but no actual deaths - with the rise and fall narrative prominent from his previous documentaries.

For fans of the Argentine legend, or even those who are just interested in his story, the documentary provides two hours of must-see vision that will leave you wanting to know more about Maradona's extraordinary life.

Diego Maradona is in Australian cinemas from July 25.