‘Diego Maradona’ Review: A Gripping Saga of Soccer Legend’s Fall From Grace — Cannes

The five-minute opening montage of “Diego Maradona” recounts a dizzying history of the Argentine soccer player’s dramatic rise, and the story’s just getting started. As Barcelona’s breakout talent in the early ‘80s, Maradona was seen as a natural successor to Pelé’s stature as the greatest player in history, with ethos to boot: “I’m more interest in glory than money,” he says in one passing interview, as the prologue careens through his exuberant hard-partying lifestyle, local backlash, and a recovery from injury — until at long last he’s sold to less glamorous Napoli in 1984. It’s a dramatic shift, but only a starting point for this breathless and gripping saga of a soccer legend’s fall from grace.

While Maradona’s controversial “Hand of God” triumph in the 1986 World Cup has already been captured in an ESPN “30 for 30” installment, director Asif Kapadia folds that major chapter into a much wider tapestry.

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