Diego Maradona has welcomed an increased use of technology in football but scoffed at suggestions VAR would have denied his iconic ‘Hand of God’ goal at the 1986 World Cup.
During a quarter-final clash between Argentina and England in Mexico, Maradona famously used his hand to knock the ball beyond goalkeeper Peter Shilton and open the scoring in a match that eventually finished 2-1 to the South Americans.
He explained after the match he scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God” – giving the goal its name – and admitted to fearing it would be disallowed by referee Ali Bennaceur.
Asked by Omnisport what would have happened if VAR, which will be used at the World Cup for the first time this year, had been used to chalk off the goal, Maradona said: “Nothing. I would play against the VAR!”
But the legendary forward is otherwise supportive of additional assistance for referees.
“I think there must be technology in football,” he added, speaking courtesy of Hublot. “And football can’t be disconnected from technology because it is everywhere.
“I think VAR is something really good because it reflects what happens on the field. It is not just about recognising a goal or an offside.”
Maradona’s second of the match, which saw him beat six men on his way to putting Argentina two in front, became known as the ‘Goal of the Century’.
“I think the second goal is the one everyone dreams of since we were children,” he commented.
“I can say this for sure because it is a dream that became a reality and that’s why I celebrated so much.
“I think the whole country celebrated and remembers that.”
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