I was waiting for my teammates to embrace me, and no one came… I told them, Come hug me, or the referee isn’t going to allow it… Diego Maradona.
Who remembers the sinister star shaped shadow that haunted the centre circle of The Azteca stadium during June 1986?
In June 1974 FIFA chose Colombia to host the 1986 World Cup. However, in November 1982 Colombian authorities declared that they could not afford to stage the tournament, and Mexico was selected on 20 May 1983 as replacement , becoming the first nation to host two World Cups. In September 1985 A severe earthquake struck Mexico, but the World Cup went ahead as planned.
The final between Argentina and West Germany was the last World Cup game to be watched by a crowd of 100,000 plus.
As 1986 had been declared the International Year of Peace by the United Nations, the advertising boards of all the stadia displayed the FIFA and United Nations logos along with the legend “Football for Peace – Peace Year”.
Three of the quarter finals were decided on penalties (shootouts having being introduced in 1982).
The fourth produced the remarkable sight of 1.65 m Maradona out jumping 1.85 m England goalkeeper Peter Shilton to punch the ball into the net. A few minutes later Maradona scored a goal that is often cited as the best ever. At the time I was convinced that the final touch had actually come from an England defender.
Manuel Negrete of Mexico scored an equally memorable goal:
Appearing in his second tournament Zidane scored his first World Cup goal…not Zinadine but his uncle, Djamel Zidane, who netted for Algeria against Northern Ireland.
On the world stage it was goodbye to Socrates and Zico, two players who will always rank amongst the greats.