FIFA World Cup Great Moments: Maradona - 'Hand of God' to 'Goal of The Century'

Diego Maradona showed two sides of his personality in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal against England.

Maradona's 'hand of god' goal lives in infamy amongst the great football moments.

In two goals within four minutes in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal against England, Diego Maradona showed both sides of his personality. Goal No. 1, immortalized as the ‘Hand of God’, brought out the cheeky ruffian in him, a man not beyond bending rules.

Goal No. 2 proved that the Argentine was the greatest footballer of all time alongside Pele.

Playing at noon in the sweltering heat of Mexico City (no air-conditioned stadiums then), on the shifty, uneven pitch of the Azteca Stadium (no billiard tops then, either), Maradona, just about 5 ‘6’, leapt for a header in the 51st minute of the game. In a one-on-one with the tall England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, he punted the ball in with his left fist.

Despite England’s desperate protests, the referee Ali Bin Nasser allowed the goal. Shilton and many Englishmen never forgave Maradona.

Later, the always quotable Maradona told the press that the goal was made possible "a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God".

What happened four minutes later further added to the drama of the match, and together with the first goal, became the most vibrant metaphor of Maradona’s sinner and saint personality.

Collecting the ball in his own half, Maradona made space for himself with his own version of the Cruyff turn. He then embarked on a mazy yet explosive run, beating
five England defenders, covering 60 yards in 10 seconds, before slotting home past Shilton with his legendary left foot.

‘The Goal of the Century’, they wrongly called it. It was the ‘Goal of Forever’.