Dubai: It was the 1986 World Cup in Mexico when millions of viewers watched the Argentine legend, Diego Armando Maradona, use his left hand to score against England in the quarter finals - before he struck that goal of the century.
Exactly 32 years later, nicknamed "El Pibe de Oro" or "The Golden Boy", Maradona struck again as his country’s national team were playing a do-or-die match against Nigeria in 2018 World Cup under way in Russia.
At 10 pm Dubai time, millions of football fans across the continents had their eyes glued to TV screens as they had been eagerly waiting to watch what would the dazzling and iconic dribbler, Lionel Messi, and his fellow countrymen do to save the embarrassing display they showed in their first two matches of Group D.
This time, Maradona used two hands instead of one as he pushed up his two fists and flashed his middle fingers in an unsportsmanlike and shameless celebratory gesture as his country netted their second and qualifying goal against Super Eagles Nigeria.
The retired footballer and manager, Maradona, was sitting at the stands as dozens of TV cameramen portrayed him swinging his two hands back and forth and insultingly gestured his middle fingers once his fellow countrymen scored.
Every media network broadcast, reported and aired Maradona’s abusive finger-flicking incident as he celebrated La Albiceleste’s qualifying goal that Marcos Rojo netted at the 86th minute.
Following their humiliating loss to Croatia, the 1978 and 1986 champions Argentina had forced themselves into the must-only-win game against Nigeria to qualify to the 16th round.
Meanwhile, Maradona was reported to have been infuriated and upset and launched a strongly worded criticism against the Argentine Football Association’s president Claudio Tapia.
The South American iconic footballer and 1986 Golden Ball winner, Maradona said ahead of the clash with Nigeria that he “would love” to accompany several of his former teammate winners of the 1986 squad and meet up with Sampaoli’s men and was also quoted in a televised interview saying ‘we’re going to defend our honour’.
In a move and initiative to lift up morals, show solidarity and support to his countrymen emotionally, Maradona attended his country’s two first matches and was scheduled up attend the third and crucially decisive game against Nigeria with no room for errors.
After the match, cameramen trained their lenses on Maradona - who came up with the objectionable gesture.
A global icon to millions of football fans, especially children, Maradona should have handled his celebratory gesture better!