Watch: Diego Maradona’s insane skills as he practices during 1990 World Cup

first_imgDiego Maradona had played a starring role in the 1986 World Cup as Argentina won the World Cup for the second time in their history.Maradona returned to captain his country again at the 1990 World Cup in Italy and led them to yet another final.In the previous edition Maradona had scored two of the most talked-about goals in the history of the game, interestingly both in the same match against England.First, arguably the most controversial goal to have been scored in a World Cup. After almost 51 minutes of either goal being disturbed, Maradona rose and beat the much taller Peter Shilton in goal as the ball rolled into the empty net.The goal was given as television replays showed the diminutive footballer handling the ball rather than heading it in. He had went “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”, before years later confessing on his television show that he had hit the ball with his hand purposely, and no contact with his head was made and that he immediately knew the goal was illegitimate.Till date the goal stands.Second, a superlative 68m run that lasted 11 seconds and in which Maradona touched the ball 11 times.”When I was one-on-one with Shilton, I thought about what my brother had said to me after a friendly against England (in 1980). I’d had a similar chance and I put it across the keeper. It brushed the post and went out of play. El Turco said to me: ‘You made the wrong choice. You should have gone past the keeper and then knocked it in with the outside of your left foot’. And that’s what I did today,” Maradona had said after the goal, which was awarded as the Century’s Best by FIFA.advertisementPredictably when the next edition of the tournament was held in Italy, there was palpable excitement around the man. Maradona had been playing his club football at the foothills of Naples and with Italy hosting the world’s best, it was almost as if Maradona was playing at home.Maradona was universally adored but and in Italy people gathered even to watch him train. He didn’t disappoint the gathered masses, showing off his silken touch and skills with the football.But as the tournament progressed, Maradona injured his ankle and his and the team’s performances suffered. After barely qualifying from their group in third place, they managed to dismiss rivals Brazil 1-0 in the Round-of-16 . Two penalty shoot out wins later, 3-2 against Yugoslavia in the quarters and 4-3 against hosts Italy, they found themselves in the final.Up against them were a fierce West Germany team, who in the end emerged champions.That was the start of fall for Mradona as in the next World Cup, at the 1994 World Cup in the United States. He played in only two games and scored only one before being sent home after failing a drug test for ephedrine doping.But that was not the end of the journey for Maradona at World Cups. He returned to the tournament as the Argentina manager for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Maradona had promised that he would run naked through the streets of Buenos Aires if Argentina won the World Cup.After easily topping their group, they were unceremoniously dumped out in the quarters by Germany.last_img read more