Diego Maradona has admitted handling the ball for his controversial first goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals.
The goal, which came to be known as the “Hand of God” goal has remained a source of controversy for the past 20 years.
Speaking on his local television talk show Monday night, Maradona said of the goal that it was “something that just came out of me. It was a bit of mischief.”
Maradona appeared to punch the ball into the net, and despite protests from irate England players, the goal was allowed to stand. Maradona produced a wonderful solo goal shortly afterwards as Argentina went on to win the match 2-1 and eventually win the World Cup.
“Shilton was very tall. He didn’t see anything, and a teammate told him” afterward what happened, said Maradona.
After scoring, Maradona said he realized the linesman had not seen the infringement but with none of his team-mates celebrating, he knew there was a possibility that the goal would be disallowed.
“I was waiting for my teammates to embrace me and no one came,” said Maradona, who was the team captain.
“I told them, ‘Come hug me or the referee isn’t going to allow it.”’