Forums / The Terrace: Casual Footy Banter
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The Hand Of The Devil
Peteko 5 years ago
25 years ago

I watched this game in a ridiculously small black and white TV in Tirana, Albania. I was rooting for England but I was left in awe of Maradona. His magic moments turned into goals.

I didn't want to believe at first, but then it was obvious that he had cheated. I was too young and sensitive and with a strong sense of justice so I never forgave him about it.
Now, 25 years later, I don't care much about it, but in my eyes he will never be the greatest player of all times
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
He never was the greatest in my eyes, probably better than pele, but that's it.
Messi's more destructive than maradonna, and both of them only had one foot, so I think theres better players around than maradonna, who played the game in the right spirit
Tomthedon (Arsenal) 5 years ago
1994 World Cup - sent home after 2 games because he was up to his eye-balls in drugs. Another reason why he's not
JulioFC (Inter Milan) 5 years ago
He was also on crack when he was on Barcelona. What a disgrace. One world cup with 2 famous goals and life long drug problem doesn't make you the greatest. He is literally the most over rated player in the history of the game
Rockerr (Liverpool) 5 years ago
He might be cheat, he might be a drug addict but it cannot overshadow what he has done as a footballer. He made Napoli to win their 2 league titles admist Milan domination. Isn't that a very big achievement? Maybe for brits he isn't the greatest player in the world but he is definitely the best player ever played
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
I can agree with that rockerr, as george best once said, people will forget all the other crap and remember the football, I have a t shirt with that on it.
And no doubt maradonna was an amazing player, but he tainted his image a lot more than best ever did, and cheated
Donnchadh (Liverpool) 5 years ago
Certainly his skill is undeniable and the other stuff will be forgotten in the long run. Except for the hand of god, that will always be remembered and many will never forgive him for it.
His ability was one of a kind though, he did things that no one had ever thought possible before and gave birth in many respects to freestyle football. I don't think he is the greatest ever, but he is up there. Di Stefano, Cruijff, Charlton, Dalglish were all complete, intelligent, balanced players natural born leaders who lead lives conducive to playing football. Garrincha, Best, Maradona just had immense, unbelievable talent, natural born footballers and they rode that out, giving us some of the best moments in football and all of them changing the game having a unique and different approach to taking on players, setting up teammates and scoring goals. They had crazy lifestyles, two of them have past, I think Maradona would tell you he's lucky to be alive, where as all those above are still alive. All of them are legends, just different styles, and that's what is so compelling about Maradona is his style, and he is Argentina's prodigal son because he more than any other player in history had more influence on his team winning a world cup
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
You are dead wrong Julio. Life long drug problem doesn't make you the greatest. But the numerous dribbles, awards, goals, talent makes him one. Anyway, drugs doesn't makes you skip past players at will.

He's a tainted superstar of football no doubt. But what is it so different about him compared with so many other people? Tony Adams a former alcoholic. Gentile hacks and torture people for fun on the field with no consequence(he's crazy), Half the Chelsea squad are sex addicts. Giggs F, ed his bro's wife. Ferdinand skipped drug test. Stam, Couto, Davids are tested positive for nandrolone. What are these? Human. Footballers are not saints. I don't expect them to be. Although as a public figure they ought to do much better, but what can we do? To err is to be human.

Attitude. Yeah, Maradona's a bitch with his arrogance, whether on field or off it. But hey, so do CRonaldo. Maradona loves nightlife off the pitch, I can't point out how many millionaires footballers who loves nightlifes including Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. So what? Are they f****d?

What Ronaldo did on the pitch, such as winning the Ballon D'Or and scoring 40 league goals in La liga in one season certainly sets him out as one of the best. He dives like a girl. So what? Does that take away what he achieved? Ronaldinho shined for 2 bright years as the world's top, did anyone take that away from him? So what makes Maradona an overrated player? Have you even watched him played? Have you watched him take the crunching tackles given to him at all cost? Like the one Ramos tried to give to Messi at the first Classico(where he didn't bother with the ball, just the legs)? Have you watched him take on Andoni Goikoetxea? This are the things that people forget. People tends to remember the things they don't like about him and blow it like he did nothing else.

Messi as a human being is much better than him, probably more talented and possibly already surpassed him, but Maradona did much more than a lot of players who stayed in one culture on team and one country. Pele boasted he scored 128x goals. Mostly against who? Nonexistent defenses (they play 2 defenders back then even the fullbacks were not defending....)? Best made his name in MU, where else? Beckenbauer is the emperor in Germany, where else? All these greats has their critics as well. Players who shifted cultures like CRonaldo, Di Stefano, Zidane, Cruyff, and Maradona changed culture and conquered wherever they have been. They left a trail of greatness and history wherever they go. They changed the clubs and its style they have been. Maradona led a provincial side who has never won Serie A to 2 titles. Much like Brian Clough's Forest, it was unbelievable to do it against the bigger and richer clubs, and not once, proving that they are no flukes. How many of the afore mentioned superstars can do that for a side like Napoli? Defeating teams made up of Superstars like Juve and Milan? And did it when Italian football is undisputed best at the time? Even Milan's success came after Sacchi's revolutionary tactic coupled with tons of superstars.

Even when he cheated, the whole world take notice. Henry cheated for France. Korea hacked their way to Semi final 2002 when Byron Moreno was bribed (no by Korea of 'cause). But who takes that away from them?

Barring Cruyff, Di Stefano, and perhaps Zidane, I doubt there's another person who can write football's history so colorfully for so many cultures, countries and fans. Messi still haven't do it for his country, but are we gonna' take it away his right as the greatest of our era? Di Stefano never did anyway, he even ditched Argentina for Spain.

So where's the stand in saying he's overrated? I hadn't intend to start writing this much, I didn't even intend to participate in the argument because mostly I know people like thread starter likes to pin-point on his misdemeanor rather than his achievement. But for someone to just slam his achievement away writing him off just pissed me right off
Tomthedon (Arsenal) 5 years ago
I wouldnt say he is over-rated, theres no doubt he's one of the best in history. But to be THE best, you have to have the whole package. Theres no point being a great player but also being a complete dick.

He scored a goal with his hand and took performace enhancing drugs on the pitch, and got into all sorts of trouble off it. Unless you condone cheating and that type of behaviour, he can never be the best
LumpOfCelery (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Applause for juno
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Tom, he's ban for Cocaine and Ephedrine. Hardly performance enhancing by any means. And those incidents happens after he reached the top. Giggs best performance comes before he f****d his bro's wife, you think that people discount that away from him? So before he was found out, he was in ppl's eye as one of the best, and after that he's a sick bastard but not one of the best? Really?

I don't condone cheating. Neither do I do drugs. But this kind of things do happens. If one day, ppl starts to proclaim CR7 as the best ever and his critics will starts saying he cheated his way around by diving like a girl. And if he happens to test positive for nandrolone late in his career, then ppl will say he cheated when he scored 40 goals.

What is the whole package? Competition to being a saint in football? He WAS the complete article. He has the gift from god to play football in the best ever way, he can pass, he can shoot, freekick goals, direct corner goals, unbelievable goals, unbelievable defence splitting passes. You name it, god given it. And he's so f*****g complete that even the Devil gave him some of his gift, that he rolls, he cries, he pumped a ball with his fist into the goal more than once(yes, in case anyone doesn't know, he did it more than once in his life.), he got into fights, he took drugs, he is arrogant, he is stupid, and loads of others. How complete can you get? Be like Pele? Best or Cruyff? Are they the best of human beings? Doesn't Best drink? How many times do Cruyff need screwed his country because of his ego? Pele? Really? 1283 goals? Senile?

For his Hand of God goal, I say he cheated. But there's no denying his place as one of the world's best ever.... Just because he screwed england. Ronaldo screwed England with just one WINK of the eye. Beckam screwed England with just a flick of his leg. And England screwed themselves always by proclaiming they can win a tourney before booted out at quarters
Peteko 5 years ago
Juno, thanks for your passionate posts.
I really don't mind his drug-use and lifestyle. I am not that kind of person who lecture people on what to do. If Maradona, banged, blew and played in the same time, kudos to him for he truly lived life in full. But if you run faster than the other players because you took something, that's not exactly living the life and it sounds to me like cheap cheating. Maybe he never did it in the 80s but many things in his behavior leads me to think of it. I can't help it.
Yes, I do have a problem with bitchiness. He annoyed me then and he annoys me now. This too has nothing to do with what I think about him as a football player. Unlike many football players that I like to meet and bother like most fans like to do, I don't care about meeting him or watching his face off the pitch.
And no, I don't think he is grateful that he survived unlike Best and others. There is not a modicum of humility in his behavior. As a manager of Argentina, I liked that he chose to play open and beautiful football, but I hated the way he comported himself and that certainly wasn't someone who thought he had been given a second chance in life. In contrary, he looks as if he still takes everything for granted.

I still think he was a great player and often a spectacle to watch. But I still wouldn't want him in my team, spectacle and titles be damned
Donnchadh (Liverpool) 5 years ago
Haha Juno those were awesome posts man, I could feel the passion through my screen I would agree that what he did on the pitch puts him up there as one of the greatest of all time, his skill is Sublime to say the least. He must have been a treasure to watch play live, watching footage of the 86 WC he is just eons above anyone else on the pitch. And his accomplishments for Napoli are huge, the fans didn't seem to care about his attitude or about his partying because he won titles. He had adversity in his life, but his football always spoke for itself.

The cheating, hey he did it, but he then also scored one of the greatest goals in the history of football, you can't say they didn't deserve to win that game. It's filthy what he did, but Luis Suarez did something similar last year, Liverpool fans don't seem to care. Ireland should have been in the WC Henry cheated, there was an uproar, but now it seems people have basically forgotten about it, there was no replay for Ireland. Unfortunately it is a part of the game, and diving isn't any better but people don't make a huge fuss about that, being from the US it is one of the few things we could claim in the football world "never dive" than Jones got a player sent off for a horrendous dive against Jamaica *sigh* sad. So I don't think it takes away from Maradona's legacy, in fact it helped to propel his legend, for all the wrong reasons, but when you hear Maradona you think of the hand of god, and unbeliavable juggling skills

The epinephrine I am not sure about, certainly adrenaline would help you in sports, that is definitely a premeditated attempt to get ahead. And in a sport like football where performance enhancing drugs are really rare and have no place it seems worse than something like baseball, who thankfully are trying to right that wrong that tarnished the sport for too long. That being said, there are probably millions of people with allergies who carry epi pens around the world.

For each his own I guess is the lesson. When it comes to his football, Maradona is a legend in my eyes and one of the greatest ever, his influence can't be understated. As a person, not a saint, but that shouldn't take away from his football. If we would hold everyone to that high standard, there would be a revolution and over the half the world's politicians would be kicked out unfortunately it's not the case
Tomthedon (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Yes - he is one the best players that has ever lived. I couldn't possibly begin to take that away from him, he was sensatonal.

No - he is not, and will never be, the best. You even said it yourself, he's cheated. Ephedrine is a stimulant and a concentration aid, so yes it is a performance enhancing drug in the eyes of the WC comitee atleast and he was promptly thrown out. And with regards to your Ryan Giggs comparison, I really couldn't care less what players get up to off the pitch aslong as it does not affect their on pitch performace. Maradona ran up $70, 000 worth of fines at Napoli for missing games and training sessions, more than likely a direct result of his cocaine addiction. And after a YEAR BAN from football he became too much of a liability for Napoli. All the while Giggs can have multiple affairs, turn up to training AND play well. He truely is the modern day, multi-tasking footballer.

While you may argue his off-pitch behaviour didn't affect his on-pitch performance, you would be completely correct. Mainly because A) he didn't turn up or be) he was banned. As a fan of football, this is unforgivable. If I supported Napoli during his time there I would be royally pissed off, he did some truely marverlous things at the club but decided to ruin it.

No matter what form the cheating took, a handball or drugs, a player who has been so openly caught cheating can never be the best. Lest you pave the way for more cheaters.

In my eyes anyway.

Ps. 'Just because he screwed England'. Wrong. I have not mentioned England atall. It is the cheating we are concentratin on, the oppostion is circumstantial. Just because I support England does not mean I immediately despise every talented player that may have done England some wrong. So please, don't be so judgemental and rude
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
"off-pitch behaviour didn't affect his on-pitch performance"

To your point, if you wanna look at someone who's off-pitch actions affected his on-pitch performance, you had Ronaldinho. If you supported Napoli during this period, you would still see him as the saviour regardless of how he exit. No one else come close to leading them near Scudetto ever since. Maradona is probably hated everywhere in Italy bar Naples. -

I accept your stand for what you see. I don't force anyone and everyone to agree with everything I wrote.

"He scored a goal with his hand"
The England issue is a clear cut one for most guys who criticize him. And you mentioned it yourself with the quoted statement. The second one is his never ending drug problems. So I'm not being judgmental and rude when I point out that. If you felt annoyed, we can sort this out on meebo. It was not meant to insult you because I don't know and don't care if you are an England fan. That statement is meant for everyone who support england and thinks the handball screwed them out of the world cup. And the point is still talking about cheating. Lots of countries got screwed because some players 'cheated'. Suarez and Henry. Why don't anyone start writing a thread with a picture of their famous handballs instead? Because the issue is with Maradona, not the handballs, not the cheating
Tomthedon (Arsenal) 5 years ago
I mentioned it because you used it as a point of arguement. As if my belief that Maradona is not the best is history is soley based on the fact that he 'screwed' England, which it is not. He has a long list of unfavourable traits.

With regards to Suarez and Henry I imagine there a serveral threads regarding their incidents. What all three of them have done is cheating (no quotations - handball is definitely cheating) and they are as bad as each other. But as far as I know, neither Suarez nor Henry have had their performances hampered by their off-pitch vices and neither have been thrown out of a World Cup for using performance enhancing drugs.

Just so we're clear, he is undoubtedly one of the best in history, just not THE best
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
I'm okay with that. To each his own
Peteko 5 years ago
Juno, I was rooting for Juve, so he and Napoli were quite an annoyance. Lol.
If I remember correctly, Juve were on their way down and Milan were in their way up (but not there yet). Napoli stroke lucky in one of the most drab Italian seasons of the 80s.
Maradona was also said to have had connections with the local mafia in that time. Probably just a rumor, but notoriety gives legitimacy even to the craziest scenarios.
His partner in Napoli attacking force was an Italian player Carnevale. He too was caught at some point using drugs and was suspended from football.

I think Napoli were given a free pass in a league where the big boys are always accused of running the show.

(I just checked the stats before hitting the post button. Maradona was the best scorer of Napoli in that season with only 10 goals. It gives you an idea. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that it is an unforgettable season for all Napoli fans and maybe others as well.)
Peteko 5 years ago
Yes, I'd like to be on the record too on this. Lol. Yes, he was one of the best. Top 10 for sure. Top 5 maybe. But not the best in history. And yes, I have no problem with those who think he is the best. We live and relive the same events in different ways. No point in arguing with that. Someone's villain is someone else's hero. And not just in sport
Peteko 5 years ago
By the way did you guys read the most recent controversy coming from him. He was quoted again talking against Pele, by badmouthing Neymar. But maybe he didn't, because he denied it later and even said a few words that Messi will not be pleased to hear.

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