Maradona's Hand of God was one of the most important moments in the history of the beautiful game. In addition to convulsing the society of the moment, generating opinions for all tastes, it immortalized one of the most exciting quarterfinals in living memory.
Maradona's goal in 1986 had a special symbolism for Argentina and for all the followers of the 'Pibe de Oro'.
The quarterfinals of Argentina's World Cup against England in Mexico in 1986 became one of the most famous matches. Held at Mexico City's Azteca Stadium, Argentina's victory over England resulted in one of the most controversial and decisive goals in living memory.
What curiosities surrounded Maradona's Hand of God? Discover them!
To tell the truth, hand goals (direct or indirect) are part of the game, with many goals scored in this way.
One of the last produced in the history of the World Cup had as protagonist the Frenchman Thierry Henry, who gave an assist of goal against Ireland after controlling the ball with the hand, in the context of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
But Maradona's Hand of God was a much more transcendental hand, not only because of the indefinable rivalry between the opponents, but also because of the way in which it was produced and its importance for the celestial team's World Cup victory.
Don't miss all the secrets of this historic moment!
20 centimetres that changed history
The most 'cheating' goal in history could have been invalidated twice: first by the hand and then by being offside. In fact, what some English players demanded in the first instance was not the voluntary hand, but the offside.
But this offside is non-existent, as the ball came to Maradona bounced from an opponent, who enabled the play. Once inside the area and with the ball falling, Maradona's Hand of God was possible by 20 centimeters.
This was the distance that separated the goalkeeper Peter Shilton from the Argentine star, who managed to jump more than he did and reach the ball with his fist. Technically it shouldn't be the hand, but God's fist or punch. In any case, a move that changed the course of those quarterfinals.
The most famous celestial elastic of the World Cups
Maradona's Hand of God immortalized one of the most remembered equipments in the history of the world.
Maradona and the rest of the Argentinian national team (including names such as Jorge Valdano and Daniel Passarella) wore a white striped shirt signed by Le Coq Sportif, with a round neck. It was accompanied by a black shorts with the celestial dorsals and white stockings, with three fine lines in blue color.
A goal scored "a little with Maradona's head and a little with God's hand"
The existence of a voluntary hand in that decisive move was never denied by Maradona, nor by any of his teammates. The Argentinian commentator himself highlighted this fact during the narration of the goal.
Although Tunisian referee Ali Bin Nasser did not see the hand, Maradona said the first goal was scored "a little with Maradona's head and a little with God's hand.
Precisely from these words was derived the name given to that controversial move: Maradona's Hand of God.
Uniforms and makeshift shields for a historic day
On 22 June 1986, when Argentina and England contested the quarter-finals, the sky-blue team suffered the consequences of poor organisation on the part of the AFA (Argentine Football Association).
The Argentinian players played that match with lamentable equipment. First of all, the fabric did not transpire properly in the intense heat that was hitting the grass of the Estadio Azteca. In addition, the shields and numbers were embroidered shortly before the initial whistle, in a hurry and running.
Despite their emblem, the costumes worn by Maradona and his were improvised and, in many ways, unworthy of that sporting event.
Peter Reid and his nightmares with the Hand of God ...
"I never thought that a football match could have such a decisive effect on my life. This is what English midfielder Peter Reid said at age 61, recalling those quarterfinals of the World Cup in Mexico.
"When I sleep I still have nightmares about the day when England was deceived and eliminated from the World Cup by Maradona's Hand of God... Deception is a strong word to use in this sport and players hate to be accused of something like that. But I can say without fear that Diego Maradona is a cheat. His wilful misconduct wrongfully harmed England. Maradona's Hand of God was certainly not to everyone's liking.
... and his vengeful bite in 2011
But Peter Reid was able to make amends, at least in his own way, for the injury he received in 1986. "I saw him years later in Dubai. I went to speak to him with the interpreter and bit his hand. Many people got confused and thought I was kissing her as an act of forgiveness, but I was actually trying to rip a piece out of her.
A revenge-flavoured victory for the Maldives
Sports journalist Santos Calderón explained during an interview that the match between England and Argentina was much more than football.
"Four years earlier, Argentina had lost the Falklands War against England. The mothers of the soldiers who lost their lives still wore mourning clothes. For the country of the tango, revenge against the British came through what excites him most: football.
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