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Maradona: Sorry ‘bout that hand-goal, mates

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The infamous scorer of the ‘hand of God’’ goal that broke the hearts of English soccer fans more than two decades ago has finally said he’s sorry. ‘If I could go back and change history I would,’' Diego Maradona told the British tabloid the Sun. His mea culpa got front-page play.

The retired football genius had never before apologized for the hand-goal that helped Argentina oust the English squad from the 1986 World Cup in Mexico City. (Click here and here to see the goal.) Instead, Maradona always insisted that ‘the hand of God’’ had intervened on Argentina’s behalf, a claim that further infuriated the English faithful. Eventual World Cup champ Argentina went on to win the match 2-1, the second score coming on a spectacular (and clean) goal by Maradona, still regarded as a classic. (See that goal here.) Maradona became a despised figure in Britain. Years later, he more or less admitted the infraction.

But there may be calculation afoot in No. 10’s drive for redemption. Maradona told the Sun he was contemplating a move to Britain and a potential coaching slot. He bombed as a coach in Argentina. But he remains an idol in his homeland, despite much-publicized problems with drugs, alcohol and obesity.

Argentine fans weren’t pleased with their man’s apology, reports Clarin.

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-- Patrick J. McDonnell and Andres D’Alessandro in Buenos Aires


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