Former England striker Gary Lineker praised the late Diego Maradona as “arguably the greatest of all time” on Wednesday, but could not resist a reference to the Argentine’s infamous “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup.
Maradona’s spokesman announced that the soccer player had died at age 60 and President Alberto Fernández immediately announced three days of national mourning in the South American country.
The player was the inspiration behind Argentina’s triumph in the 1986 World Cup. However, he called the first of his two goals against England in the quarterfinals as the “Hand of God” after he struck the ball over it. goalkeeper Peter Shilton.
Lineker was a member of that team and also scored in the match as Argentina advanced 2-1. “They report from Argentina that Diego Armando Maradona has died,” he tweeted. “By far the best player of my generation and possibly the greatest of all time. “After a blessed but troubled life, I hope I will finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego “
Some of Lineker’s seven million followers criticized him for the tweet. “This is not the time to play word games,” one tweeted to which Lineker responded, “Don’t be ridiculous. He is sincere. “