The game that defined Diego Maradona
The death of Argentinian star Diego Maradona has shocked the football world. Not only was he an icon in his own country, but he is also even considered as one of the greatest players to have graced the beautiful game. While he triumphed for his country and the clubs he played for, he is best remembered for his role in helping Argentina win the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. He scored twice against Belgium in the semi-final and was the architect of the pass that beat West Germany to clinch the title. However, it was in the quarter-final game against England that was his defining moment. If you fancy your chances at football or other games, then you can head over to sites like casinogamesindia.com to bet on your favourite teams.
Why the England game was important
Argentina was part of the British Empire in the 19th and early 20th century. Four years prior to this game, they had fought a war in the Falkland Islands. The win against England was thus interpreted as a national triumph, and the man credited and forever revered for this victory was Maradona with his two goals. The first was a controversial goal nicknamed “hand of God.” With the game goalless in the 51st minute, the Argentinean rose high against England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and punched the ball with his hand into the net. The referee did not spot the handball and let the goal stand. While the first outraged supporters, the second is regarded as the goal of the century. He picked the ball from his own half and went on a mazy run past several English players before rounding the goalkeeper for his second. While England did manage to pull one back, Maradona had already done enough damage to put his country on the path to victory. He would later say that the match meant more to him than just winning, but also knocking out the English from the tournament. Those two goals turned Diego Maradona into a deity, and it is widely believed the new-found status ultimately led to his ruin.
While Maradona was revered in his home country, his best club football was in Italy with Napoli. He began club football with Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors at home, before moving to Europe to play for Barcelona. In Napoli, he achieved cult status by helping them win the league title two times. The fame he was getting led him to get involved in cocaine, which led to a decline in his game. He did manage to take Argentina to the 1990 World Cup final but was suspended in the 1994 edition after testing positive for a banned substance. He retired aged 37, and after that, his life was a chaotic affair. He entered the world of politics before returning to football as a coach. He took charge of the national team at the 2010 World Cup where they reached the quarter-finals. He also coached clubs in Mexico, the Middle East and Argentina. He continued struggling with cocaine use, alcohol abuse, and weight issues until his passing on.