Diego Maradona’s former Argentina teammate has claimed the footballing legend practiced his famous ‘Hand of God’ goal.
In his new book “D10S”, Jorge Valdano stated that Maradona practiced scoring with his hand on the training ground before playing England in the 1986 World Cup.
“He had worked on it in training. It wasn’t the first time,” Valdano wrote in his new book which is all about his former teammate, via the Athletic.
Maradona – who sadly passed away aged 60 last November – is perhaps best known for this moment ahead of anything else he achieved in the game.
The controversial number ten was captain of his county when they faced England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
The game was tied at 0-0 until Maradona leaped high and punched the ball into the net to score what has infamously become known as the ‘Hand of God’ goal.
Although Maradona later admitted to the act, it has now been revealed by his international teammate that the action was potentially premeditated.
“When I took corners in training, he would get on the end of it and the ball would hit the net, Valdano writes. “Some would laugh and wonder: ‘What happened here?’ Others said: ‘Didn’t you see? He used his hand!’
“That’s why I wasn’t surprised when he scored that way against England. He meant it. I could sense some doubt in his goal celebration, and he hinted at it when we embraced. He said: ‘To the kick-off, quick.’ I had some doubts (about whether it would stand). I ran back very quickly.”
Later in the game, Maradona scored an incredible solo goal, dribbling 60 yards past numerous opposition players. He then went on to win the whole tournament with his country. Even so, the ‘Hand of God’ is the sporting feat often associated with the Argentine.
Indeed, despite its controversy, the goal stands as one of the most iconic moments in football history.