Diego Maradona less than impressed as his daughter is cast as Pele’s offspring in Argentina theatre production

"[Diego] didn’t show up to watch it, but Dalma told me he didn’t like it and said that when he comes he will kill me,” said the Argentine director Jose Maria Muscari, referring to his latest show Familia de Mujeres.

Diego Maradona, left, is comforted by his daughter Dalma, as he leaves the field after losing to Germany in a 2010 World Cup quarter-final match at Green Point stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, on July 3, 2010. Germany won 4-0. Christophe Simon / AFP
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DUBAI // Diego Maradona has a new enemy – and it is not the usual politician, football president or taxman. His name is Jose Maria Muscari, an Argentine author and theatre director.

Muscari’s latest work, entitled Familia de Mujeres (Family of Women), centres around a young woman who dreams every night that “a good striker will fall in love with me and take me to live in Dubai”.

Gold-digging girlfriends is not an overly controversial theme (think Footballers’ Wives), yet when the protagonist, Lana, is played by a legendary professional footballer’s daughter, interest and intrigue ramps up a notch.

Of Dalma Maradona, Diego’s 26-year-old offspring, Muscari, 37, told Brazil’s Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper “there is no one better than her for this role, a person who understands everything in the world of groupies”.

Midway through the show the plot takes a twist that – for the audience at least – has comedic intentions. Lana’s mother is explaining her daughter wants to be a footballer’s wife and reveals Lana’s father is a famous player. The understanding is, naturally, that the father is Maradona.

It is not.

“She is Pele’s daughter!” the mother explains. “We spent a night together and I got pregnant from him. Lana is the unacknowledged daughter of Pele!”

The audience laughed loudly at the revelation, wrote Folha's correspondent who attended the show in Cordoba. Yet "El Diego" appears to have failed to see the funny side.

“Dalma has very good sense of humour,” Muscari said. “When I told her the character would be Pele’s daughter, she laughed and accepted it right on the spot. [Diego] didn’t show up to watch it, but Dalma told me he didn’t like it and said that when he comes he will kill me.”

The show is running at Villa Carlos Paz until March 9, when Dalma Maradona is then expected to fly to Dubai where she will help produce The Victorious, a reality TV show that aims to unearth Arab football talent and in which Diego will be a judge.

The show will broadcast on Dubai TV and Dubai Sports from next month.

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae