Analysis: Series about Maradona is sometimes inaccurate version of the ace’s life

Analysis: Series about Maradona is sometimes inaccurate version of the ace’s life

​​With release this Friday (29), a day before what would be the 61st birthday of the greatest Argentine idol, the series “Maradona: Conquest of a Dream” seeks to be a romanticized version of the player’s story.

In the first three episodes, given in advance to the sheet, the script achieves this. But there are historical inaccuracies and an old rumor about the 10 shirt’s career remains in the air.

The series, in ten chapters, will be available on the Amazon Prime platform.

Maradona died on November 25, 2020 from respiratory failure. There is an open investigation to find those responsible. Doctor Leopoldo Luque and psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov are the two main names indicted for manslaughter.

The streaming service has been betting on sports productions that use the expression “based on real facts”. The company had already done the same with “El Presidente” about the FIFAgate scandal, launched in 2020.

The series about Maradona is better than the one devoted to corruption in South American football. “El Presidente” is cartoonish and full of characters that didn’t actually exist.

In at least its first three episodes, “Maradona: Conquest of a Dream” wants to tell the story of Diego from his childhood, in Villa Fiorito, in the Buenos Aires suburb, while he is hospitalized in a hospital in Punta del Este, in Uruguay, in a coma after an overdose.

The event was real, left the Argentine on the verge of death and was even more dramatic than what is portrayed in the opening of the first episode.

Guillermo Coppolla, then Maradona’s agent and introduced as one of the villains on the Amazon series, called doctor Jorge Romero. Overweight and immersed in uncontrolled cocaine consumption, the former player went to sleep and would not wake up.

Hearing that Diego had been unconscious for two days, Romero was alarmed.

“So he’s not sleeping, he’s in a coma!”

The star was taken to the private hospital Cantegril. Transferred two weeks later to Buenos Aires, he left for treatment against addiction in Cuba.

In the romanced version, he is at the beach when he feels sick. To the point of losing consciousness, the voice that represents the protagonist himself asks himself: “Where’s Pelusa?”, the nickname he received as a child, because of his thick hair, as if he were looking to go back to the past.

In one of his (real) interviews, he had already said he wanted to go back to being what he was in the poverty of Villa Fiorito.

It sounds like a slight reference to Citizen Kane, a film by Orson Welles, released in 1941. The main character, before dying, alludes to “Rosebud”, a cheap sled he used as a child.

The series’ scenarios are faithful to those of Maradona’s life. The reproduction of the house he lived in in the Paternal neighborhood, near the Argentinos Juniors stadium, is perfect. But Fiorito’s representation is more reminiscent of a Brazilian farm than the neighborhood where the player was born.

The actors who play Diego (Nicolás Goldschmidt and Nazareno Casero) are also very similar to the 1986 world champion.

At times, the script gives Maradona a heroism he didn’t have. As in the episode in which the boy was at Boca Juniors, in 1981, and the club’s bars, led by José Barrita, El Abuelo, entered the concentration to pressure the athletes.

In the series, he challenges an armed Barrita to defend his teammates. It’s an exaggerated version of the story told by the player himself in his autobiography “Yo Soy el Diego”, released in 2000, but contested by almost everyone else who witnessed the scene.

To explain the absence of the attacker, then 17 years old, in the final list of those called up for the 1978 World Cup, the script leaves in the air the interference of the military so that Beto Alonso, River Plate’s idol, was called. The two disputed the last place among the 23 athletes in the delegation.

It is an old rumor referring to that World Cup: the wish of Admiral Carlos Alberto Lacoste, then one of the strongest men of the regime and greater authority in the organization of the tournament, that Alonso should be among those called up. The military, a River fan, would later become FIFA vice-president.

At certain moments, the show tries to place the ace on the rise as someone upset with the dictatorship and opponent of the Falklands War, something that didn’t happen at the time and became a reality only decades later.

To enhance the myth, the first episodes are laudatory to Maradona, in a version that perhaps would have pleased Diego himself.​

When Asif Kapadia’s documentary “Diego Maradona” was released in 2019, the honoree was upset by the scenes that showed his weaknesses.


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