The hand of God!

The hand of God!

Diego Maradona holds aloft the 1986 FIFA World Cup trophy.

Nearly 115,000 packed into the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City and with 51 minutes played came one of the most iconic moments in the history of the FIFA World Cup.

Diego Maradona had got away with what seemed like daylight robbery. Leaping as high as English goalkeeper Peter Shilton and sneakily using his fist to push the ball into the net, the Argentine skipper left the English fuming at another instance of weak refereeing.

The manner in which he had given his side the lead in a vital quarterfinal probably played on the mind of the magical 25-year-old as four minutes later, he left the world stupefied by his immense skill. Picking the ball up in midfield, Maradona left defenders as mere furniture on the pitch as he tore into the box and beat Shilton from a tight angle.

Maradona would later go on to dub his opening goal as 'the hand of God' but the second was more of god-given talent.

Right from the start of the tournament in sultry Mexico, Maradona had looked a man on a mission and as destiny would have it as he eventually held the trophy aloft.

It was cruel on the English who boasted fabulous talents like Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle, Ray Wilkins, Bryan Robson and Shilton, all under the tutelage of the great Bobby Robson.

West Germany were the other challenger in the presence of an ageing Brazilian side.

But Maradona was too hot to handle even for the disciplined lot of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Rudi Voller and the brilliant Lothar Matthaeus as they, once again, settled for silver.

Final result: Argentina 3 bt West Germany 2.