Burley - forget 'Hand of God'

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Maradona: Praise from Burley

Maradona: Praise from Burley

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Scotland manager George Burley believes Terry Butcher must "move on" and forget Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal.

"Maradona is the best player I have ever played against and anyone who was involved at Hampden in 1979 when he played against Scotland in a friendly at Hampden would agree with that."

George Burley

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Burley's assistant was in the England side knocked out of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico by Argentina.

Maradona infamously scored with his hand to give Argentina the lead before producing a wonderful solo goal which ultimately took the South Americans into the semi-finals.

Butcher suggested he will not shake Maradona's hand when the new Argentina coach brings his side to Hampden for Wednesday's friendly.

The former Napoli and Barcelona superstar hit back by claiming he should not be judged by a nation that needed a dubious goal to win the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley.

Burley jokingly chided Butcher while admitting he has his own recollections of the Argentina legend.

He said: "He (Butcher) is a big boy now and he has to grow up and move on!

"I can't remember celebrating in 1986. My recollections are of Maradona the player, not the handball merchant.

"I can't talk about the other stuff, only my thoughts, and playing against him was a terrific experience.

Magnificent

"Maradona is the best player I have ever played against and anyone who was involved at Hampden in 1979 when he played against Scotland in a friendly at Hampden would agree with that.

"In my opinion, he was only behind Pele as the best-ever player. He was a magnificent footballer."

Scotland skipper Barry Ferguson, who should make his first appearance under Burley after recovering from a summer ankle operation, admits he did celebrate England's defeat by Argentina in 1986.

He said: "I watched the game in the house with my dad and I remember jumping about daft.

"The second goal was one of the best goals I've seen. That's the biggest thing - he was unbelievable in that tournament.

"You never think you're going to meet the guy. I'll be standing pretty close to him and it will be a good feeling.

"He's probably the best player ever. People talk about Pele but I'm not old enough to remember him.

"Now Lionel Messi is as close as you can get. It's disappointing that he's not going to be here but obviously I played against Messi when we (Rangers) played Barcelona and he was something special.

"But as soon as the whistle goes you don't care who they are. All the respect goes out the window along with everything they've done in the game."