Look Back at Diego Maradona's Legendary Moment Called the 'Hand of God' at the 1986 World Cup

Junie Sihlangu
Nov 27, 2020
04:30 A.M.
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In 1986, during the quarter-final match between England and Argentina, soccer legend Diego Maradona had a moment that has since become iconic. The star scored a goal against the opposition in a controversial fashion.


Diego Maradona had one of his most iconic soccer moments during the June 22, 1986, World Cup. The Mexico City match was Argentina against England and the teams were battling it out in the quarter-final.

The match was quite tense but both sides were making sure the other team couldn’t score. Ultimately, the game went into half-time with a disappointing score of 0 – 0, with the second half starting off to a great start.

Diego Maradona during the Serie A match between Napoli and Atalanta on October 19, 1986, in Naples, Italy | Photo: Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Diego Maradona during the Serie A match between Napoli and Atalanta on October 19, 1986, in Naples, Italy | Photo: Etsuo Hara/Getty Images


Five minutes after the second half began, England player Terry Fenwick hit Maradona on the head. The incident occurred while the two players went up for a challenge in the center circle.

Within 66 minutes of the game, Fenwick, once again, knocked the Argentinean player on the head. Most people could argue that the English player should’ve been taken out by that point as he already had many fouls under his belt.


However, the lack of refereeing opened up an opportunity for Maradona. The soccer star performed the “trick” that has become well-known as the “Hand of God” among devoted soccer fans.

The goal happened when England player Steve Hodge kicked a high looping ball into the middle of his own area. The ball fell just in front of the penalty spot, where the Argentinean captain happened to be waiting.


The soccer legend used his left fist and managed to get the ball over the confused head of the English goalkeeper Peter Shilton. The ball fell straight into the empty net with no opposition.

Maradona reacted by running off to the right-hand corner flag to celebrate but stopped for a millisecond to see over his shoulder if the referee, Ali Ben Nasser (Tunisia), was refusing the goal. England’s players rushed to confront the referee but it was already too late.


The English team tried to say Hodge was offside and after two replays, Nasser failed to be 100% sure that Maradona had used his hand. Journalist Barry Davies reported that other members of the press box were quite sure that Maradona handled.

The news of Maradona's death was revealed by his longtime lawyer and agent Matias Morla.

Those sitting in the press box were closer to England’s goalposts and they had a better view of the incident. Ultimately, the goal was accepted as is and Argentina led 1 – 0 against England.


The goal actually got its name from its goal scorer. Immediately after the match and what CNN described as “a certain cheekiness,” the Argentinean captain explained what he thought happened that led to his goal, saying:

"It must have been the hand of God.”


Ultimately, Argentina ended up winning the game with a score of 2 – 1 against England. Sadly, Maradona passed away on November 25, 2020, at the age of 60 after suffering a fatal heart attack at his home in Buenos Aires.

The news of his death was revealed by his longtime lawyer and agent Matias Morla. When the soccer legend passed away, he’d just gotten successful brain surgery done in his home country.

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