Remembering Maradona’s sensational solo effort against Belgium at 1986 World Cup
Diego Maradona was undoubtedly the man of the tournament at the 1986 World Cup.
The diminutive Argentina captain led his side to glory in Mexico, as the South American giants ran out 2-1 winners over West Germany in the final to win the trophy for a second time.
Maradona didn’t get himself on the score sheet on the final day, but his hard work in the quarters and particularly the semis more than made up for it.
Here we look back on Maradona’s second goal against Belgium in the semi-final of the 1986 competition and revel in it’s sheer brilliance.
With Argentina leading 1-0, Maradona received the ball not far from the halfway line from his team-mate Jose Luis Cuciuffo, and immediately got to work.
Charging at goal Maradona utilised his skill, speed, and low centre of gravity to negotiate his way around four Belgium defenders en route to the goal.
The Argentine was particularly difficult to dispossess at full speed, given his ability to turn on a hairpin, so defenders were often cautious to commit themselves too soon when closing him down.
The alternative was to stand off and overload the box, which in theory would make it physically impossible for a striker to breach the area and get a shot away without seeing it blocked.
But Maradona wasn’t like most people, and after using up the space in front of him jinked the ball past the final defender before chipping it over the head of the keeper who left his goal line to close him down.
Goals like this earned Maradona the Best Player of the competition award, along with football’s biggest prize.
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