Argentines celebrate 35 years of Maradona's goal of the century

Reuters/Buenos Aires
Filed on June 23, 2021

After dribbling past four English outfield players, Diego Maradona sells the finest of dummies to goalkeeper Peter Shilton (right) to score his second goal in the World Cup quarterfinal on June 22, 1986, in Mexico City. (AFP)

People gather outside the Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Buenos Aires to remember the Argentine legend's second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup. (AFP)

To remember the feat, Argentines took to their windows, balconies and gardens to shout 'Gooooooooool!'

It was 35 years ago (June 22, 1986) that Diego Maradona taught England to play, and the date did not go unnoticed in Argentina, where his compatriots remembered his ‘goal of the century’ with a nationwide celebration of cheers and applause.

Maradona scored twice against England in a 2-1 win in the quarterfinals of the 1986 World Cup, the second of which was a solo goal often classed as the greatest goal ever scored.

After picking the ball inside his own half, Maradona went on a magical run, dribbling past four England players before beating the goalkeeper to score the greatest individual goal ever seen in World Cups.

To remember the feat, Argentines took to their windows, balconies and gardens to shout “Gooooooooool!” at precisely 16:09, the exact moment the ball hit the net at the Aztec Stadium on June 22, 1986.

“The goal was so incredible that it sent the whole country into a delirium,” recalled Leonardo Oliver, a Buenos Aires muralist.

When Maradona died last year the country went into mourning with displays of grief that illustrated just how much he meant to a nation that has not won the World Cup since he took them to the title in Mexico in 1986.

The Argentine Football Association encouraged people to remember the former Napoli and Boca Juniors player by rewatching or relistening to the commentary of the goal “at top volume.”

“When the ball goes in again, let’s shout so they hear it in heaven,” it said in a social media post.

Across the country, thousands of people downloaded the video and obliged.

There was, however, no celebration of Maradona’s first goal in the game, which he scored four minutes earlier at 16:05. Maradona put Argentina 1-0 up by punching the ball past England keeper Peter Shilton.

The goal, he said, was scored by “the hand of God.”

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