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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Maradona 'agrees to movie biopic'
Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona is recovering from recent drug-induced ill health
Football legend Diego Maradona has agreed to let Italian director Marco Risi make a movie about his life, according to the film-maker.

The film will be called La Mano di Dio, or The Hand of God, the phrase Maradona used to explain how he scored a goal against England with his hand in 1986.

The former Argentina player is regarded as one of the all-time greats, but has also battled drugs and ill health.

A Maradona documentary is already being made by director Emir Kusturica.

Risi, son of director Dino Risi, is one of Italy's leading film-makers.


The film will take in different phases of Maradona's life with "extracts of his most glorious soccer moments", Risi told Italian newspaper La Republica.

"I think of him as a genius," he said. "Soccer exists before and after Maradona. It's like Van Gogh in painting or Charlie Parker in music."

Risi plans to start filming in October and is looking for an Argentine actor to play the footballer, he said.

Maradona helped Argentina win the 1986 World Cup and led Italian side Napoli to their only two league titles in 1987 and 1990.

But his drug problems soon overshadowed his footballing talents, with positive drug tests, suspensions and fines before he retired in 1997.

In 2000, doctors said he had taken so many drugs that his heart rate had been reduced to 38% capacity and he was rushed to hospital after collapsing in 2004.

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