1986 World Cup: The Hand of God and the Goal of the Century

Maradona. If you know soccer, you know the likes of Diego Maradona. If you don’t know him or have never heard of him, think of him as his day’s Lionel Messi. He was good good, you know?

But Maradona is more than a famous footballer. He’s infamous. 

The year was 1986, and Argentina was facing England in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, this particular year played in Mexico. The game was a tight one. At the half, the score remained 0-0, but this wouldn’t last long.

A few minutes into the second half, the ball was passed in front of England’s goal, kicked around without anyone having solid control, before finally being sent backward by England’s own midfielder. 

The ball was in the air. England’s goalkeeper went up for the ball … and so did Maradona. With his hand extended, Maradona punched the ball into the goal. Amazingly, the ref never saw the handball. The goal stood and Argentina took the lead … and the momentum swung heavily in their favor. 

Later, when asked about the goal, Maradona replied,

un poco con la cabeza de Maradona y otro poco con la mano de Dios.”


“A little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.”

You can see the goal for yourself here:

To make matters worse, Maradona followed this goal with the Goal of the Century, an incredible display of skill.

Argentina went on to win the World Cup. With a little help from Maradona, a little help from the hand of God, and a little help from a ref who saw nothing. 

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