World Cup’s 101 Most Memorable Moments: Maradona’s ‘Goal of the Century’


Editor’s note: Every day from now until the start of the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 on November 20, we will reveal a different memory from the history of the World Cup. The the countdown from 101 continues with Maradona’s other goal against England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup.

“Goal of the Century” doesn’t even do it justice. Two decades on next century Diego Maradona’s solo slalom through a sea of ​​would-be English defenders in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals is the greatest World Cup goal of all time.

Context is important here. Just four minutes earlier, Maradona had scored probably the second most famous World Cup goal of all time, although it shouldn’t have counted at all: the famous Hand of God goal that the crafty Argentine had hooked on the net with nothing. officials notice.

Many of the more than 100,000 in attendance in Mexico City that day had seen it, of course. So had millions of television viewers, at least on repeat, watching the World Cup. A number of Three Lions players immediately and vehemently protested the non-call, to no avail. They were understandably furious with Maradona. Several of them probably wanted to break his leg in two, and in an age where violent attacks were the norm, they certainly would if given the chance.

Maradona gave them one, all right. With the English players still fuming, the Albiceleste captain collected the ball inside his own half. Tucked in by two opponents, he danced onto the ball and then exploded into the space between them, heading straight into Peter Shilton’s net.

He had sped past four enemy lefties (including Terry Butcher twice) before reaching center fielder Terry Fenwick, who he made look like a traffic cone with a shoulder drop. With only Shilton left to beat, he feigned a shot that put the keeper on the back of it and then rounded him to slot the ball home.

All these years later, it’s no less impressive. This was the only divine goal scored that day at the Estadio Azteca. Although Maradona’s stunning and otherworldly run and finish took just 10 seconds to complete, it will live in the annals of sport forever.

The goal of the century

The goal of the century

Maradona was unstoppable against England.

Doug McIntyre is a football writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a writer for ESPN and Yahoo Sports and has covered the US men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @By Doug McIntyre.


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