FIFA World Cup 1986 The Maradona Show and Mexico’s Magnificence

The FIFA World Cup 1986 held in Mexico is etched in football history as one of the most memorable tournaments ever. From stunning goals to controversial moments, this edition of the World Cup had it all. Let’s delve into the details of what made the FIFA World Cup 1986 such an iconic event.

FIFA World Cup 1986 Final

Setting the Stage: Mexico as Host

Mexico was chosen as the host nation for the 1986 World Cup, marking the second time the country had the honor of staging this prestigious event (the first being in 1970). The decision to host the tournament in Mexico was influenced by several factors, including the country’s passion for football, its suitable infrastructure, and its geographic location which allowed for convenient scheduling of matches across time zones.

Format and Participants

The 1986 World Cup featured a total of 24 teams, which were divided into six groups of four teams each for the initial group stage. The top two teams from each group advanced to the knockout stage, which culminated in the final match to determine the World Cup champion.

Memorable Matches and Moments

Maradona’s Magic

One of the defining narratives of the 1986 FIFA World Cup was the exceptional performance of Argentine superstar Diego Maradona. Widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Maradona’s brilliance was on full display throughout the tournament.

In the quarterfinal match against England, Maradona scored two of the most famous goals in football history within the span of just four minutes. The first goal, famously known as the “Hand of God,” saw Maradona use his hand to punch the ball into the net, escaping the notice of the referee. The second goal, however, was a testament to Maradona’s incredible skill and agility, as he dribbled past five English players before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper.

Mexico’s Heroics

As the host nation, Mexico also left a lasting impression on the 1986 World Cup. Led by their charismatic captain Hugo Sanchez, Mexico advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in their history. Sanchez’s goal-scoring prowess and leadership on the field endeared him to the Mexican fans, who passionately supported their team throughout the tournament.

The Battle of Santiago

The group stage match between Chile and Italy, dubbed the “Battle of Santiago,” was another unforgettable moment from the 1986 World Cup. Known for its intense physicality and numerous fouls, the match showcased the raw emotions and competitive spirit that define football at its highest level.

The Road to the Final

The knockout stage of the 1986 World Cup featured several thrilling matches that captivated football fans around the world. Argentina continued their impressive run with victories over Uruguay and Belgium to reach the final, while West Germany emerged as their opponents after defeating Mexico and France in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.

The Final: Argentina vs. West Germany

The final match of the 1986 World Cup took place on June 29th at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. A capacity crowd of over 114,000 spectators gathered to witness the showdown between Argentina and West Germany, two of the most storied football nations in history.

The match itself was a dramatic affair, with both teams displaying their attacking prowess and defensive resilience. Argentina took an early lead through a goal from Jose Luis Brown, but West Germany equalized soon after through a header from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. The score remained tied at 1-1 until the closing stages of the match when Jorge Burruchaga scored the decisive goal for Argentina, securing a 3-2 victory and their second World Cup title.

Legacy and Impact

The 1986 World Cup left an indelible mark on the history of football, thanks in large part to the unforgettable performances of players like Diego Maradona and Hugo Sanchez. Maradona’s iconic goals and individual brilliance elevated him to legendary status, while Mexico’s success as the host nation helped cement its reputation as a footballing powerhouse in the Americas.

The tournament also showcased the global appeal of football and its ability to unite people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. The passionate support of fans, the skillful play of the athletes, and the dramatic moments that unfolded on the pitch all contributed to making the 1986 World Cup a truly memorable event.

FIFA World Cup 1986 Final

Certainly! Here’s a table summarizing some key matches, scores, and standout players from the 1986 FIFA World Cup:

DateMatchScoreKey Players
31 MayArgentina vs South Korea3-1Diego Maradona, Jorge Valdano
1 JuneItaly vs Bulgaria1-1Paolo Rossi, Alessandro Altobelli
2 JuneDenmark vs Scotland1-0Preben Elkjær Larsen, Søren Lerby
5 JuneEngland vs Portugal0-1Gary Lineker, Carlos Manuel
6 JuneArgentina vs Italy1-1Diego Maradona, Paolo Rossi
8 JuneBrazil vs Spain1-0Socrates, Zico
10 JuneDenmark vs West Germany2-0Preben Elkjær Larsen, Michael Laudrup
11 JuneFrance vs Soviet Union1-1Michel Platini, Igor Belanov
15 JuneArgentina vs Uruguay1-0Diego Maradona, Enzo Francescoli
16 JuneMexico vs Bulgaria2-0Hugo Sánchez, Fernando Quirarte
17 JuneEngland vs Paraguay3-0Gary Lineker, Peter Beardsley
21 JuneArgentina vs England (Quarterfinals)2-1Diego Maradona, Gary Lineker
21 JuneFrance vs Brazil (Quarterfinals)1-1 (3-4 pens)Michel Platini, Zico
22 JuneMexico vs West Germany (Quarterfinals)0-0 (1-4 pens)Hugo Sánchez, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
25 JuneFrance vs West Germany (Semifinals)0-2Michel Platini, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
25 JuneArgentina vs Belgium (Semifinals)2-0Diego Maradona, Jorge Valdano
29 JuneArgentina vs West Germany (Final)3-2Diego Maradona, Jorge Burruchaga
FIFA World Cup 1986

This table highlights some of the key matches throughout the tournament, the scores, and mentions key players who made significant contributions during those matches.


In conclusion, the FIFA World Cup 1986 in Mexico stands out as a landmark event in the history of football. From Diego Maradona’s magical performances to Mexico’s heroic run as the host nation, the tournament captivated audiences around the world and left an enduring legacy that continues to resonate to this day. As football fans eagerly await the next World Cup spectacle, the memories of 1986 serve as a reminder of the sport’s ability to inspire and unite people across the globe.

Certainly! Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the 1986 FIFA World Cup:

See Also: The 1982 FIFA World Cup A Turning Point in Soccer History

FAQs about the 1986 FIFA World Cup

1. Who won the FIFA World Cup 1986?

Argentina won the FIFA World Cup 1986 held in Mexico. They defeated West Germany 3-2 in the final match, which took place on June 29th at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

2. Why is the 1986 World Cup famous?

The FIFA World Cup 1986 is famous for several reasons, including Diego Maradona’s iconic “Hand of God” goal and his stunning solo goal against England in the quarterfinals. It is also remembered for Argentina’s overall performance and eventual victory, solidifying Maradona’s status as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

3. Where was the FIFA World Cup 1986 held?

The 1986 FIFA World Cup was held in Mexico. This was the second time Mexico hosted the World Cup, the first being in 1970.

4. Who were the key players of the FIFA World Cup 1986?

Key players of the 1986 World Cup included Diego Maradona (Argentina), Hugo Sánchez (Mexico), Michel Platini (France), Gary Lineker (England), and Paolo Rossi (Italy), among others. These players made significant contributions to their respective teams’ performances throughout the tournament.

5. What were some memorable moments from the FIFA World Cup 1986?

Memorable moments from the 1986 World Cup include Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal and his incredible solo goal against England, Mexico’s strong performance as the host nation, and the dramatic matches that characterized the knockout stages of the tournament.

6. How did Argentina win the FIFA World Cup 1986?

Argentina won the 1986 World Cup by defeating West Germany 3-2 in the final match. They had a strong tournament overall, with Diego Maradona playing a pivotal role in their success, scoring crucial goals and providing key assists throughout the competition.

7. Which teams reached the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup 1986?

The semifinalists of the 1986 World Cup were Argentina, West Germany, France, and Belgium. Argentina and West Germany eventually progressed to the final, while France and Belgium were eliminated at the semifinal stage.

8. What was the significance of Mexico hosting the 1986 World Cup?

Mexico hosting the 1986 World Cup was significant as it highlighted the country’s passion for football and its ability to organize a successful international sporting event. The tournament boosted Mexico’s profile in the football world and left a lasting legacy in the country’s sporting history.

9. How did Diego Maradona influence the 1986 World Cup?

Diego Maradona was instrumental in Argentina’s victory at the 1986 World Cup. His exceptional skills, leadership on the field, and memorable performances, particularly against England and Belgium, showcased his talent and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

10. What was the attendance like at the 1986 World Cup matches?

The 1986 World Cup matches drew large crowds, with the final match between Argentina and West Germany at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City having an attendance of over 114,000 spectators. Throughout the tournament, football fans from around the world gathered to witness the excitement and drama of the matches.

These FAQs provide insights into some of the key aspects and memorable moments of the 1986 FIFA World Cup, a tournament that continues to be remembered fondly by football enthusiasts worldwide.

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