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The Hand of God

Last night Scotland played Argentina in a meaningless friendly match at Hampden.

Argentina got an early goal.

Scotland got nil.

The game however has since Sunday been overshadowed by the return of Diego Maradona to Scotland for the first time since 1979 when he played and scored in a 3-1 victory for the then World Champions. Maradona is now Argentina’s national coach.

He is, the press would have us believe, a national hero in Scotland for his part in defeating England in the 1986 World Cup quarter finals but specifically because the first of his two goals was clearly illegal  (he scored with his hand). Since that day it has been known as ‘the hand of God goal’ which was how Maradona described the goal after the game.

I much prefer to remember Maradona’s second goal in the game which was probably one of the best ever witnessed in world football in which he beat six England players (one twice) in a solo run before scoring. A poll on the FIFA website voted it as goal of the century.

However the Scottish press prefer to dwell on the fact that England were cheated out of possible progress in a competition 22 years ago.

The English dwell on it despite the fact that the goal arose from a miss kick from England defender Steve Hodge and a fumbled attempt at a save from Peter Shilton who was ever so slightly taller than Diego Maradona.

I don’t know who is worse. I do know I’m sick to the back teeth of hearing about it and I’m pleased that Maradona et al fly out today. We can now get back to the real news, you know, John Sergeant and Strictly Come Dancing.

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