News Live Scores
World Cup

Maradona, Henry and the top 10 World Cup handballs

15:29 EAT 19/06/2018
Diego Maradona Carlos Sanchez Handballs Split
Both in the qualifiers and the finals tournament, there have been numerous infamous handballs. Here, Goal takes a look at the top 10

  • Djalma Santos

    Djalma Santos (Brazil) vs Czechoslovakia - 1962

    This incident has almost been entirely forgotten about contrary to many other controversies. Brazil were 2-1 ahead in the final with just 20 minutes to go when Djalma Santos deliberately handled the ball in his own area.

    The referee did not give a penalty and the European outfit never recovered. They conceded their third goal before the end as Brazil ran out as 3-1 winners to prevent Czechoslovakia from winning their first ever World Cup.

  • Joe Jordan Tottenham

    Joe Jordan (Scotland) vs Wales - 1977

    In a heated World Cup qualifier between the British rivals, Wales needed to win to all-but confirm a place at the following summer's tournament in Argentina.

    It was a tight affair and was 0-0 heading into the final 10 minutes. This was until Scotland forward Joe Jordan had the ball under pressure from Wales' David Jones before he punched the ball in the penalty area. 

    Unbelievably the referee thought that it was Jones who handled it and awarded Scotland a penalty, which was converted, before a late goal from Kenny Dalglish secured the win for Scotland as they advanced to the World Cup. 

  • Mario Kempes Argentina Holland FIFA World Cup 06251978

    Mario Kempes (Argentina) vs Poland - 1978

    This was host nation Argentina's first game in Group B in the second round. Mario Kempes put his side into the lead against Poland in the first half with a header.

    But, just as Poland thought they were about to equalise from a corner, Kempes dived across the goal and punched the ball away to concede a penalty. 

    Amazingly, Poland missed the resulting penalty, and Kempes scored again to double Argentina's advantage later in the game. The striker went onto score two more in the final against Netherlands as Argentina lifted the trophy. 

  • Diego Maradona Peter Shilton Argentina England 1986 World Cup

    Diego Maradona (Argentina) vs England - 1986

    Without doubt the most famous handball in football history came during the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup between England and Argentina.

    With the score at 0-0 in the second half, Maradona was chasing down a mis-hit clearance from England's Steve Hodge, and he rose above Peter Shilton and used the outside of his left hand to punch the ball into the empty net. 

    The referee failed to spot the handball and, just minutes later, Maradona would dribble past half of the England team and score the so-called 'Goal of the Century' to put his side two goals ahead. The Three Lions got a goal back, but Argentina held on to win 2-1 before going on to lift the trophy World Cup.

  • Diego Maradona Argentina Soviet Union 1990 World Cup

    Diego Maradona (Argentina) vs USSR - 1990

    Swedish official Erik Frederiksson must be the most hated referee of all time in the eyes of Russian football fans. 

    Four years before this incident, the Swede allowed two offside goals for Belgium in their 4-3 victory over USSR that saw them advance to the quarter-finals in Mexico

    Here, they were deprived of a place in the first knockout round by Argentina. With the score at 0-0, the USSR were denied taking the lead as Maradona blocked the ball with his arm at the near post. 

    Argentina went onto win the game 2-0 as they made it all the way to the final, while USSR were knocked out in the group stage. 

  • Torsten Frings Germany 2002 World Cup

    Torsten Frings (Germany) v United States 2002

    In this quarter-final, the United States were dominant but Germany took the lead through a Michael Ballack header just before half-time. 

    USA pushed on in the second half to try to find an equaliser and Gregg Berhalter was set to steer home a corner, only to see Frings handle the ball to redirect it away from goal and into the hands of Oliver Kahn. 

    A melee ensued as remarkably the official gave nothing and the eventual World Cup runners-up ended up winning the game 1-0.

  • Thierry Henry handball France v Ireland 2009

    Thierry Henry (France) v Ireland - 2009

    In this now infamous World Cup play-off game, everything was hanging in the balance when it moved into extra-time with the score at 1-1. This was until the Arsenal legend Henry clearly handled the ball in the build-up to William Gallas' eventual winner.

    This understandably caused uproar in Ireland and the FAI requested that the game should be replayed, but this was rejected by FIFA. Henry also offered that there should be a replay after FIFA rejected the FAI's first demand, and the Irish FA even requested that they should be added to the World Cup as the tournament's 33rd team, but all of the appeals were turned down by FIFA. 

  • Luis Fabiano Brazil Ivory Coast 2010 World Cup

    Luis Fabiano (Brazil) v Ivory Coast - 2010

    The then-Sevilla forward was guilty of handling the ball not just once but twice in Brazil's build-up to their second goal in their eventual 3-1 victory against Ivory Coast

    The referee did ask Fabiano as he was jogging back to the half-way line whether he handled the ball, but the Brazilian, of course, shook his head. 

  • Luis Suarez Uruguay Ghana World Cup 2010

    Luis Suarez (Uruguay) v Ghana - 2010

    This World Cup quarter-final had already been an enthralling encounter, but it got even more dramatic in the final stages of extra-time. 

    With the score at 1-1, Ghana looked like scoring a last-gasp winner in the 120th minute until Luis Suarez saved the ball on the line. 

    Sent off and in tears, Suarez thought he had cost his team a place in the semi-finals, but Asamoah Gyan's spot-kick sailed miles over the bar before Uruguay went onto to win the game via a penalty shootout.

  • Carlos Sanchez red card Colombia Japan World Cup 2018

    Carlos Sanchez (Colombia) vs Japan - 2018

    Just three minutes into Colombia’s opening game of World Cup 2018 and they were down to 10 men against Japan following Carlos Sanchez’s red card.

    After Colombia were caught out by a ball over the top, David Ospina saved Yuyu Osako’s shot and, from the rebound, Sanchez blocked Shinji Kagawa’s follow-up effort with his arm.

    The former Aston Villa midfielder was shown a red card – the second-fastest ever in a World Cup finals – and Kagawa scored the from the penalty spot to put Japan into an early lead.