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Maradona cleverly disguised 'Hand of God' goal, says Shilton

·2-min read
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(Reuters) - Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton says Diego Maradona tried to disguise the handball that secured the infamous Hand of God goal which helped Argentina knock England out of the 1986 World Cup but did not expect his effort to stand.

Maradona died aged 60 after suffering a heart attack at his home in the suburbs of Buenos Aires on Wednesday, less than a month after his 60th birthday.

The striker's goal in the 2-1 victory over England, when he punched the ball over Shilton, has rankled with England fans ever since and the goalkeeper never forgave Maradona even though he did acknowledge him as one of the game's greats.

"It's happened before and it'll probably happen again. If a striker knows he's not going to get the ball he takes a chance... He doesn't lose anything," Shilton told Sky Sports.

"But it was quite clever because he flicked his head at the same time. He has a very quick football brain and he knew what he was doing... I don't think he expected to get away with it but he did.

"It's the worst feeling ever. As a team we went, 'We can't believe that'. World Cup quarter-final... everyone else in the stadium saw it and they (the officials) were the only ones who didn't. It was poor refereeing."

Maradona struck again four minutes later with arguably the greatest goal ever scored at a World Cup after dribbling his way past half the England team, but Shilton said the Argentine's first goal was the one that mattered.

"It was a signal really, because it was the first goal in a tight game. When he cheated, a lot of the players as well as me complained... I was chasing the referee. But it stood," Shilton added.

"Later, I think it was a foul again for us before the ball broke to Maradona, the referee didn't give it and the rest is history."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar and Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Ken Ferris)