The world’s best in 1986

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FOOTBALL -

Diego MARADONA Ar­gentina: b. 1960 THE most gifted foot­baller since Pele, whose abil­ity for cre­at­ing head­lines off the pitch is sur­passed only by as­tound­ing per­for­mances on it.

In 1982 he was sent off for a dis­grace­ful kick on a Brazil­ian op­po­nent as Ar­gentina crashed out be­fore the semi-fi­nals.

But in Mex­ico in 1986 he was sim­ply un­stop­pable as Ar­gentina tri­umphed. An out­ra­geous hand­ball goal and a daz­zling solo ef­fort past six de­fend­ers put paid to Eng­land, and he pro­duced an­other sen­sa­tional zig-zag drib­ble in the semi­fi­nals against Bel­gium.

When West Ger­many re­cov­ered from 2-0 down in the fi­nal, it was Maradona’s first-time through-pass which set up Ar­gentina’s win­ner.

Four years later he in­spired an or­di­nary and highly-neg­a­tive Ar­gentina side to the fi­nal, fin­ish­ing it in tears as West Ger­many won with a penalty.

At USA 94 he was back, seem­ingly slim and sharp, de­spite a se­ries of drugs prob­lems, only to be sen­sa­tion­ally kicked out of the tour­na­ment af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for a cock­tail of am­phet­a­mines.

Sen­sa­tion­ally named coach of

Ar­gentina in Novem­ber 2008. Gary LINEKER Eng­land: b. 1960 CLIN­I­CAL goalscorer sec­ond only to Bobby Charl­ton in the all-time Eng­land goalscor­ing records with 48 from 80 caps. Missed chance to equal the record when he tamely chipped a penalty straight at the goal­keeper in a friendly against Brazil.

Fast off the mark and calm un­der pres­sure, he of­ten passed the ball into the net rather than blasted it. The ma­jor­ity of his goals came from close-range.

Saved Eng­land in the 1986 fi­nals when he scored a hat-trick against Poland. Fur­ther goals against Paraguay and Ar­gentina saw him fin­ish top scorer with six goals.

At Italia 90 he was cool­ness per­son­i­fied in scor­ing two penal­ties to see Eng­land past Cameroon and then equal­is­ing late on against West Ger­many in the semi-fi­nals.

Never won a do­mes­tic league ti­tle at club level. In­ter­na­tional ca­reer ended when he was con­tro­ver­sially sub­sti­tuted by then-coach Gra­ham Tay­lor in a dis­as­trous Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship in Swe­den in 1992.

Like­able, known as Mr. Clean for his record of never hav­ing been Rudi VOLLER Ger­many: b. 1960 A REAL goal poacher who was in­spi­ra­tional in West Ger­many’s sur­pris­ingly strong show­ing at the 1986 fi­nals in Mex­ico.

Not par­tic­u­larly big, but strong on the ball and su­per-ef­fi­cient at dis­patch­ing half-chances, as he showed when scor­ing late in the fi­nal against Ar­gentina to make it 2-2.

Man­aged 43 goals in 84 ap­pear­ances for West Ger­many, help­ing them to vic­tory in the 1990 World Cup in Italy with three goals in the open­ing stages.

He was then sent off against Hol­land to­gether with Frank Ri­jkaard for fight­ing, with the Dutch­man spit­ting full in Voller’s face as they trudged off the pitch.

Re­turned in time for the fi­nal against Ar­gentina, and craftily won the penalty that clinched the cup for the Ger­mans.

Man­aged Ger­many suc­cess­fully af­ter re­tire­ment, lead­ing the na­tional team to the 2002 World Cup fi­nal where they were beaten by Brazil.

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