Maradona: Hand of God, Foot of GOAT
Diego Maradona, the prodigal Son of God, who was God for us mere mortals, ruled the world with his left leg. And probably got just one help from God, that goal against England where the referee erred.
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What about handling the ball while scoring the infamous 'Hand of God' goal? What about it?
Diego Maradona did not cheat with the 'Hand of God' goal — it was a refereeing error. Period. How many penalties have not been given erroneously, how many penalties were given by mistake, how many batsmen were given out as an umpiring error and how many batsmen walked off when the umpire said 'Not Out'?
Diego Maradona did not cheat with the 'Hand of God' goal. (Photo: Twitter/ @TRBRajaa)
The prodigal Son of God, who was God for us mere mortals, ruled the world with his left leg. And probably got just one help from God — that goal against England where the referee erred. You wish to call that poetic 'justice' against the Falkland War that many Argentinians believed was 'injustice' committed against them by the English just a little while before the 1986 World Cup? I don't want to write more on that topic, but I think in that very game itself, with the second goal a little while later, Maradona proved why he is widely regarded as GOAT — the Greatest Of All Time. I say this keeping both Pele and Messi in mind. Let me tell you why.
Pele had Vava, Didi, Garrincha in his national team and yes, he did win three World Cups (taking nothing away from that), but he never played in Europe.
Messi had Xavi, Iniesta in his club team who did wonders and won everything under the sun, but then did nothing significant for his national team when he did have a few good players around him. That wasn't a team Maradona inherited in 1986: his great compatriots like Mario Kempes and others who actually were World Champions in 1978, had by then retired. Maradona got a Caniggia, or at the most a Burruchaga or Valdano, in his national team.
What he did with his club, Napoli, a pretty low-profile club in Italy, is part of both folklore and history. He single-handedly made them champions of Europe too. He held the teams with his undying passion and love for his country or club that he played for, and of course, his godliness with the football.
He erred as a human but he immortalised his art, and that is what makes him MARADONA. There will never be another one. Football will go on, so will the show and life. But both football and life wouldn't have been the same without Maradona — without Maradona being part of our lives when we saw him live, making the ball at his feet come alive and do the talking.
He never kicked the ball. He caressed it.
Stay happy wherever you are, Diego. Now you have God, who will take care of you.