By Ramiro Scandolo
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – “Gooooool”, thousands of Argentines shouted in different corners of the country at 4:09 pm on Tuesday, at the exact moment when, 35 years ago, Diego Maradona scored the “Goal of the Century” against England in 22 June at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, after dribbling almost the entire rival team.
Streets and balconies in the country’s main cities joined football stadiums and people gathered around murals and monuments to commemorate the anniversary of the goal, the first after the star’s death in November, in an initiative launched a few days ago by the Football Association Argentino (AFA) for the cry “to be heard to heaven”.
“What planet have you come from to leave so many English behind, so that the country has a clenched fist screaming for Argentina? Argentina 2 – England 0”, said Uruguayan journalist Víctor Hugo Morales, in the most popular report that the AFA invited to download from its social networks and was heard again beside the horns of cars on Argentine streets.
Napoli, the team from southern Italy where Maradona shone most in Europe, Boca Juniors, Argentinos Juniors, San Lorenzo, Independiente and hundreds of other Argentine clubs joined the initiative with various celebrations in their stadiums and social networks.
The local second and third division football matches that were currently being played stopped the ball for a few moments to relive the goal. Football players, coaches and collaborators screamed in stadiums with no audience due to the pandemic and then rolled the ball again.
In La Plata, the city where Maradona ran the local club Gimnasia y Esgrima at the time of his death, fans gathered to celebrate the goal in front of a 300-metre mural that illustrates the entire game, from the beginning in the middle of the field. until the star overtook goalkeeper Peter Shilton.
Four minutes before the “Goal do Século”, Maradona also scored another popular goal immortalized as “the hand of God” in that match. In the throw, he jumped alongside Shilton and pushed the ball into the net with his left hand without the referee noticing.
After beating England 2-0 in the quarter-finals, the Argentine team beat Belgium in the semi-finals and West Germany in the final to become world champions for the second time.
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