History of the Hand of God. A Trick that the Legendary Maradona Would Repeat Again

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The Argentine soccer player is a legend of world soccer, and many call him the best player in history. He gained fame through his incredible play, as well as through his daring escapades on and off the field. In this article, Telecomasia.net will talk about one of the most incredible tricks of Diego Maradona, which was later called the Hand of God.

In 1986, Maradona played for the Italian Napoli and was also the captain of the Argentina national team, which made it to the quarterfinals of the 1986 World Cup. Argentinians were to play with the England national team. The fight was not only of great sporting importance. It also had political overtones. Only four years ago a serious armed conflict ended between England and Argentina, who fought for the Falkland Islands. In this little-known war, the Argentines lost 649 people, and also, as a result, lost control of the archipelago. That is why, after the World Cup, Argentina’s fans admitted that the victory over England, which became a kind of revenge for the defeat in the conflict, brought them more emotions than the final match.

Maradona’s double helped knock England out of the tournament. Within four minutes, Diego had committed the greatest deception in soccer history and marked one of the best goals of the 20th century.

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In the first half of the match, nothing interesting happened. The teams played boring soccer at a slow pace. This was mainly because the sun was burning mercilessly then and the day was hot. But with 51 minutes on the clock, Maradona began to move from the center of the field, bypassed Glenn Hoddle, gave a pass to Jorge Valdano and, waiting for the return pass, continued to run towards goal. England midfielder Steve Hodge tried to knock the ball but only lifted it into the air above his penalty area. A moment later, Maradona did what all 114,000 spectators at the Azteca Stadium noticed, which the 22 players on the field understood, but the referee from Tunisia Ali Bin Nasser and the Bulgarian linesman Bogdan Dochev did not see. Diego sent the ball into the goal with his left hand.

The goal was allowed against expectations. Later, because of this episode, the careers of Bin Nasser and Dochev went downhill. The Bulgarian simply stopped refereeing, and the Tunisian referee received a suspension from international tournaments under the auspices of FIFA.

Bin Nasser and Dochev blamed each other for this ridiculous mistake, neither one wanted to admit that it was he who blundered. The line referee said that he noticed the strangeness of Maradona’s goal, but could not intervene because then the FIFA rules did not allow the assistants to question the decisions made by the chief referees.

Bin Nasser denied Dochev’s words, saying that before the match, FIFA representatives instructed the refereeing team to listen to the opinions of colleagues. The Tunisian made excuses, saying that Dochev was in a better position than he, and saw the moment more clearly. Bin Nasser even looked at the Bulgarian in anticipation of a hand signal, but there was no reaction from the line referee. Therefore, the goal was scored.

Then Maradona said that the ball was so clearly scored with a hand that his teammates did not even begin to celebrate the goal. Some of the Argentines told Diego that with such a goal they would simply rob the English team. To this Maradona replied that it was like stealing from a thief. Thus, he hinted at the victory of the British in the recent war, because of which Argentina lost part of its possessions.

Of course, the journalists could not ignore the episode with the controversial goal. But Maradona only joked to their questions at the post-match press conference saying that It was partly by the hand of God and partly with the head of Maradona.

It was only a few years later that the Argentine legend of world soccer recognized the obvious fact that the goal was scored by hand. And not God (although He, according to the Argentine, helped their team), but a man. Yet, Maradona did not express the slightest regret for his actions. He said that he had the idea to help himself with his hand from the very beginning because in the air the striker had no other way to beat Shilton, who was 19 cm taller.

In 2015, Maradona came to Tunisia to record several commercials. Then he visited Ali Bin Nasser, warmly greeted him, and presented him with a shirt of the Argentine national team, on which he wrote: “To my eternal friend.”

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Peter Shilton, the main observer of the Hand of God, even after many years could not forgive Maradona, although he admitted that the Argentine was the greatest footballer he played against. For him, that episode was a serious emotional shock (you can read more about mental health on Centreforum.org).

Maradona’s second goal in that quarter-final was no longer a trick. The Argentine simply demonstrated unearthly talent and incomparable technique. High-speed dribbling, change of direction of movement, five rivals passed along the way… Then Diego simply moved the ball away from the goalkeeper and shot. The stadium just exploded upon seeing this.

Of course, without the first goal, there would not have been a second, because the British were still shocked by what happened a few minutes ago. But that doesn’t make Maradona’s goal any less of a masterpiece. Before the World Cup in 2002, FIFA held an online poll that voted it the best goal in the history of soccer.

A few days later, the Argentine national team won the world championship, and the captain triumphantly raised the cup over his head.

On June 22, 1986, Diego Armando Maradona did everything. The striker’s two goals helped his team defeat England 2-1 and advance to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Maradona’s hand-scored goal has become a real brand. Before the 2014 World Cup, some well-known betting companies, ranked by Meta.reviews, even offered to bet on a repeat of the Hand of God situation. The odds of this event were 50.0.

The famous goal also aroused great interest in popular culture. The singer Rodrigo Bueno wrote the song La mano de Dios (Hand of God). Cinematographers were not left out either. In 2007, in Italy, a biographical film Maradona, the Hand of God was shot, and a year later, the famous director Emir Kusturica made a film Maradona. Interestingly, in this film, Diego himself sang the song Hand of God.

Maradona has stated several times that if he had a chance to replay that moment, he would have done everything the same. At the end of October 2024, a month before his death, Diego commented on his legendary goal for the last time, saying that he dreams of scoring the English national team again. But not with the left, but with the right hand.