World Cup Wonders #1: Colm Meaney and the Goal of the Century

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is a week away, and, as is tradition, people will shirk their responsibilities and spend as much time as possible in front of the TV.

Parents will ignore their crying children as a wizardly winger zips past a hapless defender; office workers will have a sneaky tab open playing an illegal stream (and maybe a tab for Paddy Power too); publicans hypnotized by marvellous Messi will fail to notice the local Barney Gumble sucking their taps dry behind their backs; demented people will run through the streets waving flags and singing songs, high on the joys of the beautiful game (although alcohol may also play a part in that); and the majority of us Irish will cheer for any team England faces, while some of us will think of Colm Meaney and “Fuck Schillaci” (Squillaci).


Colm Meaney in The Van (1996)

As part of celebrating what will hopefully will be a classic tournament, I’ll be listing some of my favourite World Cup memories, as well as paying tribute to the host nation and their heroes like Anton Chekhov, Ivan Turgenev, and Joe Stalin (not the infamous Communist dictator, but the auld lad who owns the best chipper in Moscow).

For my first instalment, it’s got to be a classic:

Not only is this man a footballing genius, he’s also a nutcase, which is always an appeal to the average Irish football fan. Plus, this goal was scored against England, so that also helps. (Sorry English pals – as you know it’s every Irish fan’s obligation to hate on your national team. And we get the hypocrisy in supporting the English clubs, we do… but.. ye know… feck it). Yes, the Hand of God was a disgrace (we know your pain), but this goal was nothing short of astounding. That’s why it’s referred to as the Goal of the Century.

Take it away, Diego.

World Cup Wonder #1:

Diego Maradona’s wonder goal against England

Year: 1986

Venue: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City.

Final Score: Argentina 2 -1 England

Watch Maradona embarrass the English team.


Maradona celebrates scoring against England at the 1986 FIFA World Cup

What a goal. What a man. What a way to win a match.

What are your favorite World Cup moments? Are you a fan of Maradona? Share in the comments section below!

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