The new Diego Maradona documentary trailer shows how crazy football fans are
- The Amy and Senna director Asif Kapadia is back in 2019 with another thrilling documentary, this time with footballing great Diego Maradona
- They put the film together from 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from the Argentine player’s personal archive
- It tells the story of Maradona during his time at Italian club Napoli in the 1980s, tracing his on and off the pitch exploits in Italy
- Maradona will be in Cannes where the film about him will play out of competition
The first teaser for the new Diego Maradona documentary - it's just called Diego Maradona, and it's by Asif Kapadia, who also directed Amy and Senna - has dropped, and in a single minute it manages to encapsulate everything Maradona was without showing him so much as looking at a football.
It's 5 July 1984, a hot, electric blue day in Naples, and Maradona is nearly ready to walk out at the Stadio San Paulo to meet the Napoli fans for the first time. He's just arrived from Barcelona for a world record £6.9 million, he's wearing a baby blue flat cap, and the anticipation is intense. Between the huge sandy-coloured stones that make up walls of the curved walkway in the bowels of the stadium and the seething roar of the crowd, it all feels very gladiatorial.
Then we're in a packed press conference, where an official warns he'll cancel the whole thing if the press pack don't get their yards; he's dismissed with a very playground "ooooOOOOooooh". Then the camera pans up, and you see Napoli fans screaming and banging from the roof having climbed up the side of a building and squeezed an eye to an air vent to catch a glimpse of the man.
This is Maradona before the goal of the century, remember. Before the Hand of God. He's already a deity. It's also Maradona before the slide into parody, the bug-eyed celebration in '94, the one-man Animal House tribute act at last year's World Cup. It's a window into a time when he was just the greatest player there was - and possibly the greatest there ever was or ever would be.
Forget the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly for a second. It's one thing to run a gif-based Twitter account called @Messi10god or make lock screen-optimised images of CR7's thighs. It's quite another to climb up the side of a building to scream at a man you've never met. Fandom changes over time, obviously - Geoffrey Chaucer didn't get people sending him vellums reading 'we stanneth ay yonge kinge' after dropping The Canterbury Tales - but just that clip has to be compulsory viewing for anyone too young to recall a time when Maradona wasn't just the embarrassing uncle who spent three weeks in Russia flipping the bird at strangers and regularly looking, uh, tired and emotional.
Football from the last century tends to get heavily romanticised, and that's fine. Holding images of Brylcreem'd, massive-collared gents in the '50s, rough-housing cloggers in the '70s or exotically expressive South American imports pitching up in Middlesbrough in the '90s isn't necessarily a bad thing. But the visceral impact of the greats is dulled by time and too many phone-in show filler segments that boil down a player's work and life to a series of titles and stats.
This trailer, though, is romanticism you can really believe in: a Maradona's-eye-view of the mania around him, captured as it happened, and suffused with a dreamy, sun-scorched VHS haze. Remember Maradona this way: already great, and ready to be greater.