(Click on photographs to enlarge).
Sydney Morning Herald
12 June 2010
The perpetrator of the 'Hand of God' says referees have a duty to clean up football, writes Jeremy Wilson A drug cheat and the perpetrator of the most infamous handball in football history is, on the face of it, hardly the ideal ambassador for a campaign to promote fair play. Normal boundaries, however, have never really applied to Diego Maradona and so, without even a hint of irony, he used his final press conference before his first match as a World Cup manager to deliver a sermon on honest football. "Let there really be fair play, let the referees understand what the words 'fair play' mean," he said. "If you don't want to play clean football then go up into the stands."
So what would you have done?
Diego Maradona, a former Argentine Soccer star and the current manager of the Argentine team, played for his country 91 times, scored 34 goals and competed in 4 World Cups. In 1986, when captaining Argentina in the World Cup in Mexico, Argentina defeated England 2 -1 in a quarter final and went on to win the Cup by defeating West Germany.
Both goals against England were scored by Maradona, the first becoming known as “The Hand of God” and the second as “The Goal of the Century”.
Six minutes into the second half, Maradona made a run at England and passed. England’s Hodges sought to clear but miskicked and sent the ball into the goal area where Maraonna, who had continued his run, jumped at the air ball. He beat the much taller English goalkeeper Peter Shilton to the ball where his left fist sent it into the goal. The referee, Tunisian Ali Bin Nasser, allowed the goal, not having seen the illegality. Maradona later said, "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.'"
At the subsequent press conference, Maradona said that the goal had been scored “a little withb the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”, thereby coining the phrase Hand of God. English manager Bobby Robson stated instead that the goal had been scored by “the hand of a rascal.” The win by Argentina knocked England out of the World Cup.
In 2008 Maradona apologised in an interview in England and said that if he could go back and change history he would. Nonetheless he insisted that the goal was still a goal.
See the Hand of God goal at:
So what would you have done?
Four minutes after the Hand of God came The Goal of The Century, claimed by some to be the greatest goal ever scored. Receiving the ball 10 metres into his own half, he travelled 60 metres and passed 5 English defenders and the English keeper to score and make the score 2 – 0. Afterwards he said "I made the play to give it to Valdano, but when I got to the area they surrounded me and I had no space. Therefore, I had to continue the play and finish it myself."
In 2002, the goal was voted 'Goal of the Century' as part of the coverage of the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament.
See it at:
(I love the commentator’s excitement).