Posts Tagged ‘ World Cup ’

My Highlight of the World Cup. The John Terry Mongo Dive: Slovenia 0 England 1. Photo/Video/Gif

Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Wednesday 23rd June 2010

At the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, John Terry throws himself in front of  Zlatko Dedic’s shot. Even funnier in slow motion replay.

Photo borrowed from Daily Telegraph/ Getty Images

photograph borrowed from Daily Telegraph/PA not too sure who the photographers are.
gif stylee. thanks exile

Shuttleworth Featuring Mark E. Smith. England’s Heartbeat…. Just Remember The Pitch In December

regards to exile

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Shuttleworth Ft. Mark E. Smith ~ Englands Heartbeat.

Download Mp3 here

England V Egypt: Player Ratings. Wednesday 4th March 2010.

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GK:  Robert Green  –  Rating 6.6
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Didn’t have to do much, he got nowhere near Zidan’s shot for the goal, but that wasn’t his fault, I would have liked to have seen Joe Hart, but looks like Capello has settled on Green.
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LB:  Leighton Baines  –  Rating 6.6
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A Gary Neville of a performance (and that’s not a criticism), certainly looks capable of filling in for Cole. He was beaten a couple of  times by the Egyptian right side attack, but made up for it with his support for our attack, his deflected cross which led to Milners saved shot rebounding to Shaun W-P for England’s second.
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RB:  Wes Brown  –  Rating 6.7
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“One Expression Wes”  Wes will never be the neatest of defenders (and without Rio or Cole, England’s defence looks as clumsy as I can ever remember), but he fumbled through making last ditch stretches to stop an attack or two. He will definitely concede penalties and corners, I can see the reason why he’s there because Glen Johnson gets all manic-depressive when he has to do anything that looks like it’s approaching defending..
Wes had one very important impact in the game, he set up Shaun WP an exquisite pass leading to England’s third. I think it was the first time he really connected with the right-sided attacker, he failed to with Walcott, but he proved himself with Shaun WP. He also made forays in the first half leading to a couple of dangerous crosses, I was pleasantly surprised yesterday with how confident he was in the opposition half.
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CB1:  John Terry  –  Rating 6.4
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Big night for Big John, he was booed plenty by all those big London club fans. we all know the type, the cynical mock cockney home-county Wankers who are resident at Wembley. Seems as if the fans who don’t do what the tabloids tell them to do and want England to play in a supportive atmosphere in World Cup year got behind him as well. Fair-play on them.
How he played?, well he played only slightly worse than he normally plays which is ok I suppose, he would usually have someone real good like Rio or at club level Carvalho (who got injured playing for Portugal last night, and is a scare for Chelsea) cleaning up his big cumbersome errors and it really shows when he has not. PLUS the nations eye is really on him at the moment.
Combining this performance with his recent matches at club level AND with the impact of the Bridge affair, well.. he needs to be watched, he could crumble, he could become a liability, he may even develop the yips.
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CB2:  Matthew Upson  –  Rating 5.9
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Responsible for Egypt’s goal, his slip on the apparently awful surface allowedZidan to pick his spot, so he has a good reason, but it’s not an excuse.. (the pitch)
Upson did Upson, that’s him!, slipping and scrambling and barging. The best he ever hope to be is Dunn style defender, good at all the physical stuff but shit at the athletic and brain stuff, the Rio stuff, the Lucio stuff. What a shit pair of Centre Backs mind. can we win the World Cup without Rio? doubt it.
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MD1:  Frank Lampard  –  Rating 6.3
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I ain’t hated on Frank so much in the last year or so, he’s proved at certain times that he can hold his own at Champions League level, and I take my hat off to him for that.
Last night was a return to old-fashioned Frank, and it’s just like .. why bother?. He’s Mr. Sideways pass then run in to receive a ball from a fellow midfielder who is actually doing his job and setting up his team mate, rather than Franks crab-like passing then hauling his fat ass imagining himself to be GabrielBatistuta at his peak then striking a ball in a way which will only make Diana Ross proud. He was a real problem, and I always feel there’s this defensive gap wherever he plays too, he offers little tangible support to any defensive player who may want to support an attack (i.e. Wes Brown). I mean, we could drop him like he’s cold and start with Milner for god-sake, who do we want starting? a positive attacking and progressive player who interlinks with everyone around him or Frank Lampard who is a cloud of nothing whose main abilities are winning free-kicks by falling over and set-pieces (he was poor on his corners last night too)
I think Lampard off the pitch was the main reason we picked up and connected as a team in the second half.
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MD2:  Gareth Barry  –  Rating 7.4
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Fairly Anon. in the first half, I seem to remember him scrabbling around hauling himself over the pitch trying to get near these nippy Egyptians who we were struggling to get the ball off, which I suppose is a part of his job description. Came to life in the second half interlinking with Carrick and Gerrard and Rooney, made forays into the box grabbing the assist in a very neat first goal, very strong.. should have had shitload’s of caps by now.
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MD3:  Steven Gerrard  –  Rating 7.3
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Similar performance to Barry, came alive in the second half when as a team we played so much better. His pitch perfect ball for Barry for England’s first is typical of his ability. He seemed to be operating from the central areas and in the first half leaving the left as a place to allow Rooney to go roaming in, Ican’t say I remember him out there too much at all and only really noticed the left being attacked during the second half with support from Baines and Milner.
Over years the argument has been Can Lampard and Gerrard play together? well that question is incorrect, the question is can Lampard play with anyone? I certainly wouldn’t start him.
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MD4:  Theo Walcott  –  Rating  6.2
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Theo oh Theo oh Theo, his lack of games for Arsenal is showing now. His job in the next two months is to work harder than he can ever imagine to become a starter and make an impact in the league and CL and get himself match fit. He’s still got ALL the pace, but is lacking something in confidence and its no good and aint going to get him on the plane to SA. He looks like he’s put a few pounds on his backside, maybe its to tough him up for some of sickening tackles he will have to face from all those clubs who think its fair game to smash an opposition player who’s about 4 stone lighter than they’re lightest defender, or maybe he’s just been sat on his ass too much? it has not affected his speed that’s for sure.
Come on Arsene, do England a favour.
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CF:  Wayne Rooney  –  Rating 8.0
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The Dude, the best player on form in the World, a constant threat, he usually had three defenders on him and still found space for shots, headers, exquisite passes, and Zizou-esque touches. A Talisman screaming at his underperforming team mates in the first half (who was his moral boosting outburst aimed at?).
England’s de-facto captain. He was always going to be real good, but this year he’s gone supernova. Zinedine Zidane class. that good. Not directly involved in the goals but easily the best player on the pitch, and he’s English.
As a 35-year-old Englishman I have to say its the first time I’ve ever been able to say that.
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S:  Jermain Defoe  –  Rating 6.6
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Defoe being my preferred partner of choice for Rooney, had an average game not taking the chance and a half that came to him, he linked up well withWazza a couple of times in the bleak atmosphere of the first half, but that was all really. Cant say too much negative or positive about him on last night’s showing. It was like the Egyptians were used to playing nippy little black kiddies (oh yeah, I forgot.. Egypt have been African champions three years running – dammit).
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Sub  MD:  Michael Carrick  –  Rating 7.2 (for Lampard 46min)
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I believe the exit of Lampard and entry of Carrick to be the turning point of the game and the man reason for England’s positive performance in the second half. A laser guided foot and a modest attitude with an ability to link up confidently with all those around him whilst supporting attack and defence with a certain amount of intelligence will get him on the plane. Progressively combative throughout his career, his talent is definitely on an upward curve. Although I still don’t like seeing him slide in for the tackle as he ain’t quite mastered that without giving away a dangerous free kick or a yellow card. its like Scholesy taught him to tackle.
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Sub S:  Peter Crouch  –  Rating 8.5 (for Defoe 46min)
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Gangly streak of piss super sub Peter Crouch made the biggest shout for inclusion last night for the squad with two wonderfully taken goals. Make no mistake, if it was Torres or Drogba we would be creaming over how quick they’re feet were. Sometimes a mistake teams make when he’s in the team is to play him like a “Big Man”, this is a mistake, he’s a great striker, just play him like an average size fella. He’s never in the Rooney class of heading, he’s 9ft7inch but weighs the same as an average size player and he aint GREAT in the air, he ain’t got the muscle.
An argument remains about if he is a starter and I don’t believe he is, he’s a Solskjaer, simple as.
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Sub MD:  Shaun Wright-Phillips  –  Rating 8.2 (for Walcott 57min)
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Alongside Crouch, Wright Phillips had the biggest impact of the night with one decent assist and a fortuitous goal. Replacing Walcott, the currently high in confidence right-wing attacking display by Shaun Wright Phillips pushes him to the top of the right-sided midfielder fight for a starting place. Teaming up well with Wes Brown in particular, he proved a constant threat and got behind the Egyptian lines to cross on more than one occasion. Playing constantly at Man City with all those tasty players has had a fantastic effect on him after he seemed to stall for a few years. It seems his ability to cause trouble on the pitch for the opposition is on an upward curve.. and its nice to see.
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Sub MD:  James Milner  –  Rating 7.3 (for Gerrard 73min)
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It’s hard to make an impact in 20 minutes but James Milner did, lashing a powerful shot from Baines’s deflected cross, which was poorly punched away by the Keeper to the alert Wright Phillips for England’s second and deciding goal of the night. Combine Milners spirited and effective performances for club and country and his general form means he will be going. Most people at the beginning of the season would not have put a bet on him, what with excellent performances from Young, Walcott, Lennon etc, but injuries and bad form and his ability to grab his history has made him a dead cert.
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Sub CF:  Carlton Cole (not rated)  (for Rooney 86min)
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I’m not rating him on 10 minutes of play, that’s impossible really.
Suffice to say I think he’s going as long as he stays injure free, I hope he goes and Heskey don’t anyways. Cant say I feel too strong about it. but Heskey? its back to the days of Franky & Heskey falling over all the time to win free kicks for Becks and EEEURGGH makes me puke.
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GENERAL SYNOPSIS.
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Atmosphere at Wembley affected the confidence of our play in the first half (when will England start playing elsewhere for fucks sake), combine this with one of atoms failing to link up effectively with any of the other 11 atoms led to a disjointed display, A decent Egypt took full advantage and a deserved lead into the second half.
At half time Capello makes two changes – Carrick for Lampard & Crouch for Defoe, with instant effect, not only giving England some balance and stability but a finishing touch to some hard work by Barry, Gerrard, Carrick and Shaun Wright-Phillips
The African champions gave us a good fight and we learnt plenty..
One more thing, I do find it rather ridiculous we are not playing for 12 weeks (just before the world cup), this team needs to play, to get familiar with each other.. how else are we to beat Brazil or Spain?

work in progress.. Maradona. The Hand Of God/Mano De Dios ~ Goal Of The Century. Argentina 2-1 England. World Cup Quarter Finals. Mexico 86′.

photo courtesy of huckconcept on flickr, more photos below

Date: 22 June 1986

Match Start: (Kick-Off): 12:00 CST

VenueEstadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico.

Attendance: 114,580

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Result: Argentina 2 – 1 England

Goals: (ARG.) #10. Maradona 51′, 54′  (ENG.) #10. Lineker 80′

Bookings: (ARG.) #2.Batista (Yellow Card 60′) (ENG.) #14 .Fenwick (Yellow Card 9′)

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RefereeAli Bin Nasser (Tunisia)

Linesman 1Bogdan Dotchev (Bulgaria).

Bogdan has since criticised Nassers decision to allow Maradona’s first goal (Hand Of God), although he didn’t have the balls to speak up on the day.

Linesman 2Berny Ulloa Morera (Costa Rica)

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Match Summary:

First Half

The first half  was a tense world championship affair, with few real chances, arguably the best of which fell to the hard working Peter Beardsley in the 13th minute. Inside his own area,  keeper Pumpido fumbled a Glenn Hoddle hit-and-hope which comically hit his legs and bounced to an animated Newcastle United attacker. Beardo stole the fumbled claim, gave himself a few yards, shimmied onto his left and rather than look for the incoming Lineker or Trevor Steven, and with Pumpido hopelessly out of position, curled one in with his left foot hitting the side netting. Noted that the goal was well covered by the retreating Argentinian defence and probably would have been cleared, but it was our best chance and showed that if we can put the Argentinian defence under even a little pressure, they might crack.. as they did late on with the introduction of more creative players.

Before the interval England struggled to create anything resembling attacking football, Hoddle was kept oppressively quiet, therefore the weight fell on Peter Reid’s energetic shoulders to have most of England’s midfield time on the ball, and as great a runner as the Everton man is, when it comes to pinging off offensive balls in a creative way, it is not really Reid you want with that oh-so precious time, having said that, he was the only one of England’s flat midfield that looked like they had any energy or wherewithal, Hodge, Trevor Steven, & Hoddle all receiving a closer examination and subsequently much less time to think about stringing an attacking move together. The Three Lions midfield was concentrating so much on the mini explosions that the little number ten and his cohorts were attempting to light, that they could not find any kind of A-game and create tangible links between themselves and our two attacking players, Lineker being an utterly peripheral figure in the first half, in terms of touches on the ball.

Bilardo’s fluid tactics seemed to perplex the opposition. As an opposition, when you see two supposed Centre-Backs, Cuciuffo & Ruggeri (part of a back three) effectively supporting attacking moves, it must really mess with what you set out to do. The Argentinian coach can do this because he plays three defensively minded players in midfield (Batista, Giusti & Ruggeri), with the latter two not being unafraid to bolster an attack as well as covering absent defenders. The South Americans started to control the game early on with their short sharp crisp, energy-conserving passing game and England were set out primarily as a unit to counter the ability of their opponents to give any space for Maradona’s running and freedom of expression. The worlds greatest footballer met some tough and unsporting resistance from the men in white shirts and light blue shorts, and Argentina were clever and keen enough to exploit the English fears of fouling him and not fouling him. After a typical offensive and getting-more-dangerous-by-every-second mazy run, Steve Hodge bit the bullet and clattered into the explosive number 10 from behind, giving away a free kick providing Diego Maradona his and his team’s best chance of the half. The set piece was just to the outside left of the penalty area arc and he lifted it clean over the poorly reacting English wall, looping two feet wide of a diving Peter Shilton’s left-side post, it might have gone in if it was on target, nice technique, decent shot, best chance they had in the first half, although not representative of the overall control the Albiceleste were exerting.

Just before the end of the half Terry Fenwick was punished for a blatant off-the-ball elbow, It was an easy yellow card decision and in modern times, if seen, it would have been a red, and rightly so. The dishonesty which still exists in the game (I’m writing this 24 years after this match) still needs to be challenged out at every opportunity. What is more dishonest I ask? a professional scoring a goal with his hand?, or a player elbowing in the face a fellow colleague?, for that is what they are, workmates. One begets another, the nippy little “cheats” such as the great Argentinian number ten do not see themselves as cheats any more than the average six-foot plus defensive enforcer see their-selves as cheats. The likes of Maradona reason that because they are continualy having their head’s stoved in by galoot’s like Fenwick, they will level it out by playing the diving/cheating/conning the ref card. Cheating is part of the game, and it should never be accepted. Cheating is a destructive element within the beautiful game and we need as a football supporting community to find acceptance that kicking the shit out of the nippy little players as well as conning the ref needs to become ethically unacceptable within the idea of football, even if that cheat is cheating to the benefit of your own teams advancement.

Towards the end of this half, you see gamesmanship from both England and Argentina, we have Fenwick elbowing Maradona, we see players kicking the ball away when its the oppositions ball, we see the conning of the Ref, we see a stop-Diego atmosphere developing, nothing, despite the history books implying otherwise, is written in stone, all bets are still off .

Second Half

Within a few minutes of the re-start Diego Maradona scored the more infamous of his brace. After England’s Steve Hodge lost possession on the left wing, Argentina made six clean passes into the opposing half, finding their captain just to the outside-left of the centre circle, Maradona looked up, dribbled 15 yards, dropped his right shoulder and wrong-footed the advancing Hoddle, leaving him like he has left so many, facing the opposite direction.

The Argentinian captain surged forward, this time leaving Peter Reid who was advancing from behind with no clear tackling opportunity. Next up was Terry Fenwick. Maradona is far too quick in mind and foot for this Londoner, he skips to the right of him still dribbling, the QPR man seeing no clear chance to cleanly intercept, fails to stop him (maybe he was still thinking about that elbow he got away with). The Napoli attacker now has Butcher and Sansom ahead of him but passes to Valdano taking England’s best defender, Terry Butcher, clean out of the move.

So far, so good, typically dangerous Maradona surge, Robson’s men having been pulled all over the shop, including both centre-backs who are now behind the rapidly advancing Napoli player. Maradona continue’s to sprint towards an offside position in hope of receiving a nice one-two.

Jorge Valdano mis-controls his Captains fizzed pass and it loops up a yard or two in the air, allowing the covering Hodge to get a touch on it. In a era when passing back to the Goaly was allowed, Hodge elects to do just that. Shilton is positioned in his own goal area, twenty yards over Hodge’s left shoulder. A dodgy choice in hindsight, the clever thing to do would have been to put his foot through it, some say it was a miscontrolled clearance, but Hodge has since confirmed it was a back-pass.

The ball is looping towards Shilton, and Maradona is running clear towards the Southampton goalkeeper, his eyes fixed on the ball, that famous brain working, computing the possibilities, realizing the chances of beating Shilton would be better if he used his hand. The start of the great charade, the grand illusion.

The wee enchanter runs past the penalty spot, steps twice and leaps on the third, Shilton is slow and big and is fixed in a superman pose, stretching with the right arm. Maradona, now suspended stretching in the Aztec Stadium sunshine, legs curled up behind him, lifts his left-arm over his head, fist clenched, palm facing upwards, a foot away from his own head and a foot away from Shiltons incoming fist, the hand connects gently with the ball, just enough to take it from the keepers touch, our Thespian twists his head then his body in mid air, faux body movements to look like they were of a player who had just glanced at the ball with head. Maradona lands and turns left on the ground and watches the ball bounce towards the empty net, before the ball crosses the line the little actor has his arms aloft looking the opposite direction towards the Tunisian referee Mr Nasser, who is already ignoring the quick appealing, arms in the air pleas of Fenwick & Shilton, blowing the whistle signalling a goal.

Maradona jumps on the spot, he’s going to play this one through to the end, he starts running towards the far side touchline via the corner of the box

[rockyou id=158239415&w=426&h=320]



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ARGENTINA

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3~5~2 formation, or to be precise 3~5~1~1.

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Coach

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Carlos Bilardo (appointed 1983)

“As they say, ‘You can argue, but when the man shows up  with the World Cup, you shut your mouth’.”

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Defence

Goalkeeper #18 Nery Pumpido (River Plate)

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Central centre-back # 5: José Luis Brown (Nacional de Medellin in Columbia) ~“he was going through the best stage of his career, we revolved around him. There is no doubt about that.”

Right centre-back #9:José Luis  Cuciuffo (Vélez Sársfield), died on 11 December 2004 due to a stomach wound from a hunting accident. R.I.P

Left centre-back #19: Oscar Ruggeri (River Plate)

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Midfield

Defensive midfield #2: Sergio Batista (Yellow Card 60′) (Argentinos Juniors)

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Right-sided defensive midfield #14: Ricardo Giusti (Independiente)

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Left-side defensive midfield #16: Julio Olarticoechea (Boca Juniors)

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Midfield #12: Héctor Enrique (River Plate)

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Attacking midfield #7: Jorge Burruchaga (FC Nantes) subbed 75th minute for Tapia.

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Midfield/Attack/Free Role

. “It was my hand. I couldn’t reach the ball and Shilton was already there. I couldn’t head it so I did like that [motions] and moved my head back. I go out shouting ‘goal’ and look behind to see if the referee took the bait and he had. It was a goal.”

Attacking free-role, build-the-team-around-him midfielder #10: Diego Maradona (Captain) (Napoli)

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Attacking

Centre Forward #11: Jorge Valdano (Real Madrid)

“The team was based on a very solid architecture and, in the midst, a genius who was granted the privilege of freedom,”

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Substitute

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Midfield #21: Carlos Tapia.  (Boca Juniors) 75th minute substitute for Jorge Burruchaga.

Forward Centre #1 Sergio Almiron (Newells)

No. Pos. Player DoB/Age Caps Club
1 FW Sergio Almirón 18 November 1958 (aged 27) Argentina Newell’s Old Boys
2 MF Sergio Batista 9 November 1962 (aged 23) Argentina Argentinos Juniors
3 MF Ricardo Bochini 25 January 1954 (aged 32) Argentina Independiente
4 MF Claudio Borghi 28 September 1964 (aged 21) Argentina Argentinos Juniors
5 DF José Luis Brown 10 November 1956 (aged 29) Colombia Atletico Nacional
6 DF Daniel Passarella 25 May 1953 (aged 33) Italy Fiorentina
7 MF Jorge Burruchaga 9 October 1962 (aged 23) France Nantes
8 DF Néstor Clausen 29 September 1962 (aged 23) Argentina Independiente
9 DF José Luis Cuciuffo 1 February 1961 (aged 25) Argentina Vélez Sársfield
10 MF Diego Maradona 30 October 1960 (aged 25) Italy Napoli
11 FW Jorge Valdano 4 October 1955 (aged 30) Spain Real Madrid
12 MF Héctor Enrique 26 April 1962 (aged 24) Argentina River Plate
13 DF Oscar Garré 9 December 1956 (aged 29) Argentina Ferro Carril Oeste
14 MF Ricardo Giusti 11 December 1956 (aged 29) Argentina Independiente
15 GK Luis Islas 22 December 1965 (aged 20) Argentina Estudiantes La Plata
16 DF Julio Olarticoechea 18 October 1958 (aged 27) Argentina Boca Juniors
17 FW Pedro Pasculli 17 May 1960 (aged 26) Italy Lecce
18 GK Nery Pumpido 30 July 1957 (aged 28) Argentina River Plate
19 DF Oscar Ruggeri 26 January 1962 (aged 24) Argentina River Plate
20 MF Carlos Tapia 20 August 1962 (aged 23) Argentina Boca Juniors
21 MF Marcelo Trobbiani 17 February 1955 (aged 31) Spain Elche
22 GK Héctor Zelada 30 April 1957 (aged 29) Mexico América

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ENGLAND

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4~4~2 formation (defacto 4~4~1~1)

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Manager:

Bobby Robson.

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Defence

Goalkeeper #1 Peter Shilton (Captain) (Southampton)

In 2010, Asked whether he would shake the hand of the then Argentine national coach, Shilton, 60, said: “No, not now. In 2005, he admitted to having deliberately handled the ball, and said he knew at the time that the goal shouldn’t have stood. However, he is still not willing to apologise for what he did.”

“When offered the work on television with him, I said that I would be prepared to work with him, if he apologised for what happened, and offered a handshake. He refused, and it’s disappointing, really. That was our shot at a semi-final, and his cheating cost us.”

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Right-Back 2.Gary Stevens (Everton)

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Left-Back #3 Kenny Sansom (Arsenal)

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Centre-Back 14 Terry Fenwick (Yellow Card 9′) (Queens Park Rangers/QPR)

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Center-Back 6 Terry Butcher (Ipswich to Glasgow Rangers)

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Midfield

Midfield #4 Glenn Hoddle (Tottenham Hotspur)

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Midfield #16 Peter Reid, (Everton) (subbed in the 64th min. for attacking Midfielder #11 Chris Waddle (Tottenham Hotspur)

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Right-sided Midfielder #17 Trevor Steven, (Everton),  subbed in the 74th min for left-sided attacking midfielder #19 John Barnes (Watford)

Left-sided Midfielder #18 Steve Hodge (Tottenham Hotspur)

Looking back I wonder what I was doing on the edge of our own box. The ball spun just perfectly for me and I wanted to knock it back to Shilton. I caught it perfectly and turned round thinking “That will be Shilton’s.” I hadn’t seen Maradona run into the box. There shouldn’t have been anyone near Shilton. As I watched, the ball somehow looped over Shilton and I was thinking “Jesus have I made a mistake there?” I hadn’t seen Maradona’s hand at all, but I knew something was wrong because the ball just bobbled into the net. I hadn’t seen a hand of God. The linesman should have had the best view but in his defence, I was just a few feet away and I didn’t see Maradona handle it.

After the final whistle a couple of players wanted Maradona’s shirt. I didn’t think about it, I just wanted to get off the pitch. I just happened to be walking down our tunnel as Maradona came along the Argentinian tunnel. I tugged at my shirt. He nodded and so I did, it was pure chance. I just kept quiet and put his shirt in my bag.

and

“It doesn’t rankle because it was the biggest game in my life. It happened, I wouldn’t change it. I have seen that goal hundreds of times. Looking at it now, it was a risky back pass but if I was back there again I would have done the same.

“I did not have too much bad press, Peter Shilton got most of the wrap. It was unfair on him. I would always blame the linesman. Still it shows the current players how everything is intensified at this level — there is nothing bigger than the World Cup.

“When I think of Maradona now, primarily I think of his handball and how wrong it was but I think what a talent he was as well. That’s why that shirt is so famous, it encapsulated his character. The sly cheater and the brilliant artist all in five minutes.

“As a footballer watching him, he was a cut above all the rest. I was thankful for being put on the same pitch with him even though it cost me a World Cup Final place. Sometimes people will look to cheat in the hope they get away with it and I’m sure the same will happen during this tournament. It’s always been there and always will be.”

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Attack

Attacking Forward #20 Peter Beardsley (Newcastle United)

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Striker #10 Gary Lineker (Everton)

Before the 2006 World Cup, Lineker went to Argentina to meet Maradona. Lineker claims there was no awkwardness when the pair finally met – they hugged straight away and Maradona said, “Nice to meet you, old friend.” When they shook hands, Lineker joked, “Was that the hand?” referring to Maradona’s Hand of God goal. Maradona immediately replied, “No – it was the left.”

The 1986 World Cup Golden Boot winner said: “What can I say about Maradona, the man is a football genius. His solo effort against us was the one and only time in my whole career I felt like applauding the opposition scoring a goal. He showed some amazing individual skill.”

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Substitutes

Attacking Midfielder #11 Chris Waddle (Tottenham Hotspur) 64’th minute substitute for #16 Peter Reid.

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Left-sided attacking Midfield #19 John Barnes (Watford) 74th min. substitute for #17 Trevor Steven,

No. Pos. Player DoB/Age Caps Club
1 GK Peter Shilton 18 September 1949 (aged 36) England Southampton
2 DF Gary Stevens 27 March 1963 (aged 23) England Everton
3 DF Kenny Sansom 26 September 1958 (aged 27) England Arsenal
4 MF Glenn Hoddle 27 October 1957 (aged 28) England Tottenham Hotspur
5 DF Alvin Martin 29 July 1958 (aged 27) England West Ham United
6 DF Terry Butcher 28 December 1958 (aged 27) England Ipswich Town
7 MF Bryan Robson 11 January 1957 (aged 29) England Manchester United
8 MF Ray Wilkins 14 September 1956 (aged 29) Italy Milan
9 FW Mark Hateley 7 November 1961 (aged 24) Italy Milan
10 FW Gary Lineker 30 November 1960 (aged 25) England Everton
11 MF Chris Waddle 14 December 1960 (aged 25) England Tottenham Hotspur
12 DF Viv Anderson 29 August 1956 (aged 29) England Arsenal
13 GK Chris Woods 14 November 1959 (aged 26) England Norwich City
14 DF Terry Fenwick 17 November 1959 (aged 26) England Queens Park Rangers
15 DF Gary A. Stevens 30 March 1962 (aged 24) England Tottenham Hotspur
16 MF Peter Reid 20 June 1956 (aged 29) England Everton
17 MF Trevor Steven 21 September 1963 (aged 22) England Everton
18 MF Steve Hodge 25 October 1962 (aged 23) England Aston Villa
19 MF John Barnes 7 November 1963 (aged 22) England Watford
20 FW Peter Beardsley 18 January 1961 (aged 25) England Newcastle United
21 FW Kerry Dixon 24 July 1961 (aged 24) England Chelsea
22 GK Gary Bailey 9 August 1958 (aged 27) England Manchester United

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And some photos I borrowed…

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The Hand Of God. . .

from wikipedia..

Maradona later said, “I was waiting for my teammates to embrace me, and no one came… I told them, ‘Come hug me, or the referee isn’t going to allow it.’

At the post-game press conference, Maradona claimed that the goal was scored “un poco con la cabeza de Maradona y otro poco con la mano de Dios” (“a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”), coining the phrase “Hand of God”. Video and photographic evidence demonstrated that he had struck the ball with his hand, which was shown on television networks and in newspapers all over the world, with England manager Bobby Robson stating instead that it was ‘the hand of a rascal.’

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You have to say that’s magnificent.”


The BBC commentator Barry Davies, on Diego Maradona’s second Goal Of The Century“goal for Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup, minutes after his controversial handballed goal.

Goal Of The Century

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…and some others.


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I remember watching some footage before the World Cup, he was scoring some weird goal for Napoli, Greavsie said something like “look what we might have to face” and I shivered, knowing even then we lacked someone with thattype of character, a superman if you will, someone who would shape the future in his image.

So, as an Englishman what does Diego Maradona mean to me now?. My first impression was a childish opinion, my 11-year-old self did not know that theHand-Of-God game would drag the England Football team to the centre of one the most infamous matches in sport history, I never realised how lucky I was to have Maradona sticking it up us.

I watched powerless as the little number ten 10 our giant number 1 to the ball, and watched hopeless as the ball bounced into the net, he peeled away, something was not right, I saw, then felt it, the award-winning act, the shit eating grin, the beckoning over of his somewhat stationary slightly nonplussed what-do-we-do-now? teammates to plump the performance up, really sell it to the ref and the crowd. I did not see the hand at the time, the players were the only ones doubly sure, I saw Fenwick holding his arm running after the referee, our boys just don’t act like that unless they mean it. The reaction by our team was obvious it was hand-ball. The immediate T.V. replays seemingly made nothing clear to this young man other than

something shifty had gone on – and that it was an irreversible goal. At the time and for many years I could not forgive Maradona for that first goal or Argentina’s cheeky picking of our pockets, I never saw it as legitimate. I had no context to put this into, it was my first summer of playing football, it was in the summer between junior school and high school, it was my first fullworld cup, a peak for my fanaticism, a full Mexico 86′ sticker album, my indoctrination into the history of the game and my country’s part in it.

The country knew for sure the next morning, all the papers had that photo (below) on the front page as large as the paper itself, like a declaration of war, unbelievable!, it was like finding out a magicians secret. The level of indignation we all felt was unifying, it gave us a glorious smug defeat. The picture of that Argentinian Artful Dodger reaching for the sky, left arm above head, knees bent (eyes closed as if to make the lie that bit more believable for himself) and Peter Shilton with his Superman charade was stuck on the wall above the stairs for a few months afterwards. I wanted and needed revenge, the anger and the hate taught me a good lesson for when revenge came with Maradona’s later misgivings in his career and in his private life, it didn’t feel good, it felt like the world was taking the piss out one of my childhood memories, someone who shaped the world in his image.. stay away from him .. leave him alone.. you aint fit to talk about him in that way you fucking scumbag giggling square boring cock sucks.When Maradona scored the  ‘Goal Of The Century‘ second goal, in his and his country’s mind, he was making up for the cheekyness of the first. He blew us away, he was never gonna be remembered just for that hand ball never. By pure force of will he swept past our boys with the ball stuck to his toe with a short piece of elastic. I and my country and our players were the victim of the closest thing to a supernatural presence I have witnessed, an immovable unbeatable force, just pack up admit defeat and go home. Robson’s England didn’t give up though, they made a fine fist of it after John Barnes came on, and Lineker (What a dull BBC pious bore he’s turned out to be) got his golden boot with ten minutes to spare to make it 2-1, and should have scored an equalizer (how did he not?). I cried when we lost I’m sure.

The Boy me had no understanding of any political background surrounding the game, barely understood anything about the Falklands War (Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur).. never understood what it meant to a people to lose a war (almost a thousand dead on both sides), I never understood that the way the Argies beat us must have been so much sweeter for them. Not only did they (he) thumb they’re noses at us with a stolen goal, but they (he) scored ‘The Goal Of The Century’ too, just to prove how superior they were to us (at least on the football pitch). Respect you know? Hats off and that

yes I “get” it now.

Now I sit here as a soon-to-be 35-year-old man I look back and admire Diego so much. To all those pricks under the age of 45 who say Pele was the greatest?, well they’re immediately chatting SHIT, they never would have experienced the peak Pele, they’re just saying what they’re told to say by they’re daddies or by the idiotic press. I want some of my heroes to be crazy, flawed genius, prostitute-fucking, coke-snorting, mafia-associated, opinionated-shit kickers, and when I see a fat Maradona or a Diego with health problems, I just want to sit with him and have him laugh and tell me all the crazy shit he got up to over the years…

and thank him.

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Schumacher & Battiston. Seville. 1982.

First memory of Football was the collision between West German goalkeeper Harald “Toni” Schumacher & the French defender Patrick Battiston at the 1982 World Cup semi-final played in the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, the home of Seville Football Club. I was 7 years old, I would have been watching the T.V. from Bristol in England.

heres some video of the incident I pinched from youtube

Hooked like a fish, The drama of a prone Battiston on our telly, seemingly dead (He’s dead, he’s fucking killed him), watching Schumacher wave it all away like everything was ok (Battiston had teeth knocked out, damaged vertebrae and was fast slipping into a coma) watch Battiston reach the ball ten yards before the German, watch the German turn his hip in mid-air and smash it into the Frenchman’s head.

Hands over mouths over Europe, foreheads wrinkled, eyes bulged, jaws dropped, the French milling around the horizontal defender beckoning the physio to rush, I would have joined in with that collective moment that communities have every now & again, Mum telling Dad to turn it over to stop us from witnessing, the kids watching the telly like they have just seen murder.. The crime made even worse by the lack of any penalty/free kick/punishment. The Germans eventually winning on penalties, and the righteous indignation from all. Glorious defeat for Platini’s France.

The reaction of my family made me remember, like when you ask someone what there earliest memory is, often its a fall or a cut or a burn, this was my traumatic first memory of the beautiful game, contemporary footballers and football experiences are doomed to live up to my memories of football from 82 to 90, of Platini, Giresse, Zico, Rummenigge, Maradona, Rossi, Screaming Tardelli, Lineker (when he was cool).. eternal summers, street football from morning until moonlight…

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