Diego Maradona : biography
He made his full international debut at age 16, against Hungary on 27 February 1977. At age 18, he played the World Youth Championship for Argentina, and was the star of the tournament, shining in their 3–1 final win over the Soviet Union. On 2 June 1979, Maradona scored his first senior international goal in a 3–1 win against Scotland at Hampden Park.MacPherson, Graeme (30 October 2008). , The Herald. He is the only player to win the Golden Ball at both the FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup, in 1979 and 1986.
1982 World Cup
Maradona played his first World Cup tournament in 1982. Argentina played Belgium in the opening game of the 1982 Cup in Barcelona. The Catalan crowd was eager to see their new world-record signing Diego Maradona in action, but he did not perform to expectations.. Planet World Cup. Retrieved 31 March 2013. Argentina, the defending champions, lost to Belgium 1–0. Although the team convincingly beat Hungary and El Salvador to progress to the second round, they were defeated in the second round by Brazil and by eventual winners Italy. The Italian match is renowned for Maradona being aggressively man-marked by Claudio Gentile, as Italy beat Argentina in Maradona’s new home city of Barcelona.Brewin, John (9 June 2010) . ESPN Soccernet. Maradona played in all five matches without being substituted, scoring twice against Hungary, but was sent off with 5 minutes remaining in the game against Brazil for serious foul play.. Goal.com (10 June 2010). Retrieved 14 December 2012
1986 World Cup
Maradona captained the Argentine national team to victory in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, winning the final in Mexico against West Germany. Throughout the 1986 World Cup Maradona asserted his dominance and was the most dynamic player of the tournament. He played every minute of every Argentina game, scored 5 goals and made 5 assists, three of those in the opening match against South Korea. His first goal of the tournament came against Italy in the second group game.. FIFA. Retrieved 14 December 2012 After scoring two goals in the 2–1 quarter-final win against England his legend was cemented.
This match was played with the background of the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom and emotions were still lingering in the air throughout the entire match. Replays showed that the first goal was scored by striking the ball with his hand. Maradona was coyly evasive, describing it as "a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God." It became known as the "Hand of God". Ultimately, on 22 August 2005 Maradona acknowledged 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. This became known as an international fiasco in World Cup history. The goal stood, much to the wrath of the English players.McCarthy, David (18 November 2008). . Daily Record.
Maradona’s second goal, just four minutes after the hotly disputed hand-goal, was later voted by FIFA as the greatest goal in the history of the World Cup. He received the ball in his own half, swivelled around, and with 11 touches ran more than half the length of the field, dribbling past five English outfield players (Peter Beardsley, Steve Hodge, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher, and Terry Fenwick) and goalkeeper Peter Shilton. This goal was voted "Goal of the Century" in a 2002 online poll conducted by FIFA.
Maradona followed this with two more goals in the semi-final against Belgium, including another virtuoso dribbling display for the second goal. In the final, the opposing West German side attempted to contain him by double-marking, but he nevertheless found the space to give the final pass to Jorge Burruchaga for the winning goal. Argentina beat West Germany 3–2 in front of 115,000 spectators at the Azteca Stadium.
During the course of the tournament, Maradona attempted or created more than half of Argentina’s shots, embarked on 90 dribbles some three times more than any other player and was fouled 53 times winning his team twice as many free kicks as any player.. Castrolfootball.com. Retrieved 31 March 2013.Darby, James. (10 June 2010) . Goal.com. Retrieved 31 March 2013. Maradona scored or assisted 10 of Argentina’s 14 goals including the assist for the winning goal in the final, ensuring that he would be remembered as one of the greatest names in football history.