Diego Maradona passed away on Wednesday in his native Buenos Aires but the former English Captain and retired Goal Keeper is still bittered over the incident at the Mexican World Cup.
Former England captain accuses Argentina great of having ‘no sportsmanship’ and reveals they never spoke again in the 34 years since the famous 1986 World Cup quarter-final
Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton has hit out at Diego Maradona for “never apologising” for his 1986 ‘Hand of God’ goal, fewer than 24 hours since his death.
The news brought memories of Maradona’s incredible career, not least the triumphant 1986 World Cup campaign that saw the inspiring forward lead his nation to glory in Mexico beating West Germany in the Final.
On their way to the final, Argentina defeated the English to knock England out of the quarter-finals in a famous 2-1 victory that had two instances that came to define Maradona – the first being his ‘Hand of God’ goal in which he used his hand to punch the ball over the head of Peter Shilton, and the second a show of trickery as he ran from halfway to beat five England players before rounding the goalkeeper using only his left foot.
However, despite severally tributes flooding in for Maradona, Shilton was unable to let the opening goal go off his mind as he is still bittered even after his death that the Argentine great didn’t come out to apologise.
“My life has long been linked with that of Diego Maradona — and not in the way I would have liked,” Shilton wrote in the Daily Mail.
“But I am saddened to hear of his passing at such a young age. He was undoubtedly the greatest player I ever faced and my thoughts are with his family.”
Remembering the Incident at the 1986 quarter-final, Shilton said: “None of us expected what happened next.
How could we? He challenged me for a high, looping ball, but knew he wouldn’t get it with his head, so he punched it into the net. A clear offence. Cheating.
“As he ran away to celebrate he even looked back twice, as if waiting for the referee’s whistle. He knew what he had done. Everybody did — apart from the referee and two linesmen.”
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Peter Shilton never spoke to Maradona again after that in the 34 years that followed until his death on Wednesday, in spit of various attempts to have them appear on television together.
“What I don’t like is that he never apologised,” said Shilton. “Never at any stage did he say he had cheated and that he would like to say sorry. Instead, he used his ‘Hand of God’ line.
“That wasn’t right. It seems he had greatness in him but sadly no sportsmanship.”
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