Murals of Diego Maradona adorn buildings worldwide but not, unsurprisingly, in England. The ‘Hand of God’ goal in 1986 will never be forgiven, and yet, in the cradle of the game, hearts are conflicted because of the majesty of what followed – the greatest goal ever scored.
It’s seared on the consciousness as are the commentaries that accompanied the Argentine’s magic. Depending on where, the words drip with grudging or joyous emotions, but equal in their astonishment. “You have to say that’s magnificent,” conceded BBC’s Barry Davies. “There is no debate about that goal. That was just pure football genius.”
Radio colleague Bryon Butler is sometimes accused of residual spite when he referred to Maradona as “little squat man” but by the time the number 10 had left Butcher and Fenwick “for dead” the sensational finish confirmed “the greatest player in the world.”
In Argentina, Victor Hugo Morales’s commentary is legendary as the Uruguayan gushed an unrestrained stream of superlatives: “Genius… Dear God. Long live football. Goooooal. Diegoal…It’s enough to make you cry, forgive me… an unforgettable run… the play of all time. Cosmic kite. What planet are you from?”
There are many ways to call such a goal. Perhaps less known globally, the commentary of iconic Irish broadcaster Jimmy Magee became so associated with him, it was the title of a later biography. At Estadio Azteca as Maradona hurdled into history, Magee uttered only: “Different class… Different class!”
Issue 6 of Póg Mo Goal Magazine is now available at www.pogmogoal.bigcartel.com
Illustrations by Dorothy, a UK-based design studio. www.wearedorothy.com