Maradonas Hand of God goal apology too late: England goalkeeper

February 2nd, 2008 - 1:43 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of David Beckham
London, Feb.2 (ANI): England goalkeeper Peter Shilton has branded Argentinean Diego Maradonas apology for his sly Hand of God goal in 1986 as too little, too late.
The 58-year-old goalkeeping great expressed his dismay over the apology 22 years on, as it put paid to Englands hopes of moving into the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Hes had so many chances to do it over the years it actually feels hollow now. The guy should have said sorry straight after the game thats what a truly great player like Pele would have done, The Sun quoted Shilton, as saying.
Shilton, who played 125 times for England, added: I think the fact our countries had just finished being at war meant he didnt want to apologise then and there. It was just a great shame because he was the best player Ive played against. But what he did changed my view of him. I think that everyone remembers him for all the wrong reasons even now.
Shilton watched helpless as Maradona punched the ball into Englands net Argentinas first goal in a 2-1 victory.
He added: Itll stay with me for ever. The first goal in that game was always going to be so important. It gave the Argentineans a psychological edge and we all knew wed gone behind to a handball it cast doubt in our minds.
If it had gone into extra time, who knows what would have happened, he said.
Shilton, who won two European Cups with Nottingham Forest, was also angry at Maradona for his attack on David Beckham yesterday.
Maradona, 47, told The Sun Becks was not a great player and there were hundreds worldwide as good as Englands former skipper.
I think its very difficult to say that a player who has got 99 caps for his country is not great. I think what he was saying was that Beckham didnt have his dribbling ability. But could Maradona have consistently hit free kicks and long passes the way Beckham did? I dont think so, said Shilton.
Shilton also backed Paul Robinson to win back Englands number one shirt and offered to help him. (ANI)

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