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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Oisin Doherty

Irish fans vote Diego Maradona 'Hand of God' goal most iconic World Cup moment in history

Irish fans have declared that Diego Maradona's goal against England is the most iconic moment in World Cup History.

A study conducted by betting company Ladbrokes finds that over half the people involved in the survey believe that Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal is the most famous World Cup moment.

The goal, which saw Maradona leap into the air and the fist the ball over the head of England Peter Shilton in the quarter-final of the 1986 World Cup, has become one of the most infamous moments in the history of the sport. Argentina went on to win the match 2-1, with Maradona scoring a stunning solo goal before Gary Lineker scored late on to give England a chance.

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Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' tops list of controversial World Cup moments (Bongarts/Getty Images)

That game has gone on to become one of the most famous games in football history. Maradona was at the fore, with his first goal being the most controversial ever, while his second goal, which saw him dribble past half the England team before rounding Shilton, has been dubbed 'The goal of the Century' such was its quality.

A whopping 51% of respondents deemed Maradona's moment of devilment to be the most enduring World Cup image. In second place came Zinedine Zidane's 'headbutt' on Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final. In his final ever game, the Legendary French midfielder was shown a straight red card, and had to walk past the famous gold trophy on his way down the tunnel.

In third place came two men that have been in the headlines lately. Taking 11% of the vote, Cristiano Ronaldo's wink to the Portuguese bench after Wayne Rooney was sent off for England in the 2006 quarter-final is just as controversial now as it was at the time.

Rooney, who entered the tournament as a major fitness doubt and never played his way into form, was deemed to have stepped on Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho just after the hour mark. Ronaldo came rushing in and pleaded with the referee to brandish the red card, which referee Horacio Elizondo duly delivered.

Rooney and Ronaldo were Manchester United teammates at the time and there was massive media interest in their relationship. While the pair mended bridges, the duos relationship has taken a cold turn in recent days with both Rooney and Ronaldo taking shots at each other over the past week.

Ronaldo got the better on that occasion and he will be delighted to know that Irish fans have also voted Ronaldo to be the greatest player of all time. In the same Ladbrokes study, 29% of fans names Ronaldo to be the best ever. In second place was Pele with 28%, with arch-nemesis Lionel Messi lagging behind in third place having received 26% of the vote.

Most iconic World Cup moment in history

51% Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in 1986

12% Zinedine Zidane’s straight red card at the 2006 World Cup final

11% Cristiano Ronaldo’s wink after Wayne Rooney received a red card in 2006

8% David Beckham getting sent off against Argentina in in 1998

7% ‘Queen Wags’ such as Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole receiving more media coverage than the England players at the 2006 World Cup in Germany

7% Mario Gotze’s 113 th minute World Cup winning goal in 2014 for Germany

5% Paul Gascoigne’s tears after being booked at the World Cup semi-final in 1990

Best Footballer of all Time

29% Cristiano Ronaldo

28% Pelé

26% Lionel Messi

18% Diego Maradona

***(Empathy Research surveyed 1000 Irish football fans, commissioned by Ladbrokes)***


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