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Maradona And The Hand Of God?

December 11, 2020
Doha Stadium Plus Qatar, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the world’s greatest soccer players, Diego Maradona of Argentina, died recently. Maradona was born in 1960 and grew up poor in the slums of Lanus, Argentina. As with most kids in his neighborhood, his first experience of soccer took place in the dusty streets next to his home. As he climbed up the ranks in the soccer world, he eventually qualified to play professionally at the age of fifteen.

But why is Maradona known for the phrase, “Hand of God?” In a quarter-final match in 1986, his Argentinian team faced off against England. Shortly after the second half, when the score was zero-zero, Maradona punched the ball by hand into the net. Did the referee see it? Likely not, as the game continued, giving Argentina a score of one. Maradona skillfully led the team into their second goal of the game, and into victory. When asked about the first goal, Maradona said it was the “Hand Of God” that guided the score, a claim that was mocked by many but one that stuck with his name.

Most people who remember Maradona as one of the twentieth century’s leading soccer players are certain to remember that one game. Do you remember one single game played by your favorite sports professional? Which one was it and why was it so memorable?