Watch Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ Goal vs England on His 59th B’day

Happy Birthday, Diego Maradona!

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On 22 June 1986, a dismayed England team reeled in shock as a clear foul by Diego Maradona wasn’t noticed by the referees and Argentina were put on the path to win the 1986 World Cup.

Thirty two years later, the goal still remains one of the most controversial goals in football. We remember the guile and mannerisms of Diego Maradona on his 59th birthday.

The ‘Hand of God’ goal was scored in Argentina’s 2-0 win over England in the semi-final of the 1986 World Cup.

Come hug me, or the referee won’t allow it.
Diego Maradona

Using a combination of skill, guile and street smartness, the midfielder convinced the referee to allow a goal punched in by his left fist.


Maradona intercepted a back pass by England’s Steve Hodge to goalkeeper Peter Shilton in the 51st minute, and hit the ball in with his hand.

Referee Ali Bin Nasser, and his assistant failed to watch the goal, as footage of the hand-goal emerged hours later. After the match, Maradona told reporters that he started celebrating and told his teammates to join in or else the goal would not be accepted.

The most controversial goal in the history of football earned its title when Maradona answered a reporter’s question about how the goal had been scored:

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

Genius! Genius! Genius!

Maradona’s second goal of the match is however undisputedly hailed as the best goal of the series. Scored in the 54th minute, Maradona accelerated from his own half, past England players, to finally score a win for his team.

Genius! Genius! Genius! There, there, there, there, there, there! Goaaaaaaaal! Goaaaaaaal! I want to cry, oh holy God, long live football! What a goal!
Victor Hugo Morales, Uruguayan Journalist

Diego Maradona went on to play for 11 more years until he retired, and later served as a manager and coach, but the controversial goal still remains in the memory of the veteran player, who met the referee Ali Bin Naseer years later in 2015 and presented him with a signed Argentina shirt.


(The article was first published on 22 June 2012.It is being reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark Diego Maradona’s 59th birthday.)

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