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How Diego Maradona’s Hand of God goal ignited
a feud between the men who gave it

On 22 June 1986 the destiny of at least three people was changed forever. By scoring both goals in a 2-1 win against England in a World Cup quarter-final, Diego Armando Maradona fully convinced the watching world he had a unique football gift which was touched not only by God, but also by the devil.

The German press agency DPA called the first goal, when the Argentinian touched the ball with his hand “the scandal of the century” and dubbed the second one as “the goal of the century”. The latter was scored by Maradona with an ingenious slalom through the England half, and half of the England team.

Yet the other two men, whose fate could not have been the same ever since, attended the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on that fateful day dressed in black. Their names were Ali Bin Nasser from Tunisia, the referee, and Bogdan Dotchev from Bulgaria, one of his assistants...

Meet Ludogorets: the Bulgarians out to cause an upset against Liverpool

The team Liverpool will face on their return to the Champions League, the Bulgarian side Ludogorets, come from the smallest town involved in this season’s competition and have one of the smallest budgets. Liverpool, though, will underestimate them at their peril.

Last season Ludogorets, who were founded only 13 years ago but are bankrolled by the multi-millionaire Kiril Domuschiev, topped their Europa League group ahead of PSV Eindhoven, who they beat home and away, and defeated Lazio before finally succumbing to Valencia in the last 16. Worryingly for Liverpool, Ludogorets picked up a new signing along the way as Domuschiev was so impressed by Lazio’s eagle Olympia that he bought his team their own eagle and named it after the Roman goddess of luck Fortuna. Now he is hoping this will bring him luck at Anfield...

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