Argentina’s World Cup quarter-final towards England in Mexico in 1986 turned one of the most well-known video games in soccer history thanks to at least one man
There have been few video games in World Cup – and certainly soccer – history which have left extra of an enduring impression on the sport than Argentina’s victory over England in the 1986 quarter-finals in Mexico City.
Played at the well-known Estadio Azteca, the match was taken over by the best participant on the planet at the time – and, for some, of all time – in Argentina’s captain and No.10, Diego Maradona.
But whereas Maradona’s second goal of the game encapsulated his brilliance maybe higher than some other he scored in his profession, his first was an equally good instance of his capability to create controversy and divide opinion.
We are speaking, of course, about the ‘Hand of God’, as Maradona dubbed the opening goal himself after punching an aerial ball previous England goalkeeper Peter Shilton. It was and nonetheless is the most astonishing second in the rivalry between England and Argentina that continues to today.
Diego Maradona in 1986
Maradona was 25 years outdated and getting into the prime of his profession when the 1986 World Cup got here round. He had damaged the world switch report for the second time by becoming a member of Napoli from Barcelona for £6.9 million in 1984, and helped the Serie A facet end eighth after which third after they’d narrowly averted relegation the season earlier than he signed. The subsequent marketing campaign, instantly after the World Cup, they gained the Scudetto for the first time in their history and added the Coppa Italia for good measure.
After making his title at Argentinos Juniors with a sensational goalscoring report, Maradona joined Boca Juniors in 1981 and gained his solely Argentine league title. From there he was shortly snapped up by Barcelona, the place he was distinctive when match however suffered from hepatitis after which a damaged ankle consequently of a problem by the notoriously vicious defender Andoni Goikoetxea. Barca met Goikoetxea’s Athletic Club in the 1984 Copa del Rey remaining and after being the topic of violent play and xenophobic insults from the crowd all through the recreation, Maradona sparked a mass brawl that successfully ended his profession at Camp Nou – not that he was particularly reluctant to depart.
He was in a a lot better place when the World Cup in Mexico got here round, with Naples the good match for Maradona the individual in addition to the participant. Having been knocked out by Italy and Brazil in the second spherical of the 1982 match after being fouled a World Cup-record 23 instances towards the Italians, Maradona additionally had one thing to show.
Argentina vs England, World Cup 1986
England had completed second in their group and crushed Paraguay in the spherical of 16 to qualify for the quarter-finals, whereas Argentina had been unbeaten and had seen off Uruguay to e-book their place in the final eight. Having already constructed up a footballing rivalry, 4 years earlier the two international locations had been at warfare for the Falkland Islands.
That added lots of further rigidity to what was all the time prone to be a fiery recreation on June 22, 1986. Maradona lined up behind Jorge Valdano in Argentina’s 3-5-1-1 formation, whereas England performed a reasonably slender 4-4-2 with Steve Hodge and Trevor Steven furthest huge in the midfield.
The first half handed with none objectives, however although Peter Beardsley had a great probability for England it was Argentina who loved extra of the ball and had been asking extra questions in the attacking third. Their superiority would inform early in the second half in two of the most well-known moments, for very totally different causes, in the history of the World Cup.
Even the Hand of God, although, began with a bit of Maradona brilliance. The No.10 skipped previous Glenn Hoddle after which squeezed in between two extra England gamers earlier than sliding a cross out to Valdano and making his method into the field. The ball skipped up on Valdano’s foot and Hodge wildly hooked it into his personal penalty space, the place Maradona rose and punched the ball previous the onrushing Shilton.
None of the officers noticed it – and so did nobody else, for some time, besides the England gamers in the neighborhood who started their determined appeals to referee Ali Bin Nasser. The English commentator, Barry Davies, puzzled why they had been claiming an offside when the ball had clearly been performed by Hodge, not an Argentina participant. Davies noticed that Maradona’s arm was raised on a replay, however there was nonetheless some doubt at that time as to what had truly occurred.
Maradona did a great job of promoting it by wheeling away in celebration, although his fast glances at the officers had been telling. Bin Nasser, standing outdoors the field nearer to England’s left touchline, most likely had his sightline partially blocked by Shilton and the crowd of our bodies however the linesman on the reverse facet, Bogdan Dotchev, ought to have had an unobstructed view.
England pushed ahead in an try to reply however a couple of minutes later, Maradona doubled Argentina’s lead with a goal that, as Davies put it, there was little question about.
Maradona acquired the ball simply inside the Argentina half. Taking a primary contact in the direction of his personal goal to evade one opponent, he then discovered himself in the face of one other and rolled the ball again to spin away in the direction of the proper touchline. With some house to run into, he then sped away from Peter Reid in pursuit as he crossed the midway line.
Gradually slicing inside in the direction of the England field, Terry Butcher got here out to satisfy him however might solely swing a determined leg in Maradona’s obscure course as he checked additional into the center of the pitch. Now approaching the edge of the space, a stationary Terry Fenwick by no means had an opportunity of stopping the 5′ 5″ ball of velocity hurtling in the direction of him and easily tried to foul Maradona earlier than he might advance on Shilton. No luck.
Maradona had yet another participant to beat; Shilton himself. Anticipating a shot into the far nook, the goalkeeper went to floor and Maradona dragged the ball previous him along with his left foot precisely as he had finished with Fenwick earlier than dispatching into the empty internet regardless of Kenny Sansom clattering him from behind.
No look at the officers this time. “You have to say that’s magnificent,” Davies exclaimed. Gary Lineker would pull a goal again late on for England, however they may not discover a second.
What occurred after the ‘Hand of God’ goal?
After the match, when TV replays and pictures had clearly established that Maradona had dealt with the ball, the scorer gave his first goal its well-known title by commenting that it had gone in “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”.
He added later: “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.'”
Bin Nasser and Dotchev blamed one another. “I was waiting for Dotchev to give me a hint of what exactly happened but he didn’t signal for a handball,” Bin Nasser stated years later. “And the instructions FIFA gave us before the game were clear – if a colleague was in a better position than mine, I should respect his view.”
“Although I felt immediately there was something irregular, back in that time FIFA didn’t allow the assistants to discuss the decisions with the referee,” stated Dotchev, whose account was marked with xenophobia on a couple of event. “If FIFA had put a referee from Europe in charge of such an important game, Maradona’s first goal would have been disallowed.”
England supervisor Bobby Robson was extra sure about what he noticed. “I saw the ball in the air and Maradona going for it,” stated Robson. “Shilton went for it as well but Maradona handled the ball into the net. You don’t expect decisions like that at World Cup level.”
Even Robson, nevertheless, might don’t have any complaints about the second. “A brilliant goal,” he added. “I didn’t like it but I had to admire it.”
Argentina win the 1986 World Cup
After a match like that, Argentina needed to go all the method. Maradona scored twice to safe a 2-0 win over Belgium in the semi-finals and West Germany beat France by the identical margin to e-book their first journey to the Estadio Azteca of the match.
The Germany coach, Franz Beckenbauer, set Lothar Matthaus to man mark Maradona and on the floor, it appeared to work – having scored all 4 of his crew’s objectives in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, Maradona was held off the scoresheet. His affect, although, was nonetheless felt.
First, he gained the free-kick from which Jose Luis Brown headed dwelling to present the South Americans the lead. Shortly after half-time, he performed a component in the transfer which led to Valdano making it 2-0 at the finish of a fast break upfield.
West Germany had been a cussed, hardworking crew, nevertheless, and appeared to have salvaged further time by objectives from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Voller, each from left-sided corners.
But Maradona was not fairly finished. With six minutes to play, he opened his physique as much as obtain a bouncing ball with three German gamers surrounding him and noticed the run of Jorge Burruchaga, who sprinted away from Hans-Peter Briegel and slotted previous Harald Schumacher in goal. Argentina had been world champions once more.