Mention Diego Maradona and the Hand of God and you’ll find two polarized opinions. One, is that he’s the greatest footballer to ever walk the planet. The other, that he’s a cheat, is arrogant and has done everything over time to bring the game into disrepute. (Which he did as a result of his rampant drug abuse). Remember when he wanted to become President of FIFA in 2015? You can witness both these qualities in the third quarter final of 1986 World Cup. This took place between Argentina & England in the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. So what were the facts around Maradona and the hand of God?
Introduction: Maradona and the Hand of God
In the aftermath of the Falklands War in 1986, there was an intense rivalry between Argentina and the United Kingdom. The war was just four years previously, in 1982, and the wounds still were healing. Maradona was under intense pressure. He was the captain and wearing No.10. Everyone knew that he was one of the world’s most talented players. But in the previous competition in the 1982 World Cup in Spain, during Argentina’s final match against Brazil, he was sent off. Keep in mind that, according to online sportsbook news in the UK, he had broken the world transfer record by joining Napoli from Barcelona for massive £6.9 million in 1984. With his determination to be up there in the ranks with Pele, he saw a need to somehow convince the fans and general public of his greatness.
The Most Expensive Player in the World
Maradona is a little guy, standing at barely 5’5″ (1.65 meters) tall. But what he lacked in height, he could certainly make up with exceptional strength. That, coupled with a relatively low center of gravity, allowing him to dodge and wiggle out of situations that a larger player might struggle with. Aged 25 years old, he was at his peak. Without a doubt this was the match that sealed his reputation, for better or worse, and was the point from which he could claim to have reached the dizzy heights of the best player in the world. No player, before or since, has so completely dominated a game as he did on that day. you can bet on a multitude of factors in a World Cup. We recommend Bet365 Sportsbook for all our sports gambling needs.
A Goal is a Goal
In the 51st minute of the first half, Maradona scored his first, and maybe the world’s most contested goal. England defender Steve Hodge blocked a ball and then passed it back, with a high flick, to Peter Shilton the English goal keeper. But Maradona was still in the penalty box after the previous attack from the Argentinians had come to nought. He jumped and caught the ball before Shilton could reach it. The ball trickled into the English net. Replays clearly showed that Maradona had used his left fist, not his head to score the goal. The referee was in a blind spot and didn’t see the the blatant act of cheating. Nor did any other officials, supporters or commentators. It was only later, after the replay did his use of his fist become clear. Of course, Shilton and the English team appealed it, but to no avail.
The Hand of God
Maradona later went on to say that the goal came “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.” And so was born the lie of Maradona and the hand of God. After the match replays and photos clearly showed Maradona had used his left fist, not his head, to score. Though the player did a good job of “selling it” by wheeling away in celebration, his quick glances at the officials were telling a different story.”I was waiting for my teammates to embrace me, and no one came. I told them, ‘Come hug me, or the referee isn’t going to allow it,’ he said later. Not sure if that’s a guy you want to bet on. If you did, then use Bet365sportsbook.
Goal of the Century
As if to prove his real skills, his next goal is still regarded as the “goal of the century”. Just four minutes after his previous goal, Maradona was able to dribble the ball from the half way line up past five English players and the goalkeeper, before slotting the ball neatly into the net. Using feints, dribbles, and sheer body strength, no one could deny his skill. According to online sportsbook news in the UK, even England manager Bobby Robson said, “A brilliant goal,” before he adding, “I didn’t like it but I had to admire it.” In spite of a late push, Argentina held onto their 2 – 1 lead which saw them through to the semi-final. There Maradona scored two fantastic goals against Belgium for a 2-0 victory. In the finals, Argentina beat West Germany 3 – 2 in normal time.