The ‘Hand of God’ 1986

The 'Hand of God' 1986 The phrase ‘Hand of God’ was coined after Argentinian captain Diego Maradona described his first goal against England in the quarter-final of the 1986 World Cup as being scored ‘a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.’

Early in the second half of the match, in the Azteca Stadium, Mexico City, with the scores level at 0-0, England midfielder Steve Hodge sliced a high, looping ball in the direction of his own penalty and what followed became one of the most iconic, and controversial, incidents in football history. As the ball dropped from the heavens, Maradona jumped alongside England goalkeeper Peter Shilton who, at 6′, stood 7″ taller than his dimunitive opponent. However, as Shilton reached forward with his right glove, Maradona raised his left fist, close to his head, and dexterously, but illegally, nudged the ball over the goalkeeper and into the empty net.

Maradona raced away towards the corner flag, pausing briefly to check if the match officials had noticed his infringement. Tunisian referee Ali Bin Nasser allowed the goal but, in the face of protests from the English players, looked in the direction of Bulgarian linesman Bogdan Dochev as he ran back towards the centre circle. Dochev – who later admitted that he had seen Maradona punch the ball over Shilton – gave no indication of handball and the goal stood.

To add insult to injury, just minutes later, Maradona carried the ball from inside half, outpacing English midfielder Peter Reid – who later described his vain pursuit of the Argentinian No. 10 as ‘like a kid chasing his Dad in the garden’ – and beating three defenders before slotting home past Shilton for his second goal. In 2002, the goal was voted ‘FIFA World Cup Goal of the Century’. Argentina won the match 2-1 and went on to win the FIFA World Cup Trophy, beating West Germany 3-2 in the final.

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Michael Phelps Win Eight Olympic Gold Medals 2008

Michael Phelps Win Eight Olympic Gold Medals 2008 Born in Baltimore, Maryland, hence his nickname ‘The Baltimore Bullet’, Michael Phelps made his Olympic debut in the Millenium Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000. At the age of just 15 – making him the youngest man to represent the United States Olympic Swimming Team since 13-year-old Ralph Flanagan competed in the men’s 1,500-metre freestyle event at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles – Phelps finished fifth in the men’s 200-metre butterfly, his only individual event.

Four years later, at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Phelps earned international acclaim after becoming the first Olympic swimmer to win eight medals, six gold and two bronze. In Athens, he fell just one short of the 32-year-old world record of seven gold medals, set by compatriot Mark Spitz at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

However, at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Phelps made Olympic history by winning eight gold medals, one in every event he entered. In the space of eight days, between August 10 and August 17, Phelps won gold medals in the men’s 400-metre individual medley, men’s 4 x 100-metre freestyle relay, men’s 200-metre freestyle, men’s 200-metre butterfly, men’s 4 x 200-metre freestyle relay, men’s 200-metre individual medley, men’s 100-metre butterfly and men’s 4 x 100-metres medley relay. Furthermore, he set world records in all bar the men’s 100-metre butterfly, in which his winning time of 50.58 seconds was, nonetheless, an Olympic record. In fact, Phelps thought he had been beaten, until he saw the result on the scoreboard, and his hundredth-of-a-second victory over Milorad ‘Milo’ Čavić prompted a protest from the Serbian delegation.

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