Watch: Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal in 1986 World Cup quarter-final

The Argentinian legend scored the controversial goal in the 51st minute of the match against England to break the deadlock.
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The year was 1986. Argentina were playing the World Cup quarter-final against arch rivals England at Mexico City. The first half had gone goalless with both teams playing cautiously. But all that changed in the 51st minute of the match. Weaving past three men in the midfield, Maradona passed the ball to Valdano and set off in anticipation of a return. However, England mid-fielder Steve Hodge stole the ball and back-passed to the goal-keeper. Maradona was rushing towards the goal as England keeper Peter Shilton advanced to grab the ball. “It floated down to me like a little balloon. Oh boy, what a treat,” said Maradona. The Argentinian legend lunged forward and put the ball into the net in what came to be famously known as the ‘Hand of God’ goal as TV replays later showed that it was Maradona’s left hand which had actually tipped the ball into the net.

"I dream of being able to score another goal against the English, with the right hand this time!" said Diego Maradona and burst into laughter. It turned out to be the last interview of his life, given to French weekly French Football last month.

Maradona had by then admitted numerous times that he had scored with his hand in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final against Argentina's heated rivals England. He was not so ready to accept the involvement of his hand right after that match, however, saying that the goal was scored "a little with my head, and a little with the hand of God".

Maradona's performance in that match immortalised him in his country's culture and in the history of world football. It also perhaps best summarises his career and life. If the first was scored through trickery and stood solely because the officials did not spot the transgression, the second was a work of genius that one can only dream of scoring in any match, let alone a quarter-final match of a World Cup.

Four minutes after the "Hand of God" goal, Maradona went on a 60-yard run with the ball from midfield, dribbling past six English players, and ended the move with a feint that left goalkeeper Peter Shilton on the ground. He slotted the ball into the back of the net and scored what has since been called "The Goal of the Century". He completed his dash in 10 seconds and the players left in his wake apart from Shilton were Peter Beardsley, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher (twice) and Terry Fenwick.

"I made the play to give it to (Jorge) Valdano, but when I got to the area they surrounded me and I had no space," said Maradona after the match. "Therefore, I had to continue the play and finish it myself."

Maradona later complimented the fair play of the English team, saying, "I don't think I could have done it against any other team because they all used to knock you down; they are probably the noblest in the world."

Maradona died on Wedenesday at the age of 60 after reportedly suffering a heart attack. 

Watch the video here: 

With IANS inputs

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