FIFA World Cup

A brief history of Fifa World Cup: Mexico 1986, when Maradona single-handedly led Argentina to glory

Not since Pele in 1970 had one man so inspired a team to glory.

It’s that time again! The greatest show on earth is upon us. Ahead of the Fifa World Cup in Russia, we look-back at the 20 tournaments before and the standout aspects from them.

The second World Cup in Mexico, and for the second time the tournament belonged to one man...

Mexico 1986

You have to be a certain kind of extraordinary to associate your name forever with a global tournament watched by millions. Mention Mexico 1986 and there is only one name that will pop up first in everyone’s head: Diego Armando Maradona.

As in 1970, the players had to endure searing heat and thin air – and midday kick-offs, thanks to television schedules.

The Danes, inspired by Michael Laudrup, were one of the stories of the tournament. They lit up the early stages with an attacking approach that earned them three straight wins, one over West Germany, and the nickname ‘Danish dynamite.’

The match of the tournament took place in the quarter-finals, when Zico’s Brazil faced a Michel Platini-inspired France, who had already knocked out holders Italy, in Guadalajara. A flowing match finished 1-1 before France won the penalty shootout 4-3.

Maradona, of course, established himself as the star of the tournament. Numbers will say he scored five and assisted five, but his impact on the tournament went beyond that. The Argentine’s infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal, when he punched the ball into the net, and a spectacular solo effort put paid to England in the last eight.

“That second goal was the one time in my life where I felt like I ought to applaud the opposition. I didn’t, because I was gutted, but it was undoubtedly the greatest goal I had ever seen,” golden boot winner Gary Lineker is quoted as saying by BBC.

The Fifa archive says this:

“The majesty of one of Maradona’s strikes and the notoriety of another seemed to capture the essence of a man described by France’s L’Equipe newspaper as ‘half-angel, half-devil’.”

Maradona produced more magic to see off Belgium in the semi-finals, scoring another goal to remember.

West Germany beat France in the semi-finals, just as they had four years earlier, but in the final they were quickly 2-0 down to Argentina, Jose Luis Brown and Jorge Valdano scoring. Somehow the Germans recovered. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Voller netted in the closing stages to force extra-time, only for Maradona, inevitably, to send Jorge Burruchaga through for the winner.

Not since Pele in 1970 had one man so inspired a team to glory.

Stats and trivia

  • A quote that will go down in footballing folklore as one of the most memorable, when Maradona described his first goal against England: “a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God”
  • Morocco became the first African side to survive the first round of the World Cup and progress in the tournament.
  • Maradona received the ball 60 metres from England’s goal on his way to scoring the goal of the century – and he did it in a mere ten seconds. The players he dribbled past: Peter Beardsley, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher, Terry Fenwick, Peter Shilton, Butcher again and, finally slotted the ball into an unguarded net.
  • Paraguay’s Cayetano Re became the first coach to be sent off in a World Cup for his behaviour during the first-round game against Belgium where he repeatedly encroached the pitch.
  • How about this for trivia? Julio Olarticoechea, the Argentinian, is the player with the joint-longest surname to play in a World Cup!
  • Leading goalscorer: Gary Lineker (England) – 6 goals
  • Total number of goals scored in the tournament: 132 (2.5 goals per match)

For your viewing pleasure

The final

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*THAT* goal by Maradona

BONUS: One of the most devastating World Cup performances by Laudrup and Co

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Official poster

Reuters
Reuters

With AFP and Fifa.com inputs

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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.