The hand of god, or mano de dios, is the name given to the notorious goal scored by Maradona in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals, which allowed Argentina to knock England out of the competition. In the 51st minute, Maradona scored the goal with his hand, yet it was still allowed by the referee, and to this day is celebrated by the followers of the Iglesia Maradoniana (Murray 2014). After the game, Maradona famously commented that the goal was scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God” (Williams 2008). 

This goal holds enormous cultural significance for Argentinians for several reasons. Firstly, it occurred only four years after the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom, which intensified the rivalry between the two teams (Carlin 2002). Additionally, it combined the Argentinian dedication of both football and religion, with many people believing the goal itself held religious divinity.

Maradona Hand of God Goal (2008)