iego Maradona has died at the age of 60, and leaves an extraordinary legacy within the game of football.
Maradona passed away on Wednesday. The Argentina World Cup winner and the national team’s former manager had been in hospital in Buenos Aires after surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain earlier this month.
Maradona’s successes made him a global star and a national hero in Argentina but his career was also blighted by controversies on and off the field.
His ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the 1986 quarter-finals, when he pushed the ball into the net with his hand, earned him infamy – although he followed up by scoring a remarkable solo effort, in the same game.
The two goals showed both sides of Maradona, with the latter effort earning him Fifa’s ‘World Cup Goal of the Century’ award in 2002.
Argentine coach Carlos Bilardo said of Maradona’s performance against England: “I believe that he demonstrated that he is the best player in the world. I think he is a true idol.
“Diego always scores spectacular goals, and that second one today was perhaps the best I’ve seen him score.”
England manager Bobby Robson described Maradona’s second goal as “a miracle goal — a fantastic goal … it’s wonderful when the world can produce great players of his calibre.”
But Robson disputed the first goal: “No ifs or buts about it. Peter Shilton felt deeply aggrieved.
“He doesn’t like to be beaten and it was obvious that Maradona had not got his head to it, but his hand.
“That goal, which should never have been allowed, gave Argentina the edge. It was a bad refereeing decision and you don’t expect one like that at World Cup level.”
And Maradona admitted it was scored “a little with Diego’s hand and a little with Maradona’s head.”
Additional reporting by AP.