Since the Goal trilogy remains criminally overlooked by the Academy, there aren't usually many football references during the Oscars. But at this year's event the winner in the best foreign language film category changed that when thanking his inspirations, which included the likes of legendary directors Federico Fellini and Martin Scorsese...and Diego Armando Maradona.
Italian film The Great Beauty claimed the award and writer/director Paolo Sorrentino delivered the acceptance speech. And since he's from Naples, he naturally had to include the great Argentine footballer who led Napoli to Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990. Sorrentino then thanked Roma and Napoli, thought it was unclear if he was thanking the clubs or the city where his film was set and his hometown.
The fact that Maradona has been recognized on such a glittering occasion will likely serve as fuel to the never-ending war of nonsensical words between Pele and Maradona...because just about everything that happens in the world does. It's unclear how Pele will respond, but now Oscar, the Chelsea player and Brazilian international, will likely have to present him with a hastily created award for Best Subway Commercial.
UPDATE: At least one man in attendance appreciated the Maradona shout out — Sir Alex Ferguson. A Sky reporter quizzed the former Man United manager on his Oscar preferences outside the Vanity Fair after party before asking why he was there. "I'm retired, I've got nothing to do!" he replied with a laugh.
- - - - - - -
- Arts & Entertainment
- Diego Armando Maradona
- Paolo Sorrentino
- Federico Fellini