England goalkeeper beaten by ‘Hand of God’ says Maradona had greatness, but no sportsmanship

Diego Armando Maradona score the "Hand of God" against England during the 1986 World Cup

The England goalkeeper who was beaten by Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ says that the departed football icon possessed “greatness but not sportsmanship”.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Peter Shilton has rued that his life has been linked with that of Maradona, but not in the way he would have liked. Shilton says that Maradona has never apologised to the England team.

“As he ran away to celebrate he even looked back twice, as if waiting for the referee’s whistle. He knew what he had done. Everybody did — apart from the referee and two linesmen.” Shilton adds, “I don’t care what anybody says, it won the game for Argentina. He scored a brilliant second almost immediately, but we were still reeling from what had happened minutes earlier.”

The hand of God

“The hand of God” is a phrase used by Maradona when he described a goal he scored on June 22, 1986, in a Fifa World Cup quarter-final match between Argentina and England. The match played at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

The left-footed magician struck again four minutes later, in one of the greatest solo goals in World Cup history. Maradona dribbled past half of the England team players. Shilton insists that the first goal was the one that changed the whole perspective of the game.

Although replays show that Maradona used his left hand to score, the referee allowed the goal to stand as Argentina knocked out England 2:1. Maradona, on been asked about the goal by journalists, said “the goal came a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.”

Perhaps it could have been a different story if the finals were held in 2014 or 2018 World Cup finals, with the invention of Video Assistance Referee (VAR) now used in football matches. Every detail of the game is closely scrutinised.