“It’s a period in fashion more generally that people are starting to look back on and find interesting,” Turner said. “The crazy patterns, the graphics. There is a nostalgia element, but if you look at skateboarding culture and streetwear, they’re referencing shirts more and more, especially of that era.”
And yet the desire to evoke that specific period of soccer history is not limited to fashion and design. Increasingly, the late 1980s and early 1990s are proving a source of interest, a frame of reference and a fount of stories for filmmakers, too.
Two documentaries set in 1989 were released within a few weeks of each other in 2017 — “89,” telling the story of Arsenal’s remarkable championship victory that year, and “Kenny,” a biopic of Kenny Dalglish, the former Liverpool player and manager, focusing in particular on his role in comforting the club and city in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.
This year, the Oscar-winning director Asif Kapadia — whose previous work includes the documentaries “Senna” and “Amy” — added “Maradona” to the canon. It takes as its focus not Diego Maradona’s whole career, from his roots in Buenos Aires to his spell as a coach in Mexico this year, but rather his exalted, explosive and eventually destructive period at Napoli between 1984 and 1991.
Much of the footage Kapadia used is archival, shot by two cameramen hired by Maradona’s agent, Jorge Cyterszpiler, to follow his client during his playing days and document his life. They were granted astonishing access — they were, at times, even allowed to film on the field — but the film they were supposed to be making never came into existence. Instead, the video recordings lay forgotten, on a defunct format, the tapes split between Buenos Aires and Naples. Kapadia had to track it down and painstakingly restore it.
“This is pre-steady cam,” Kapadia said in an interview with Soccer Bible when the film was released. “They are not running round with super digital. It is not perfectly sharp. I love the shakiness of it. It is the imperfections of people, humans, Diego Maradona, the pitches, the kits, the weather, all of that.