Maradona’s warming up in 1989: Viral before viral videos even existed
With Diego Maradona’s 60th birthday last week, there is one video every football fan thinks of when celebrating who is arguably considered the best player world football has ever known. Some would say Lionel Messi is the greatest footballer that has ever lived, others would mention Brazilian Pelé, but if there’s one player that showed it both in club and national team competitions it is definitely Diego Armando Maradona.
This is exactly why Netflix launched a series about the Argentinean number 10 and why filmmaker Asif Kapadia made a documentary about him in 2019. This might just seem rather logical to some, but football and films have actually always had a bit of a hard time.
Maybe this is because one of the biggest film industries, the United States, has never cared for football as much as the other continents do. At Bet Builder we fiercely hope this will change some time in the future. There’s really quite nothing like the world’s most beautiful game.
Football and films are not a success
As the world’s most popular sport, watched by billions of spectators across the globe, it won’t be a surprise though that filmmakers have actually tried to capture the emotions of football onto screen. Let’s say that the results, however, have been somewhat mixed. Of course, most football fans recall Goal! and The Football Factory, but these are productions that were launched back in 2005 and 2004.
We’re pretty sure most fans won’t be able to cite any memorable productions that were released in recent years. It is true that these films were particularly successful in Europe, but that seems like a fair target group as well. Now compare that with the amount of films that come out about basketball, baseball, boxing or American football teams: Ali, Remember the Titans, Moneyball, The Rookie, Coach Carter, and Space Jam.
Viral before viral existed
If you ask us Maradona is in fact one of the main reasons the film industry should dive into creating new football films again as the potential is there. Maradona’s warm-up routine ahead of Napoli’s UEFA Cup semi final second leg against German side Bayern back in the spring of 1989 — which took place over 30 years ago — went viral before the definition of a viral video even existed.
Or to put in other words: Maradona dancing on the rhythms of Opus’s “Life is Life” was something like TikTok before it was even available. Maradona’s pre-match routine is most likely the most-watched bit of organic on-pitch football footage that doesn’t include a second of real game action.
The whole scene is based on one person enjoying the beautiful game. It’s the authenticity of football that would make today’s American equivalents, whether it’s a film about baseball, basketball or American football, look pale by comparison.