A new Discovery Channel special later this month explores the untold story of Argentine football icon, Diego Maradona and the accumulating circumstances which may have contributed to his untimely death on 25 November last year.
goes behind the headlines to look at the many aspects of his life that shaped his legacy. Were the seeds of his demise sewn from his first moments of success as a child prodigy?
Diego Maradona rose from the slums of Buenos Aires to become a footballing God. A genius, a legend and an addict, he endured a lifetime of highs and lows. For decades it was drugs that kept Maradona playing but wrecked his life off the pitch. Sadly, he was never to see out his later years, dying at just 60 years old. The cause of death was given as a heart failure, but what really killed Diego Maradona?
What Killed Maradona? pieces together the extraordinary life of a man who was addicted to drugs off the pitch, but who also relied on a cocktail of pharmaceuticals to maintain his world-beating performance on the pitch. It also reveals how this lethal lifestyle, that began when Maradona was just a child, eventually became the perfect prescription for his death. From the humblest of beginnings, he made his professional debut just days before his 16th birthday and would soon become a football superstar known and feted around the world. But his poverty-stricken childhood left him at a disadvantage and despite his prodigious talent throughout his junior playing career, Maradona received treatments to build up his physique, which had been hampered due to his impoverished background. His younger years were filled with constant medical intervention.
As a foretaste of the controversy that would later engulf his life, Maradona’s infamous ‘hand of God’ goal came against England, as he led his country to victory at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, as well as to a place in the final, four years later. He broke the world transfer record joining Italian club Napoli for £6.9m but as Maradona’s income rose, so did the pressure to support a growing number of dependents, as well as the intense fame and adulation of his fans. He started to show the signs of addiction to alcohol and cocaine, as well as prescription medicines.
With testimonies from those who knew him best including Jon Smith, football’s original ‘super-agent’, who represented Maradona; Fernando Signorini, Maradona’s former trainer; and Giuseppe Bruscolotti, former captain of Napoli and teammate of Maradona, What Killed Maradona? reveals how his lethal lifestyle, that began when Maradona was just a child, eventually led to the untimely demise of one of the world’s greatest talents.
What Killed Maradona? Sunday 31 January at 9:30pm on Discovery Channel