'Hand of God': How Diego Maradona's most infamous football moment scarred generations of English football fans

On Twitter, the trend 'Hand of God' started after the news of his death. It was a phrase used by the Argentine footballer to decribe his most iconic goal

                            'Hand of God': How Diego Maradona's most infamous football moment scarred generations of English football fans
(Getty Images)

Football legend Diego Maradona died on Wednesday, November 25, from a cardiac arrest. He was 60. As per multiple reports, he suffered a heart attack two weeks after leaving the hospital where he underwent surgery on a blood clot in his brain. One of Maradona’s many lasting legacies was something known as “Hand of God”.

On Twitter, the trend “Hand of God” started after the news of his death. “The hand of God is no more. But heaven will shine even brighter with you being there. And your name will forever be remembered,” wrote a Twitter user. Another fan of the sporting legend wrote on Twitter, “The Hand of God is in God’s hands now. You captured the fancy of an entire generation & our impact will never be forgotten. Thank you for everything. RIP Diego Maradona.”

Yet another fan wrote on Twitter, “There is not one person that has never heard the story of Diego Armando Maradona. A true hero and an icon that will always be missed. Thinking of it now, his hand of God has touched each one of us and brought each one of us a great love to this game. Shame we have to say goodbye.”






What is the 'Hand of God'?

"The hand of God" was a phrase used by Argentine footballer Diego Maradona to describe a goal that he scored in Argentina v England during the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The goal took place on June 22, 1986, at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

It was an important match for many reasons, not discounting that the game was held four years after the Malvinas War between Argentina and the United Kingdom. Maradona, then just 25 years old, was just at the prime of his career. At the end of the first half, although Argentina had higher possession, it took only six minutes till what happened when the game resumed. And it was an iconic moment of sporting history that has since come to be known as "Hand of God".

When English midfielder Steve Hodge tried to clear a ball away from the box, Maradona reached it and with his left hand guided the ball into the net. Referee Ali Bin Nasser claimed he did not see the offense and allowed the goal, although the English players strongly appealed for a handball.

Yet, that was not all. Just four minutes after that goal, as Argentine midfielder Hector Enrique passed the ball to Maradona, the football legend who dashed towards the English goal, passing four outfield players, before shooting the ball into the net. The result was a 2-0 score. Argentina won the game 2–1 and went on to win the 1986 World Cup with a victory over West Germany in the final.

At the post-match press conference, Maradona said that the goal came from "the head of Maradona and the hand of God". Mexican photographer Alejandro Ojeda Carbajal immortalized this moment in a photograph in which Maradona can be seen hitting the ball with his hand. In 2005, 19 years after scoring the controversial goal, Maradona confessed on a program called 'La Noche del 10', that the goal was actually scored with his hand.

The "Hand of God" certainly earned Maradona infamy. But it wasn't all. Maradona's international playing career ended when he failed a drugs test at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.