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Legendary England shot stopper recalls Maradona’s “Hand of God”

Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal “lacked sportsmanship” and could have been avoided by better refereeing, according to legendary England goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

Shilton, who was in goal for the 1986 clash between England and Argentina, was on the receiving end of two Maradona goals which put the South American team through to the semi-finals and eventually World Cup glory.

“Maradona was never remorseful or apologetic after the match,” he said. “People say he has admitted it, but it was such a massive moment and he should have taken responsibility after the game because he was the captain. That is the only reason I would not have shaken his hand; because I don’t think he is a sportsman.

“The referees didn’t see anything at that game, such as Glenn Hoddle getting tackled around the waist. I blame the referee and the linesmen because that is what they are there for. We were let down by the officials.”

England legend Peter Shilton is the most capped player in England history with 125 appearances and three World Cups under his belt. His last competition though at Italia ’90 featured the dreaded penalty shootout against West Germany.

The Nottingham Forest legend dived right four times but the penalties were perfectly placed and led to the Three Lions’ elimination in the semi-finals.

However, there were more bad memories from that year: “I was a bit sad when I heard that Bobby Robson thought about bringing Dave Beasant on the semi-final as there was no inclination that that was ever going to happen.

“I took that a bit of an insult actually and that is the only thing I am disappointed about Robson.”

The Leicester City veteran also believes that if the Three Lions find themselves in another shootout they should remain positive, confident and single-minded.

The former Southampton man argued that England goalkeeper Joe Hart’s experience in shootouts could prove to be helpful and that he needs to be focused and show ‘bottle and nerve’ if it goes down to penalties.

England’s most capped player Peter Shilton was speaking at Betfair’s Perfect Penalty Masterclass, teaching football bloggers how to take the perfect penalty ahead of the World Cup in Brazil.

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