Why was Maradona called Hand of God? - Fan Arch

Why was Maradona called Hand of God?

Why was Maradona called Hand of God?

Diego Maradona, one of the greatest footballers of all time, earned the nickname "Hand of God" due to a controversial goal he scored during the 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter-final match between Argentina and England. This iconic goal, combined with Maradona's extraordinary skills and charisma, cemented his place in football folklore. In this article, we will delve into the events surrounding the "Hand of God" goal and explore why it became such a defining moment in Maradona's career.

The "Hand of God" Goal

On June 22, 1986, Argentina faced England in the quarter-final match of the World Cup held in Mexico. In the 51st minute of the game, Maradona scored a goal that would go down in history. As the ball floated into the penalty area, Maradona jumped alongside the English goalkeeper, Peter Shilton, and punched the ball into the net with his left hand. The referee, Ali Bin Nasser from Tunisia, failed to spot the handball and awarded the goal to Argentina.

Controversy and Outrage

Immediately after the goal, confusion and outrage ensued. The English players vehemently protested, while television replays clearly showed Maradona's illegal use of his hand. However, in 1986, the use of video technology to review decisions was not available, and the referee's decision was final. Maradona's actions were met with widespread condemnation, and the term "Hand of God" was coined to describe the blatant handball.

Maradona's Explanation

In the post-match press conference, Maradona brazenly described the goal as "a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God." This statement further fueled the controversy surrounding the goal. Maradona's admission, disguised as a playful comment, only added to the frustration felt by the English team and fans.

Symbolism and Significance

The "Hand of God" goal symbolized Maradona's ingenuity and cunning on the football pitch. It showcased his ability to exploit the rules and push boundaries to gain an advantage. While the goal was undeniably illegal, it highlighted Maradona's audacity and determination to win at any cost. The phrase "Hand of God" also became a metaphor for Maradona's larger-than-life persona and his ability to transcend the boundaries of the sport.

Maradona's Genius

Despite the controversy surrounding the "Hand of God" goal, it is important to recognize that Maradona's talent extended far beyond that single moment. He was a footballing genius, known for his exceptional dribbling skills, close ball control, and precise passing. Maradona's contributions to the game, both at the club level with Napoli and on the international stage with Argentina, cannot be overshadowed by one controversial incident.

Legacy and Impact

The "Hand of God" goal remains one of the most iconic moments in football history. It encapsulates the complex nature of Maradona's career, showcasing his brilliance and flaws simultaneously. While some condemned him for cheating, others celebrated his audacity and skill. The goal became a symbol of Maradona's indomitable spirit, his ability to defy expectations, and his unwavering commitment to his team's success.

Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal is a defining moment in football history. It represents both the genius and controversy that surrounded the legendary player. While the goal itself was illegal and caused widespread outrage, it continues to be remembered as a testament to Maradona's audacity and skill. The nickname "Hand of God" serves as a reminder of Maradona's ability to transcend the boundaries of the sport and leave an indelible mark on the world of football.


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