Maradona sees 'God's hand'

March 14, 2013,

Maradona sees ‘God’s hand’

The same “hand of God” brought the papacy to Argentina as helped it to the 1986 World Cup, says Diego Maradona, the soccer legend whose famously illicit, handled goal against England still excites passions at home and abroad, reports Reuters from Rome.

In a letter to Rome’s Il Messaggero newspaper on Wednesday from his base in Dubai, Maradona, 52, described himself as a devout Roman Catholic and said he rejoiced at the election of his compatriot Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis.

“I am truly very happy and I am certain that my enthusiasm is shared by the whole Argentinian people,” he wrote.

“Everybody in Argentina can remember ‘the hand of God’ in the England match in the 1986 World Cup. Now, in my country, the ‘hand of God’ has brought us an Argentinian pope.”In a quarter-final tie in 1986, Maradona eliminated England with two goals. He said afterwards that the goal was scored “a little with the head of Maradona, a little with the hand of God”.

Italian bishops pat wrong pope

Italian bishops were so convinced that one of their own would become pope that they sent a congratulatory message to the media thanking God for the election of a prelate from Milan, reports Reuters from Vatican City.

The trouble was, the new pope had already been named as Argentinian cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.The secretary-general of the Italian conference, Monsignor Mariano Crociata, expressed “joy and thanks” to God for the election of Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan in a statement sent to reporters at 8:23 pm (19:23 GMT) on Wednesday night. Earlie, Italian  newspapers openly promoted Scola as the next pope.

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