On this day in 1986, Diego Maradona showed his genius and dark side against England

Diego Maradona Hand of God Goal Argentina v England 1986

Since England tasted World Cup glory in 1966, the tournament has dished up heartbreak for the Three Lions ever since.

From the penalty nightmares of Italy ’90, France ‘98 and Germany ’06 to not even making it past the group stage in 2014, England have endured years of hurt.

But one game that has haunted the nation for years and will continue to do so in years to come stems back to this day in 1986, a 2-1 defeat against Argentina in the quarter-finals.

And it’s all thanks to a certain Diego Maradona.

England finished second in Group F before beating Paraguay 3-0 at the Round of 16 stage.

Argentina then awaited them in the quarters in a game that will forever go down in history.

The drama began on 51 minutes when Maradona opened the scoring in a goal which should never have been allowed to stand.

Steve Hodge’s clearance fell to the Argentine who punched the ball above Peter Shilton and into the back of the net.

Diego Maradona Hand of God Goal Argentina v England 1986

Incredibly, despite blatantly using a fist, the goal stood.

And that was when the ‘Hand of God’ was born.

However, four minutes later, Maradona then matched the worst goal he’s ever scored with the best.

In fact, it was so good that it is renowned as being the greatest individual goal of all time and was also labelled the ‘Goal of the Century.’


Argentina’s number 10 beat four England players in a 60-yard sprint before taking it past Shilton and slotting it into the back of the net.

Unbelievable technique to produce a goal that is still talked about 33 years on.

Gary Lineker did pull one back for the Three Lions with nine minutes remaining but Carlos Bilardo’s side held on to book their place in the semi-final.

Gary Lineker

Argentina did eventually go on to win the tournament, beating West Germany in the final.

As for England, they could only enjoy Lineker bagging the Golden Boot award.

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