The two goals are perhaps as famous as each other – the first fabled for its audacity and guile, the second for its brilliant, breathtaking skill.
Just four minutes separate Diego Maradona’s two memorable contributions at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca 36 years ago, and together they typify Argentina’s flawed genius and beloved footballing icon.
“The Hand of God” – when Maradona rose above England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and punched the ball into the net – needs little introduction to football fans of any era, while his slaloming run through the heart of England’s defense moments later was voted the Goal of the Century.
It comes as little surprise, then, that the match ball from that day in Mexico City – now deflated and faded in places – is expected to fetch up to $3.3 million at auction on Wednesday.
“Without a doubt, it’s the world’s most famous football,” Terry Butcher, who captained England during the 2-1 defeat against Argentina at the 1986 World Cup, tells CNN Sport.
Even being in the presence of the ball, as he was at Wembley Stadium in London ahead of this week’s auction, brings back uneasy memories for Butcher.
It’s a reminder of how he remonstrated with Tunisian referee Ali Bin Nasser after Maradona’s first goal, and of how he tried in vain to stop the second with an outstretched leg.
“It’s really weird to be in the same room as the ball, it’s difficult to explain,” Butcher adds. “It’s quite surreal in many respects … That ball – it’s the biggest injustice the world’s ever seen when it comes to football matches.”