Maradona’s “Hand of God” Goal: The Most Controversial Moment in Football History

Maradona's "Hand of God" Goal: The Most Controversial Moment in Football History

Even people far from football know the name Maradona. However, this great football player went down in history with his excellent game and his most famous violation of the rules. On June 22, 1986, Diego Maradona committed the most renowned deception in football history and closed the careers of two referees. Let’s find out what really happened.

Background of the Match

If you are into betting and will use the OdiBets create account option, you know the importance of analyzing the background of each event. That memorable game also had its history.

Argentina and England met in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup. Later, this confrontation would be filled with football episodes (Owen’s goal, Simeone’s provocation, and Beckham’s removal), but then the match was primarily accompanied by political overtones. 

Only four years have passed since the intense armed conflict over the Falkland Islands. Later, the Argentines admitted that the victory over the British brought them more emotions than the final. It was part of revenge for defeat in a short war, during which the Argentine side lost 649 people and all control over the archipelago.


Unfair Victory

Maradona’s double helped eliminate the England team. Within four minutes, Diego scored the biggest cheat in the history of the World Cup and, perhaps, the best individual goal in the 20th century. 

Nothing significant happened in the first half. Football was bland, and the pace was slow. It was primarily due to the mercilessly scorching sun. In the 51st minute, Maradona started moving from the center of the field, went around Glenn Hoddle, passed to Jorge Valdano, and ran on in anticipation of a return pass.

English midfielder Steve Hodge tried to clear the ball but lifted it over his penalty area. A moment later, Maradona did what all 114 thousand of the capital’s Azteca stadium saw, which the 22 players on the field understood. Still, the Tunisian referee Ali Bin-Nasser and the Bulgarian linesman Bogdan Dochev did not notice.

After this goal, Maradona admitted that the “hand of God” helped him score this goal. This moment has become a source of worldwide controversy and discussion among football fans and experts. Some thought the goal was unfair, but others thought it was brilliant. As a result, Argentina won the match 2:1, and Maradona scored another magnificent goal, which deservedly became a football legend.

Who Is to Blame

Bin-Nasser and Dochev paid for this mistake with their careers: the Bulgarian stopped refereeing, and the Tunisian was suspended from all international tournaments under the auspices of FIFA.

Bin-Nasser and Dochev shifted the blame for the absurdity onto each other. The Bulgarian line referee said he immediately felt something strange but could not intervene. Bin-Nasser claimed that Dochev was in a better position – and even looked at him when the ball went into the goal.

The great Argentine admitted the obvious only a few years later. He had no plans to repent or apologize. Moreover, he said he innocently decided to help himself with his hand from the beginning. There is no other way to surpass Shilton in the air when you are 19 centimeters lower.

Many years later, in 2015, Maradona visited Tunisia to record a series of commercials. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Diego visited Ali Bin-Nasser. He kissed him and gave him a T-shirt of the Argentina national team with the words “To my eternal friend.”

Fraud or Genius

You can’t discuss that match without mentioning Maradona’s second goal. It is no longer about cunning but about superhuman talent. High-speed dribbling, changing direction, and passing one, two, five opponents along the way. Even Gary Lineker wanted to applaud this. Uruguayan journalist Victor Morales, who commentated on the match for Spanish-speaking countries, did not hold back on air: “I want to cry, oh, holy God! Long live football! What a goal!”

Therefore, a football player can be assessed in different ways. He broke the rules and wasn’t upset about it at all. However, this does not negate his excellent skills and enormous talent. Throughout his career, Maradona played for clubs such as Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, and Napoli. With Napoli, Maradona reached heights, winning twice Serie A and one UEFA Cup. He also played 91 matches for the Argentina national team and participated in 4 World Cups. Thus, Maradona will never be one of the forgotten football players.



Upon returning from that tournament, the Argentines said in numerous interviews that the victory over the British brought them much more emotion than the match with Germany in the World Cup final. To this day, Diego Maradona remains the most controversial personality in football. Although he was not the most honest man on earth, he made a whole nation happy that evening. As a result, the Argentina national team became the world champion for the second time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top