By Alberto Lettieri
That June 22 was not another day.
The National Team faced none other than England in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. But it wasn’t just a soccer game. The patriotic press had been responsible for presenting the meeting as a kind of revenge for the Malvinas War. A war that the official discourse tried to make invisible, but that reappeared every so often in the memory and feelings of all Argentines.
Maradona scored “the goal of all time” against England.
Maradona scored “the goal of all time” against England. Argentine society watched its future with concern. Far away, at 7,504.43 kms., an opportunity for revenge loomed.
“El Diego”, Bilardo and the other boys of the National Team were the heroes of flesh and blood in whom an entire society placed its expectations of going out to fight destiny, of getting a symbolic revenge for the sacrifice of the “kids of the war”.
The tension in the stadium was cut with a sheet of paper. No one experienced the show, neither there nor here, as what it really should have been: a football match.
“The hand of God”, work of Maradona.
“The hand of God”, work of Maradona. Then came the most virtuous goal in history.
“El Diego” had just brought the English to their knees. With mischief first, with genius and skill later.
The British discount in the 81st minute only added more tension and increased the epic of the feat, until the final whistle of the referee generated a wave of uncontrollable enthusiasm. An indescribable joy that our people long deserved.
Like never before, a sports result moved the popular imagination
. Not just then, but ever since and up to the present. Not by chance, in 2020 it was decided to change the date of Footballer's Day, which until then had been celebrated on August 14 – in tribute to Ernesto Grillo's goal in Argentina's 3-1 victory (again) over England on May 14. from 1953-, to June 22, for Diego Maradona's second goal against the English in Mexico 1986.
Historian and doctor in History from the University of Buenos Aires, he was a member of the Manuel Dorrego Institute of Argentine and Ibero-American Historical Revisionism.