It might be a few years back now but who would ever think the famous and controversial Argentinian footballer, Diego Maradona, could connect for a few seconds with God himself to create one of the most important and controversial goal in World Cup history.
The year was 1986, and it was the quarter finals of the World Cup. Argentina vs England. At the time there had developed an enormous rivalry from the Argentinians for recent events in the two countries history. And now they were lining up for a football match. The match was described as one of the best non finals in World Cup history.
Diego was one of the greatest footballers who has ever lived. Renowned both for his tenacity to play outstanding football, and also for his cunningness which on this occasion was to disguise a goal so controversial as to get away with it. The whole English team spotted it and complained to the referee, but nevertheless the ref didn’t see it and in the end awarded the goal. The English were ropeable, the Argentinians over the moon.
This was the first goal of the match which put Argentina ahead. The second again was solely Maradona’s effort which was called the Goal of the century, and pretty much sealed England’s fate.
Maradona was interviewed after the match, and was asked about the incident. He said:
“it was a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.” It became known as the “Hand of God“. Ultimately, on 22 August 2005 Maradona acknowledged on his television show that he had hit the ball with his hand purposely, and that he immediately knew the goal was illegitimate. This became known as an international fiasco in World Cup history. The goal stood, much to the wrath of the English players.
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These days if you ask an Argentinian about the Hand of God, they will have a little chuckle. 26 years later for an Argentine, it’s no longer about the rivalry between them an England, nor for any other reason. It’s funny because how can someone be so cheeky with so many cameras on him, and still get away with it. For an Argentine, it was a goal that helped them win a match, which put them one step closer to eventually winning the World Cup that year against West Germany in Mexico.
For an Argentine the Hand of God was a great moment in their sporting history. And Maradona is like a football god to them. So in the end it all stands to reason. God really must have helped him.
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