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Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Maradona masterpiece

In what can be politely called a ‘colorful’ 20-year career, Diego Maradona led Argentina to a World Cup victory in 1986. Against England in the quarter final he scored one of the most memorable goals in football history.

Many consider it the finest goal ever scored; at the very least it was the goal that cemented Maradona's reputation as the most talented footballer of his generation.

The goal was truly brilliant, I remember watching that 1986 ArgentinaEngland quarterfinal match with my father and, after he scored it, recall him ignoring the match and talking to his friends about it for a good 10 minutes after it happened.

The slaloming run past six England defenders from deep within Argentina’s own half ended with as much quality as it began.

Maradona took the ball up in a tight space; the first touch was almost the end of the movement. To avoid the defender closest to him he pushed the ball backwards and faced another charging defender immediately. A gorgeous spin and touch forward with the left foot left both defenders trailing. Maradona then burst down the right wing, stutter stepped, and evaded several more tackles before sending England goalkeeper Peter Shilton the wrong way and scoring that brilliant goal effortlessly.

What makes the goal even more poignant to me is that Maradona, sensing glory, could have easily played for the foul just outside the box but rather chose to gallop over the outstretched leg to finish what he had started. No faking injury, fixing socks, or defenders shown the yellow card, just magic.

Never has one player dominated a World Cup like Maradona did in 1986. At the end of the match I recall the commentator saying “Maradona 2, England 1”.

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Blogger Cathal Breathnach said...

Nice Post- By the way I like the goal

10/06/2005 9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

except the score was maradona 2 england 1 :)

10/06/2005 11:42 PM  
Blogger Football Commentator said...

It was a long time ago :-)

...fixed the text, cheers

10/07/2005 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

It was ironic that Maradona scored two such memorable goals in the same game. One brilliant, the other the infamous 'Hand of God' one.

His masterpiece second goal probably saved his reputation from that of being a cheat.

10/07/2005 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An answer to Andrew, most players had cheated many goals, ask even the most "respected" ones. The differences is that Maradona made himself obnoxious by his comments out of the pitch. The drug charges came out after Italy had been eliminated by Argentina in 1990. Everybody knew about his drug problems in Napoly, but until that time he was the darling of Italian championship. Very similar with the Korean player that in the 2002 World cup, scored eliminating Italy, what happen he was fire by the owner of the club that he was playing. Martin RSD.

10/09/2005 4:14 PM  
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