Brazil were controversially eliminated from the Copa America after suffering a 1-0 Group B defeat to Peru in Foxborough.
Raul Ruidiaz scored the winning goal 15 minutes from time (above) but appeared to turn the ball into the net with his hand and Brazil protests were waved away by referee Andres Cunha after a two-minute discussion with his linesman.
Peru’s win saw them top the group to set up a quarter-final meeting with Colombia, while Brazil will go home after only finishing third in the group.
It got us thinking about other famous examples of handballs going unnoticed, so we decided to list five examples here.
Which stand out in your memory and did any of these happen for or against your own team?
MARADONA’S ‘HAND OF GOD’
What better way can we kick (or punch) this list off? Easily the most famous handball of all-time, Diego Maradona stole the headlines at the 1986 World Cup for both all the wrong and right reasons when his Argentina side saw off England in the quarters. With the score still 0-0, Maradona – a full eight inches shorter – challenged England ‘keeper Peter Shilton for the ball and miraculously managed to beat the Englishman and find the net. It was latter revealed he had some divine intervention, something Maradona’s second goal may have actually ended up proving more than this controversial first.
MESSI’S ‘HAND OF GOD II’
Many comparisons have been drawn between Maradona and Lionel Messi that go beyond national identity and are firmly rooted in the mesmerising skill the pair have on the pitch. Messi drew further comparisons when he replicated Maradona’s mazy run at that 1986 World Cup when playing for Barcelona and it seemed that match had an immense impact on the Argentine. Look no further than this effort against Espanyol that truly channeled the spirit of Maradona and also evaded the gaze of the referee or his assistants.
SERGIO MAKES IT A HAT-TRICK
Are handballs not punished in Argentine football? You start to get that feeling when looking through this list as Sergio Aguero follows in the footsteps of Messi and Maradona. The now Manchester City forward was playing for Atletico at the time against Recreativo when the ball bounced his way across the box and found the striker with the goal gaping at his mercy. For some reason, young Aguero decides to go with his hands rather than his head when the latter was as simple as the former to convert. Oh well, he got the same outcome and the goal stood. Note here that Aguero has a son with Maradona’s daughter whose godfather is Messi. If he isn’t in goal then keep your eyes on him!
THIERRY HAS THE LUCK OF THE IRISH
This one rivals Maradona’s for possibly the cruelest example of the list. The scene was the second-leg of the 2010 World Cup playoff, the Irish levelling the tie in France at 1-1 and sending it into extra-time. Ireland sensed a first World Cup appearance since 2002 but they were denied a flight to Brazil 2010 thanks to the left hand of Thierry Henry. The former Arsenal man firstly looked marginally offside when a free-kick was boomed into the Irish box, one he then retrieved from going out for a goal-kick with a deft touch off his left paw before squaring for William Gallas to nod home. Talks of a replay followed and Henry admitted his crime but nothing was doing and France sauntered off to South America. It’s alright though, they were rubbish.
RAUL PLAYS BY HIS OWN RULES
Another one that will be deemed as harsh, this one comes from the 2001 Champions League, a time when Leeds were a heavy spending English force hell bent on domestic and continental glory under David O’Leary (yes, David O’Leary). They went to the Bernabeu with high hopes of a big scalp but were instead shown how the bigger boys play a different kind of game to that in Yorkshire. The Galacticos stole one here as Real’s legendary forward Raul added to his already bulging Champions League record with a raised hand in a muddled box. He ran away pleased as punch (get it?), while Leeds went on to slide down the table, sell their best players, face administration and are now run by an owner more keen on sacking managers than winning football matches.
James Rodriguez was among the scorers as Colombia got their 2016 Copa America campaign off to a winning start against the United States in California.
America, hosting the competition for the first time on its 100th anniversary, fell behind on eight minutes when Cristian Zapata volleyed home.
Real Madrid playmaker Rodriguez then added a first-half penalty at Levi’s Stadium to secure the 2001 champions all three points in the Group A opener.
A bright start from Jose Pekerman’s side was rewarded when Zapata expertly converted Edwin Cardona’s corner from 10 yards.
Clint Dempsey, who saw an earlier overhead kick attempt fail, then struck the wall from a free-kick as the hosts pushed for an equaliser.
Former Fulham forward Dempsey had another shot which flew just wide as the half drew to a close before Rodriquez delivered the killer blow on 41 minutes from the spot.
DeAndre Yedlin was adjudged to have handled Farid Diaz’s cross and, while there were doubts over the decision, there was none from Rodriguez who fired into the bottom left corner of Brad Guzan’s net.
The United States tried to force their way back into the game in the second half and came close when Geoff Cameron saw a header cleared off the line by Perez on the hour mark.
Five minutes later, Dempsey’s curling free-kick from 25 yards was superbly palmed away by David Ospina.
Rodriguez was later replaced, nursing an apparent shoulder injury, while Carlos Bacca crashed an effort against the bar for Colombia with 13 minutes remaining.
Adidas Football recently launched the first video of its First Never Follows film series, which will feature global superstars including Paul Pogba, Luis Suarez and Mesut Ozil, and will celebrate the unique drive of the worlds best players to be number one – on and off the pitch.
The film sees the players showcase the attributes that inspire their mind-set of finishing first being everything – from incredible speed, control, flair and power on the pitch to a unique level of swagger off it.
The first film has been released to coincide with the unveiling of adidas’ striking new Mercury Pack boot collection.
The boots will take to the field for the first time during the Euro 2016 and Copa America Centenario this summer, as the likes of Pogba, Suarez and Ozil aim to finish first and claim the biggest trophies in football.