The Hand of God and the Goal of the Century

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Argentina faced England in one of the quarter finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The match is possibly the most talked about match in the history of the FIFA event.

We all know that 1986 was the year of Argentina and Diego Maradona. The year saw them lift the coveted World Cup trophy for the second time (Argentina also won the 1978 World Cup) and it would not be wrong to say that Maradona made than possible almost single handedly. The entire tournament was filled with miracles from the man, who according to many is the greatest footballer the world has ever seen. However, there are two that stood out, the hand of God and the goal of the century. Football fans around the globe still talk about them and it seems they feel the same excitement they felt years ago. Read on to know more about the two incidents.

The Hand of God: One of the most infamous incidents witnessed on the football ground

Argentina won the 1986 quarter final 2-1. The first goal scored by them during the match (during the 51st minute of the match to be more precise) is infamously called “the hand of God”. Steve Hodge, England’s left midfielder was trying to drop back for defending. Hodge’s failed attempt of hooking the ball sent it towards Maradona, who was running past the penalty area. Maradona kept running, while Peter Shilton, England’s goalkeeper, came out of the goal. Both Maradona and Shilton were aiming to get hold of the ball.

In spite of being almost 8 inches shorter than the England goalie, the Argentine star managed to reach the ball first and a goal was scored. What needs to be noted here is that the goal was not scored by his legendary left foot, but by his left hand. Ali Bin Nasser, who was refereeing in that match, declared it as a goal claiming that he didn’t notice the infringement.

In the post-match press conference, when Maradona was asked about the legality of the first goal he scored in the match, he said that the goal was scored by “the Hand of God”. Since then, the goal is referred to as the Hand of God.

The Goal of the Century: The Magician Was Back with His Magic

While the 51st minute of the match saw the spectators witness something shameful, a magical incident unfolded in the game’s 55th minute. Maradona scored his second goal of the match and experts describe it as the most stunning individual goal ever scored. The goal even got voted as The Goal of the Century on the official website of FIFA. Maradona covered a distance of 60 yards in just 10 seconds to reach the English goal.

On the way, he successfully passed four outfield players of the opponent, Terry Fenwick, Terry Butcher (Maradona passed him twice), Peter Reid, and Peter Beardsley. Maradona’s move came to a finish with an amazing feint leaving the English goalie behind and sending the ball into the English net. Surprisingly, when asked about this special goal of his, Maradona said that he wanted to pass the ball to Valdano, but had to manage it himself as English players made movement difficult for him.