Learning English - Words in the News
24 August, 2005 - Published 13:30 GMT
Maradona and the 'Hand of God'
The former football star, Diego Maradona, has admitted publicly for the first time that he used his hand to score one of the most controversial goals in the history of the international game. This report from Harry Peart:
There has long been intense football rivalry between Argentina and England, but when the two teams met in the quarter finals of the 1986 World Cup, the disputed goal became one of the most famous in the world. Challenging the England goalkeeper for the ball, the short and stocky Maradona raised his left arm into the air to fist the ball into the net. Television pictures and photographs released later, showed the goal to be illegal.
Maradona claimed it was 'the Hand of God' which had guided the ball, not his own. Argentina went on to win 2-1 and eventually lift the World Cup. Since then the incident has irked English supporters, but given satisfaction to Argentine fans.
Nineteen years later, speaking on his own television show, Maradona has finally admitted a truth which everyone knew. Few will be angered - his second goal against England in the same match was one of the finest individual efforts in World Cup history. The defeated England coach, Bobby Robson, described it as a miracle, which following 'the Hand-of-God' goal seems supremely apt.
Harry Peart, BBC sports correspondent
intense football rivalry
the disputed goal
short and stocky
to fist the ball into the net
claimed it was 'the Hand of God'
lift the World Cup
Lesson plan based on this text (118k pdf)