HAND OF GOD
On the 25 November 2020 the World was in mourning after the footballing legend was pronounced dead at his home in Dique Lujan, Buenos Aires after a heart attack. The news of his passing sent shock waves around the world as football lost one of its most famous charismatic faces. Diego Armando Maradona, is a name that football will never forget.
Standing at just 5ft 5inches he took the world by storm and one can argue that nobody has had a greater impact in back to back World Cups although some may argue that Pele managed the same feat. Which ever way you look at it, he is definitely in the top 2 of all time. The question remains though did he do enough to warrant the status of the greatest of all time?
Whilst players like Christiano Ronaldo and Messi have excelled at club level and their records and individual accolades bears no comparison. In time they too will be honored and rightly deserved. However, to be the GOAT you have to have delivered at international level and not just club standard. Football fans and supporters alike will agree that the greatest spectacle in the football calendar is the World Cup.
The champions league is great but it just doesn’t compare to the magic of the World Cup. The hysteria that surrounds the competition is immeasurable and this is where we separate the cat from amongst the pigeons. This is where legends are made and heroes created and magnified. In 1986 Maradona set the competition alight single handedly leading his country to World Cup glory and scoring what is still regarded as the best ever goal scored at a World Cup tournament albeit against England. The hand of God reference to the goal he scored with his hand against England remains iconic to this day. As team captain, Maradona helped Argentina achieve their 2nd World Cup win in their history and was rightly named player of the tournament.
He was a leader of men and had the will and desire to succeed. For me Maradona is the greatest footballer of all time. A man that carried the hopes of an entire nation on his shoulders without any notable supporting cast. He almost repeated the same feat again 4 years later at Italia ’90 only for his Argentina side to lose to West Germany 1-0. The fact that they got to the final is commendable and he is duly credited for his efforts.
No player has dazzled at international level like Maradona and captivated a generation. Children across the World in the eighties all wanted to be like Diego Maradona (me included…..think I’m showing my age a tad). The skills he displayed and unrivaled ability was simply a joy to watch. I am grateful I had the opportunity to watch his brilliance and without a shadow of a doubt will say that Diego Armando Maradona is the greatest of all time.