It’s one of the great ironies that Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal against England proved to be one of the most iconic moments of his career.
Minutes later, the Argentine went on to score what was dubbed the ‘Goal of the Century’ in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final.
But perhaps because it embodied the complexity of Maradona’s genius so well, his controversial opener is probably even better remembered.
Despite being just 5ft 4, the diminutive forward leapt up to beat a towering Peter Shilton.
The goalkeeper is so often spoken about in the context of the great Maradona that he was asked to write a column in the Daily Mail following the tragic news of his passing at the age of 60.
However, many fans are unhappy with the 71-year-old choosing to focus on the Hand of God incident.
In a piece entitled “Diego Maradona had greatness, but no sportsmanship,” Shilton wrote:
“My life has long been linked with that of Diego Maradona – and not in the way I would have liked.”
While he did go on to express his sympathies, he added:
“He challenged me for a high, looping ball, but knew he wouldn’t get it with his head, so he punched it into the net. A clear offence. Cheating. 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. I don’t care what anybody says, it won the game for Argentina…
“What I don’t like is that he never apologised. Never at any stage did he say he had cheated and that he would like to say sorry. Instead, he used his ‘Hand of God’ line. That wasn’t right.”
Let’s take a look at some of the reaction on social media.
Shilton did pay a tribute on Twitter, writing:
“Maradona was the greatest footballer I ever played against without question, it’s so sad that in recent years he suffered with health and addiction my thoughts go out to his family this icon was taken far too soon. RIP Diego.”