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‘Injured’ Maradona unable to attend Cannes film festival

Diego Maradona, 58, has injured his shoulder and will have to undergo surgery, says the director of a documentary about his life to be screened at the Cannes film festival on Sunday © AFP/File / Ulises Ruiz

CANNES, France, May 19Football legend Diego Maradona will not attend the Cannes film festival, where a documentary about his life is being premiered, after he injured his shoulder, its director told AFP Sunday.

The Argentinian icon is the subject of a feature-length work by the British filmmaker behind “Amy”, the Oscar-winning look at the tragic life and death of the singer Amy Winehouse.

But director Asif Kapadia said Maradona — who had promised to support the film at Cannes — would not be walking the red carpet for the premiere late Sunday.

The filmmaker said Maradona, 58, would have to undergo surgery.

“He has pain in his shoulder and he will have to have an operation,” he told AFP.

Kapadia said the flawed genius, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, agreed to talk to him because he was a fan of his film “Senna”, about the Brazilian Formula One ace Ayrton Senna who died after crashing his Williams FW16 into a wall during the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.

The film follows Maradona’s remarkable rise from a Buenos Aires shantytown to global adulation.

But it focuses mostly on his time with Napoli when Maradona’s magic left foot won the club two Serie A Italian championships and his “hand of God” goal put England out of the World Cup in 1986.

It was also in Naples that the star’s use of cocaine made headlines and was the beginning of the end of his career as a player.

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Kapadia’s film contains a cache of footage of the player partying with dons from the Camorra, the Neopolitan mafia, while at the club.

“Diego Maradona” is showing in the festival’s official selection but out of competition for Cannes’ Palme d’Or top prize.

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