Top 5 Magical Moments From Diego Maradona's Career That Will Never Be Forgotten
It has come as a very unfortunate news for football fans all across the globe that Diego Armando Maradona, one of the all time greats of the sports has passed away. The Argentinian footballing legend suffered a cardiac arrest which led to his demise in his house in Tigre, Argentina.
What Maradona displayed on the pitch was nothing short of a magician performing his tricks. Although gone, the Argentinian Maestro will always live on in our hearts.
Here are 5 Maradona's magical moments on the pitch that we can never forget. (With such a lustrous footballing career, there are many more moments that Maradona has treated us with, however these are only the top 5 we have chosen)
1. The Hand Of God
The hand of god is right up there for being one of the most iconic moments in footballing history. In 1966, the hosts,England had won the world cup after beating Argentina in the quarter final. Many till this day believe that Argentina were robbed in that game after the referee wrongfully sent off an Argentinian player, Antonio Rattin for a minor tackle. There was bad blood between the two football team after the 1966 world cup. Even outside the realm of football, the Falkland wars in 1982, created more friction between the two nation. Hence during 1986 world cup hosted in Mexico, the rivalry was still red hot between the two teams. Coincidentally, the fixtures set the two nations to face each other in the quarter finals again. This was a perfect opportunity for the Argentines to redeem themselves after 20 years, by hook or by crook. Diego Maradona scores the first goal of the game by punching the ball with his fist into the post. Controversially, the referee allows the goal which was later infamously coined as the “Hand of God”. The goal came as a karmic justice for alot of the Argentinian fans who felt cheated in 1966.
2. The Winning Goal Against England In The Quarter-Final Of The 1986 World Cup
Coincidentally, another one of the most unforgettable moments from Diego Maradona’s career comes minutes after the first one. As much as the first goal, “The Hand Of God”, was controversial and questionable, the second goal without a shadow of a doubt showcases the magical ability of Maradona. The footballing wizard dribbles past half of the England squad to score the winning goal, qualifying his team for the semi finals of the 1986 World Cup.
3. Best Player Of 1979 World Youth Championship
Diego Maradona’s natural ability to play football was evident when the 16 year old helped his team win the tournament with a contribution of six goals. Maradona bagged himself the Golden Ball, aka the player of the tournament, and was the second highest goalscorer, two goal short of his compatriot, Ramon Diaz. In the finals, Maradona scored a perfect free kick aimed at the bottom left of the goal against Soviet Union. This gave Argentina a 2 goal lead securing the cup for them.
4. The Late World Cup Winner Against West Germany, 1986
After beating England in the quarter final and Belgium in the semi final, Maradona’s Argentina were up against West Germany in the finals. West Germany were prepared to take on Maradona’s trickery as Franz Beckenbaur assigned two players to man mark him. Frontman, Diego Maradona played his part in keeping the defenders busy while his team mates Junior Brown and Jorge Valdano scored a goal each giving Argentina a 2 goal lead against West Germany inside 55 minutes. West Germany, however made a swift comeback scoring 2 goals in 25 mins. With 83 minutes passed on the clock, the game could go either way. This was until Maradona gets the ball in the center of the pitch with an empty half ahead. Maradona displays blistering pace, leaving the West German defenders in the dust, and placing the ball past the goal keeper. Yet again, Maradona secured another title for his country.
5. Winning Napoli Their First Series-A And Coppa Italia Double
In 1986, after winning the World Cup, Maradona had his eyes set on the Seria A trophy. As the Serie-A season progressed, Maradona as the leading scorer for Napoli with 10 goals, lead the team to victory against dominant opponents such as Milan and reigning champions, Juventus. If helping Napoli win their first Series- A was not enough, the Argentinian maestro even helped Napoli bag a double by winning the Coppa Italia the same year.
Rest in Peace legend. You will always be missed.