The 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico is one of the most memorable tournaments in the history of football. This is because Diego Maradona led Argentina to win the trophy, and his performances during the competition are legendary. Maradona’s contribution to Argentina’s triumph was invaluable, and he played a key role in every match. This essay explores how Diego Maradona won the World Cup in 1986.
How Diego Maradona Won the World Cup in 1986:
- Argentina was one of the favourites to win the World Cup in 1986. The team had a strong squad that included several world-class players like Jorge Valdano and Oscar Ruggeri. However, it was Diego Maradona who stole the show with his unique talent and leadership skills. Maradona was the captain of the team, and his influence on the squad was profound. He inspired his teammates to play to their full potential, and he was always ready to lead from the front.
- Maradona’s performances during the World Cup were outstanding. He scored five goals and provided five assists in seven games, and he was involved in almost every goal that Argentina scored. Maradona’s performances were so impressive that he was awarded the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player. However, it was not just his goals and assists that made him stand out. He was also involved in some of the most iconic moments in World Cup history.
- One of those moments was the “Hand of God” goal. In Argentina’s 2-1 victory over England in the quarterfinals, Maradona scored a controversial goal by punching the ball into the net with his hand. The goal was allowed to stand despite protests from the English players and fans. Maradona later admitted that he used his hand to score the goal, but he also claimed that it was the “Hand of God.” This moment epitomises Maradona’s brilliance on the pitch, as he was able to find a way to score even when the odds were against him.
- Maradona’s second goal in that match was equally impressive. He picked up the ball in his own half and dribbled past five England players before scoring. This goal is often considered one of the greatest goals in World Cup history, and it showcases Maradona’s incredible skill and technique. This goal is a testament to Maradona’s ability to take on the best defenders in the world and beat them with ease.
- Maradona’s performance in the semifinals was another highlight of the tournament. Argentina faced Belgium, and Maradona was the star of the show once again. He scored both of Argentina’s goals in a 2-0 victory, and his second goal was another masterpiece of individual brilliance. Maradona picked up the ball from his own half, dribbled past four Belgian players, and then calmly slotted the ball into the net. This goal is another example of Maradona’s genius, and it cemented his status as one of the greatest players of all time.
- Maradona saved his best performance for the final against West Germany. The match was a tight affair, and it was Maradona who broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute. He picked up the ball near the halfway line, and then played a one-two with Jorge Burruchaga before scoring with a precise left-footed shot. This goal was typical of Maradona’s style of play, as he was able to create something out of nothing and score when it mattered most.
- Maradona was also involved in Argentina’s second goal in the final. He played a sublime pass to Jorge Burruchaga, who scored the winning goal in the 83rd minute. This was a fitting end to a tournament that Diego Maradona dominated, and he was rightly named the player of the tournament.
Maradona’s early life and Career:
Maradona was born in Villa Fiorito, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires on October 30, 1960. As a child, he displayed exceptional talent for soccer and was quickly signed to local teams as a young teenager. It wasn’t long before he caught the attention of coaches across Argentina. In 1978, Maradona joined Boca Juniors and kicked off his adult career as a midfielder. He then transferred to FC Barcelona in Spain where he continued to showcase his exceptional skills on the field. Over the years, Maradona became known for his quick reflexes and bold playstyle, earning him the nickname “El Pibe de Oro” or “The Golden Boy”. By the time he officially retired in 1997, Maradona had secured himself as one of soccer’s greatest legends with numerous accolades including two world cup victories and countless individual awards.
Impact of Maradona’s performance on Argentine culture:
Maradona’s impact on Argentine culture cannot be overstated. He was not only a football legend but also a cultural icon who inspired millions of Argentinians to pursue their dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem. His performance in the 1986 World Cup brought joy and pride to his country, and the “Hand of God” goal is now firmly entrenched in Argentine folklore. Maradona’s charisma, passion, and irreverence captured the hearts of his fans, who saw him as a symbol of hope and defiance against the odds. He represented the working class and the underprivileged, and his success on the field transcended politics, uniting a divided nation around a common cause. Even after his death in 2020, Maradona’s legacy lives on in Argentina, inspiring new generations to strive for greatness both on and off the football pitch.
Impact of Maradona’s Performance on Argentine Culture:
Maradona’s performance on the football pitch had an immense impact on Argentine culture. He was a living legend, an icon, and a hero to millions of Argentines who revered him as the greatest footballer of all time. His famous “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final against England became one of the most iconic moments in sports history and symbolized Argentina’s defiance against their former colonizers. Maradona wasn’t just a gifted athlete; he was also a symbol of hope, pride, and resilience for his fellow countrymen who faced economic turmoil, political repression, and social inequality. Maradona’s legacy extended far beyond the world of football; he inspired generations of young people to pursue their dreams, believe in themselves, and fight for justice. Even today, years after his death, Maradona remains an enduring symbol of Argentine identity and culture.
Diego Maradona’s performances in the 1986 FIFA World Cup were nothing short of incredible. He scored goals, provided assists, and led Argentina to win the trophy. Maradona’s ability to take on multiple defenders and beat them with ease was unparalleled, and his performances in the knockout stages were unforgettable. The “Hand of God” goal and the goal against England are two of the most iconic moments in football history, and they showcase Maradona’s extraordinary talent. Diego Maradona won the World Cup in 1986, and he did it in style.