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Yes, I am
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http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article745800.ece



Maradona: I hold my hands up

DIEGO Maradona last night issued his first ever apology for his infamous Hand of God goal — and insisted: “If I could go back and change history I would.”

The 47-year-old former Argentina ace caved in during an interview with The Sun — nearly 22 years after his handballed effort cheated England out of the 1986 World Cup.

He also revealed he was planning to MOVE to Britain, has held talks about coaching a Premier League team — and took a swipe at David Beckham.


Dad-of-two Maradona, who has just finished a four-day visit to the UK, broke English hearts during the World Cup quarter-final in Mexico.

The 5ft 5in genius dribbled past five England players to score his brilliant second goal in Argentina’s 2-1 victory.

But it was his first, palmed into the net past helpless goalie Peter Shilton, which left him a hate figure in this country.

Maradona has never before apologised for the strike — which helped Argentina go on to win the tournament.

He cheekily claimed it had been netted “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”.

Shilton, still fuming at 58, said recently: “He has never said sorry. I think for a player with his standing in the game, it was very unsporting.

“Instead of just saying it was the Hand of God, he could have owned up.”

But yesterday Maradona finally DID say sorry to England’s success-starved fans.

Smiling broadly, he said: “An English supporter came up to me this weekend, asked me for an autograph, and said, ‘You are a legend’.

“This made me very happy. Your people are so polite and kind despite the history between our countries.

“If I could apologise and go back and change history I would do. But the goal is still a goal, Argentina became world champions and I was the best player in the world.

“I cannot change history. All I can do now is move on.”

Maradona flew into Britain to visit Chelsea star Claude Makelele and the London club’s Israeli boss Avram Grant.

Talks

He also watched Manchester United play Spurs at Old Trafford in their FA Cup fourth round clash, before attending Arsenal’s Premier League game with Newcastle on Tuesday.

Maradona has never coached or played in this country, but revealed he had already held “informal” talks with advisors about taking a club post here.

Speaking through a translator, he said: “I’m looking for new opportunities — somewhere I can find a job, a position — and it is true I plan to spend much more time in England.

“There have been no formal talks and I haven’t come this week to remove managers from positions in the Premier League.

“I want to see as many games as I can here over the coming months. It is true I have had informal talks with various people about opportunities in England — but until there is a contract in front of me I cannot say any more.”

Maradona admitted he was stunned by England’s failure to qualify for this summer’s European Championships.

He went on: “At the moment there are some England players who are the stars of their club teams, but not for their country. It’s difficult to explain.

“Even during the World Cup I could see problems for England. It is a mental problem.

“Fabio Capello needs to work on their mental state — then the tactics. But the skill level is OK. For me, John Terry should be the captain, Robinson should be in goal and Aaron Lennon must play. I like his style very much.

“Under Steve McClaren there was a problem. He wasn’t a capable manager of the national team.

“It was a big mistake to drop Paul Robinson for the Croatia game. Robinson would never have made the mistakes that Scott Carson did.

“Robinson is a very good goalkeeper who has had a few problems — but strikers would have thought twice about shooting at him from long range because doubt would have entered their minds.

“With Carson they thought, ‘Who is this player’? and took shots from everywhere.”

Maradona also took a swipe at former England captain David Beckham — and love rat left-back Ashley Cole.

He added: “Beckham is a nice man and I’m sure he will reach 100 appearances for England. But he is just a good player, nothing more.
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“He has a good long-range shot, but he’s not a great player — he doesn’t belong to the superior group of players.

“There are hundreds of Beckhams playing football all over the world. As for Cole, he needs to demonstrate he can forget girls and concentrate on football.

“I thought that is why you get married anyway — to stop problems like these with girls and think about your wife.

“If he has not played much for Chelsea, it is because of his form on the pitch, not his wife.

“He needs to solve his problems off the pitch, but he cannot blame them for his performance on it.

“His wife is not on the pitch with him — nor is his mistress.”

Maradona spent more than a decade hooked on drink and drugs.

His cocaine addiction nearly cost him his life after a massive 2004 heart attack left him in a coma.

At one point, Argentinians thought they had lost their national hero after rumours spread he had DIED. But he battled back to fitness and claims he has not touched the drug for three years.

Maradona said: “When I was in hospital in a coma my daughter Dalma sat by my bedside.

“She whispered, ‘Daddy, please live for me. Please live for me’. I heard her words and woke up.

“It is my two daughters that saved my life. I realised I had lost so much of my time with them through drugs and I want to enjoy the time I have left with them now.

“I lost a lot of my footballing talent to drugs. If I had never touched cocaine I would have been three times as good a player.

“There would be no debate about who was the best footballer the world had ever seen — me or Pele. Everyone would say me.”

Addict

He added: “When I was at my worst, I would take coke with whisky constantly for three days, sleep for one day, then take coke again constantly for three days, and play a game on Sunday.

“I wouldn’t know what was going on around me, but I was still better than all the other players.

“My older daughter Dalma spent her childhood knowing her father was a drug addict.

“She is a great actress now, because she went to school every day acting like everything was OK.

“You can have no real relationships with your family if you use cocaine — you need it all the time.

“I thought about killing myself several times, but then I thought about what I would leave behind.

“It was my daughters’ eyes that helped me — that is why I am still here today.”
 

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What is Peter Shilton? About 6'4? So that is like Olivier Rochus trying to do that. Pretty impressive if you ask me.
 

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:lol: :lol: yes Diego, if you could go back and change that you would

what a load of bull :) but still a legend in my eyes, his greatest times were at Napoli playing for the mafia
 

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awww I like him :) He spent a good day down at Cobham (Chelsea's training ground) after he gave his friend Avram Grant a call asking to attend. Loads of the players had signed bits and pieces and had photos with him. Makelele and Shevchenko already knew him and they embraced - Ballack as well :) It was also very nice for our new signing di Santo to see him - you could see by his face how happy he was :)

He also took part in a crossbar hitting competition which Petr Cech lost and had to jog back to the changing rooms in just his underpants and gloves :p
 

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Why apologize for that? That goal was a classic and, besides, he was the best player in the world at the time and Argentina fully deserved the title that year.

Now, if someone steps out and admits the 1978 WC was robbed, then it will be something else. ;)
 

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RAJ KAREGA KHALSA
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I just can't picture Maradona as a coach or any type of consultant. Maybe they could wheel him out in front of the England team and say, "This is what drugs and whores do to your body!" (He does admittedly look better than he did a couple of years ago, though.)
 

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RAJ KAREGA KHALSA
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Oh, is anyone here a fan of New Order? I always wondered if their 1987 single "Touched by the Hand of God" was influenced (at least in part) by Maradona's goal. The lyrics don't mesh at all, but the title is suggestive.
 

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One of the greatest moments in sport.

No need to apologise.
 

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"This is what drugs and whores do to your body!" (He does admittedly look better than he did a couple of years ago, though.)
You mean when he would wear clothes with his belly always hanging out? lol

some great memories i have ... like him with his gun shooting the paparazzi guys outside his home :lol: and the floor collapsing him into the water when he was playing golf.
 

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http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-02/04/content_7564073.htm

Maradona denies "hand of God" apology

BUENOS AIRES, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Diego Maradona on Sunday denied newspaper reports that he had asked for forgiveness for his "hand of God" goal in the 1986 World Cup during a recent visit to England, and swore at teammates who had commented on the remarks.

"I did not ask forgiveness from England," Maradona told reporters at an Ezeiza International Airport, in Argentine capital Buenos Aires. Maradona scored the goal with a punch, illegal but not seen by the game's referee. Thanks to that goal, Argentina defeated England 2-1, knocking them out of 1986's World Cup.

On Thursday last week, British tabloid The Sun reported that Maradona had told reporters, "if I could apologize and change history I would. But the goal remains a goal. Argentina became world champion and I was the best player in the World Cup."

On Sunday in Argentina, Maradona said, "At no time did I apologize to anyone. I said you can't change history." He added that he had beaten a host of players on his way to the disputed goal.

After the match he described the unseen handball offense which beat then England goalkeeper as "the hand of God". Shilton last week rejected Maradona's alleged apology.

Maradona responded with an attack on Shilton saying, "now that's one hell of a goalkeeper. When they beat him, not even his son will greet him in the street."

"If I have to apologize to anyone it is to my daughters, my parents and all the fans of Boca Juniors, because I missed five penalties," he added.

He also went on to call "putos" (gays or male whores) Argentine soccer players who had publicly commented on the interview before he had spoken about it.

"To those who spoke before I got a chance, who were on the team in 1986 but did not know me either on or off the field, I say you are very 'putos'," Maradona told reporters.

Argentine internationals Ricardo Giusti, Julio Olarticoechea and Jorge Burrachaga had criticized Maradona's published comments.

Maradona also described the British as "very naive. They took information that did not say that. I would like you to show me the recording in English and that is what I will tell them," he added.

http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hdpTPsnalz_xRIe-cTozI_pWl4TA

Maradona: I never said sorry


Argentina legend Diego Maradona denies he has ever apologised for the "Hand of God" goal he scored against England in the 1986 World Cup.

The former playmaker said he was misquoted by The Sun newspaper as apologising to English fans for the first goal he scored in their quarter-final clash.

"I said that a long time has passed since that and that history can't be rewound," Maradona told radio station La Red. "They changed my words. I'll have to talk with the translator who was there to ask him for an explanation."

The World Cup winner, who won 91 international caps, has also repeated that he is waiting for a call from the Argentinean Football Association (AFA) for a chance to work with the national team.

"They never gave me the opportunity to work with the national team," he said.

"They told me that the doors were open for me, but they never gave me the key.

"Sadly, when you face Blatter (Sepp, FIFA president) and Grondona (Julio, AFA president) all the doors close."
 

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Diego is a brave man as he dares to acknowledge the fault he has made.
You didnt see the bottom of last page ?!


Maradona denies "hand of God" apology

BUENOS AIRES, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Diego Maradona on Sunday denied newspaper reports that he had asked for forgiveness for his "hand of God" goal in the 1986 World Cup during a recent visit to England, and swore at teammates who had commented on the remarks.

"I did not ask forgiveness from England," Maradona told reporters at an Ezeiza International Airport, in Argentine capital Buenos Aires. Maradona scored the goal with a punch, illegal but not seen by the game's referee. Thanks to that goal, Argentina defeated England 2-1, knocking them out of 1986's World Cup.

On Thursday last week, British tabloid The Sun reported that Maradona had told reporters, "if I could apologize and change history I would. But the goal remains a goal. Argentina became world champion and I was the best player in the World Cup."

On Sunday in Argentina, Maradona said, "At no time did I apologize to anyone. I said you can't change history." He added that he had beaten a host of players on his way to the disputed goal.

After the match he described the unseen handball offense which beat then England goalkeeper as "the hand of God". Shilton last week rejected Maradona's alleged apology.

Maradona responded with an attack on Shilton saying, "now that's one hell of a goalkeeper. When they beat him, not even his son will greet him in the street."

"If I have to apologize to anyone it is to my daughters, my parents and all the fans of Boca Juniors, because I missed five penalties," he added.

He also went on to call "putos" (gays or male whores) Argentine soccer players who had publicly commented on the interview before he had spoken about it.

"To those who spoke before I got a chance, who were on the team in 1986 but did not know me either on or off the field, I say you are very 'putos'," Maradona told reporters.

Argentine internationals Ricardo Giusti, Julio Olarticoechea and Jorge Burrachaga had criticized Maradona's published comments.

Maradona also described the British as "very naive. They took information that did not say that. I would like you to show me the recording in English and that is what I will tell them," he added.



Maradona: I never said sorry


Argentina legend Diego Maradona denies he has ever apologised for the "Hand of God" goal he scored against England in the 1986 World Cup.

The former playmaker said he was misquoted by The Sun newspaper as apologising to English fans for the first goal he scored in their quarter-final clash.

"I said that a long time has passed since that and that history can't be rewound," Maradona told radio station La Red. "They changed my words. I'll have to talk with the translator who was there to ask him for an explanation."

The World Cup winner, who won 91 international caps, has also repeated that he is waiting for a call from the Argentinean Football Association (AFA) for a chance to work with the national team.

"They never gave me the opportunity to work with the national team," he said.

"They told me that the doors were open for me, but they never gave me the key.

"Sadly, when you face Blatter (Sepp, FIFA president) and Grondona (Julio, AFA president) all the doors close."

I am happy that Diego didnt apology :devil:
 

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No need to apologise - every other player would have done the same in the situation. I hope Avram can persuade him to take an active role within Chelsea.
 

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Obviously Fidel is still sending his supplies of feel-good medicine.

Diego and the Sun - they were made for each other - no class at all.
 
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