By 90Min
April 30, 2018

It is an act that needs no description in truth. Diego Maradona's infamous 'Hand of God' moment against England inside the Estadio Azteca, before 114,580 enthused spectators, sent shockwaves through world football. Additionally, and contrastingly, Argentina's diminutive number 10's second goal mirrored with his first epitomised the player as well as the man perfectly. 

Hardly an act of redemption for his unsporting act, admittedly, Maradona's second strike on that day was and still is one of the most beautiful goals in football history. The first, however, in which he leapt above Peter Shilton and palmed the ball into the back of the net, showed the ugly side of a player so often associated with gorgeous moments.

In a cheeky manner, albeit one lacking remorse, Maradona later said: "I was waiting for my teammates to embrace me, and no one came... I told them, 'Come hug me, or the referee isn't going to allow it. The goal was scored a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.'" 


Fully aware of what he had done, the forward played up to the commotion over the incident. He played the professional game as if he was still with his childhood friends on the streets of Buenos Aires, taking on herds of defenders with ease, but his conduct seemingly never changed either. It was childish to the last, juvenile in the extreme, and extremely unprofessional.


It is set in stone that Maradona is one of the greatest of all time. But, for the way in which modern day heroes such as Andres Iniesta and Gianluigi Buffon are lauded and cherished for their dignity, the Argentine was the complete opposite; he was a nightmare, for journalists as much as defenders. 

When he wasn't slapping journalists in the face, he was making crude gestures to cameramen from the team bus. He viewed himself as above the game, perhaps justifiably in some respects on the field given his alien talents compared to others, but a lack of humility was damning. 


It was because of this self riotous persona that the great Maradona's career was not able to reach it's natural conclusion. A drug, alcohol, and women fuelled time as a professional footballer led to an untouchable aroma of arrogance of Maradona's behalf. 


Many recognised him for what he was, to put it succinctly. Maradona was merely an uneducated, emotional boy from the slums of Buenos Aires who had been blessed with an unprecedented footballing gift. 

BIO-MARADONA

Were it not for football, the man would probably have been the same opinionated, loud mouthed extrovert, however earning minimum wage in his hometown. Football, however, casts such a spotlight on those who succeed in it, meaning Maradona's tirades were excessively documented. 


Having said all of the above, and despite your own opinions of the man, the nation of Argentina still hold him in God like esteem. Some herald him as the best they will ever see, and point to his leadership towards World Cup glory as reason to prefer him to Lionel Messi, despite the pair's obvious differences in character. 


Perhaps he could have led La Albiceleste to more glory. But after having his 1994 World Cup tarnished by a drugs ban, Maradona bowed out in villainous fashion when he should have left the game as a hero.  

After his stunning goal against Greece, Maradona celebrated close to a camera with a truly crazed expression etched onto his face. Pupils wildly dilated, a snarling jaw; it quickly became apparent that Argentina's boy wonder was under the influence of a substance. 


Maradona was a cocaine addict, something which was been publicised enough for me not to go into it that deeply. He had first been banned from the game in 1991 for such antics, and it was downhill from then on. 


Whether it were drugs, alleged involvement with a Neapolitan mob, weight issues or women troubles, Maradona's off field antics were almost as enticing to watch as those on the field; albeit saddening.   

He will forever be a complexity. Some hate everything he's about and everything he stands for (mostly the English), whereas some relentlessly see through his flaws as a result of him being an icon of the game we all love on the field, no matter what happened off it. 


What could have been if his professionalism was a bit more appropriate is scary to think of, given what he did in fact achieve despite all of the negative influences. Nonetheless, Maradona is Maradona, and many Argentines wouldn't have him any other way despite everything. 

That double against the Three Lions in Mexico back in 1986 couldn't epitomise the man more; for one, there was a liar, a cheat and a thoughtless individual who wanted to win at all costs. In another aspect, as his phenomenal second proved, there was a creative individual filled with ingenuity, ability of such magnitude that the majority could overlook his horrid personality away from football, simply because of how he made them feel with a ball at his feet.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)