Like George Best before him, it was Maradona’s flaws that took his legend to another level – and the new movie on the Argentinean revels in the dark side of Diego.
Using only archive footage - some of it from Maradona’s own personal collection - it takes you inside the tortured family life, the jubilant dressing rooms and the drug den nightclubs.
If there is one complaint it’s that the actual football takes a very low priority. Too often the action footage shows only moments of brilliance ended by a hack tackle on Maradona rather than one of his stunning strikes.
It’s nit-picking though because the insight the rest of the movie gives is incredible.
Right from the start you are literally alongside Maradona from the moment he arrives through the crowded streets of Naples as he pulls into San Paolo Stadium for the very first time to be unveiled to 85,000 waiting fans in 1984.
Wearing an opulent fur coat, he tells the camera he made the move from Barcelona because: “I’m interested in glory, not money.”
But he admits at Barcelona: “I asked for a Ferrari and I got a Fiat.” (NB – He arrives at Serie A strugglers Napoli in the back of a Mk1 VW Golf.)
Seven years and multiple silverware later, in 1991, he’s run out of town by police and football, banned, washed up and unwanted.
On TV 13 years later, he’s so fat he can barely sit up in his chair as he admits he’s just been released from psychiatric hospital after a life consumed by drugs and self-indulgence warped his mind beyond even the reach of conventional rehab.
At Russia 2018, he’s manically cheering on Argentina in an apparent cloud of coke dust as a FIFA guest in a corporate box before collapsing and going home in an ambulance.
The movie closes with recent footage of him trying to play with some kids in a street football pitch, overweight, unfit and in agony with every exertion - and yet still with talent and skill to spare.
The movie’s release will doubtless resurrect the long running rows about who is the greatest, Pele or Maradona - but that misses the point. They are of course both otherworldly geniuses.
One led the bland-by-comparison life of a champion and a hero, while Diego Armando Maradona was a self-indulgent, self-destructive legend.
Like George Best before him, Maradona’s life has been one of brilliance, elation, controversy and mythology.
Like Best, rolling around with Miss World on a four poster bed covered in cash while drinking champagne, you could ask Maradona where did it all go wrong?
But for all the drama, you suspect, like Best, he will just look at you incredulously.
His has been a life well-lived - and the movie is a charge sheet, confession…and celebration.
Diego Maradona opens in cinemas tomorrow, July 25.