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1986 World Cup: The Maradona Cup

"The Hand of God"

Introduction: 1986 World Cup

Argentina shone on the field through the feet – and hands – of Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup. The Brazilian team, on the other hand, had in the penalty shootout a contrast of the skill of its stars.

Mexico hosts the World Cup for the second time

The 1986 World Cup was to be held in Colombia, but the country gave up and the tournament was hosted by Mexico. Thus, the Mexicans hosted the World Cup for the second time in 16 years. It was the World Cup that saw the debut of the Canada, Iraq and Denmark teams, the latter being nicknamed the “Dynamachine”, mainly because of the speed of its players.

Brazil in the 86 World Cup

Brazil’s participation in the 86 World Cup started in turmoil, since Renato Gaúcho had been cut for indiscipline and the team was unable to prepare well. In addition, coach Telê Santana had several injured players, including Zico.

Thus, Brazil’s debut in the 86 World Cup was a little shy. They beat Spain with the help of the referee, who disallowed a legitimate goal by the opposing team. Striker Careca was a highlight in the wins over Algeria (1-nil) and Northern Ireland (3-nil). The Brazilian team included other stars such as Júnior, Josimar, Falcão, Sócrates and Müller. They managed to beat Poland 4-nil in the round of 16.

Zico misses a penalty kick in the 1986 World Cup

The next game, against France, was one of the best games of the 1986 World Cup: the referee didn’t need to book a single card. But who didn’t score either was Zico. In a penalty kick that could have guaranteed the Brazilian victory, Zico hit it badly and French goalkeeper Bats saved it. As a result, the “Quintino’s Little Hen”carries to this day the burden of the last World Cup he participated in.

With a 1-1 draw after extra time, the game went to penalties and France ended up eliminating Brazil 4-3.

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Maradona’s Hand Goal: the “Hand of God”

Argentina shone in the 1986 World Cup largely due to the ability of the player Diego Armando Maradona. The striker scored two goals that marked the history of the World Cup and the passionate devotion of the Argentinean fans. From that Cup on, Maradona was immortalized as a national hero.

In the quarterfinal against England, Maradona naughtily deflected the ball with his hand without the referee noticing, and scored the first goal of the match. The Argentina striker said that he scored this goal with his head and the “hand of God”.

Then he broke from the middle of the field with the ball, dribbled through the English defense and also the goalkeeper, and shot the second Argentine goal into the net, which became known as the “goal of the century”, one of the most beautiful goals ever seen. England still managed to reduce the deficit at the end, but could not win.

The Hand of God

86 World Cup Final

The final between Argentina and Germany was exciting. Argentina opened the scoring with a goal by Brow, sending the crowd into raptures. In the second half, Valdano scored even more for the hermanos.

Germany managed to recover and tied the game 2-2. However, in the 38th minute, star player Maradona scored the third goal and ensured the Argentinean national team’s second championship.

World Cup Series:


search FIFA. 1962 search FIFA World Cup Chile. Available at: <>. Accessed on: 16/04/2018


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