"I want to cry, oh holy God, long live football! What a goal!"
Uruguayan commentator Victor Hugo Morales’ words weren’t heard in the UK – where there were rather more sombre tones – at the precise moment that Diego Maradona put the ball into the net against England in 1986, but for much of the world his voice is what they’ll forever associate with it.
And it seems a perfectly apt response, doesn’t it? What Maradona had just achieved was somewhat otherworldly, so why not call upon the high heavens to witness it?
FIFA voted the strike as their Goal of the Century back in 2002, but using the word "strike" almost seems to demean it somewhat. A "strike" is an effort from distance, a first-time chance taken on the turn or a speculative shot when nothing else seems on.
This was much more than that.
It starts with the control and the clever spin away from Peter Beardsley and Peter Reid, the latter of whom continues to pursue Maradona like a marathon runner trying and failing to keep up with a pacemaker.
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Terry Butcher then dangles a leg but Argentina’s No.10 just uses that as an invitation to get him off balance, and then when Terry Fenwick approached too quickly he shot past him too.
Peter Shilton represented the last obstacle, but by simply rolling the ball under his feet instead of shooting as the goalkeeper came out Maradona completed his final act of genius.
All that was left was for him to roll the ball into an unguarded net under pressure from Butcher. And he did that.
Oh, and it was just four minutes after the Hand of God goal too.
What a man. What a game.
Now who’s ready for the World Cup to start?
Will Argentina win the World Cup?
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