The Hand of God

The Hand of God

Argentine footballer Diego Maradona used his hand to score a goal in the 1986 World Cup. Maradona claimed that "the hand of God" scored the goal.

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The hand of God is the name given to the goal scored by Argentine footballer Diego Armando Maradona in the quarter-final match between Argentina and England at the 1986 World Cup on 22 June 1986 at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. The game ended with a 2–1 win for the Argentinians, thanks to the so-called "Goal of the Century," also scored by Maradona.

Diego Maradona himself declared after the match that the goal had scored "a little with his head and a little with the hand of God," From there, the world press baptized the goal.

After the first half, the game was still tied. Maradona was beginning to unbalance the match, and when the sixth minute of the second half came, one of the most controversial moves in the history of the World Cup came: Maradona took the ball out of the box and, with his left leg passed it to his teammate Jorge Valdano, who tried to take it among several English defenders, but the ball was intercepted and thrown back and forth, in his eagerness to clear, by defender Steve Hodge.

Because of the inertia of the play, Maradona would have been out of play, but the coming of an opponent's ball was correctly enabled. Once inside the box and with the ball falling, Maradona went on his quest alongside goalkeeper Peter Shilton, 20 centimeters taller than him. Shilton jumped forward with his right hand, while Maradona did so with his left arm outstretched. The Argentine player's fist, close to his head, hit the ball first, and it rolled towards the goal. Maradona began to celebrate, glancing sideways at the referee and the linesman, and relaxed when the goal was validated.

Tunisia's referee Ali Bennaceur validated the goal, but after the English players' demands, he sought the advice of his second standard-bearer, who ratified the goal.

Mexican photographer Alejandro Ojeda Carbajal immortalized this moment in a photograph in which the blow is clearly seen with his hand.

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