Sunday, 10 May 2015

Argentina - Germany FR (1986)

When Argentina’s Jorge Luis Burruchaga appeared to knock the ball a touch too far ahead of him, having made a lung-bursting 40-yard run to get on the end of a sublime first-time pass from Diego Armando Maradona, West Germany custodian Harald Schumacher could not be seen in the TV shot. And while fans of La Albiceleste were surely cursing that “the keeper is going to cut it out”, their Die Nationalmannschaft counterparts must have been wondering “where’s Schumacher?”

There were only six minutes remaining of normal time in the Final of the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico, and just three minutes earlier the Germans had underlined their trademark resilience by levelling the match at 2-2 – having been two goals down.

Diego Maradona in Mexico '86

“It's incredible how many things people have told me about that goal. They said I knocked the ball on too far in front of me; that I ignored [Jorge] Valdano shouting for it to my left; that [defender Hans-Peter] Briegel almost caught me. But all I was focusing on was the goal in the distance,” recalled Burruchaga. “I didn't see Valdano running alongside me through the middle, and nor did I hear Briegel behind me. It felt like the longest, most exhilarating run of my life.”

Fortunately for Burru, luck was on his side when it came to the aforementioned heavy touch. Having initially decided to clip the ball over the onrushing Schumacher, he ended up sliding a low shot through the legs of the then Cologne No1. The score now 3-2, the strike finally knocked all the fight out of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Co and secured a yearned-for second World Cup crown for Argentina.

An unexpected Final 
Pre-tournament, La Albiceleste had touched down on Mexican soil earlier than any other side. Renowned for his attention to detail, coach Carlos Bilardo’s determination to ensure his squad were fully acclimatised to conditions in Mexico City – 2,200m above sea level – meant his charges found themselves at CF America’s training complex 30 days before the competition began. What's more, their shaky performances in qualifying and in warm-up matches had left Argentina supporters with scant hope of a repeat of their 1978 world title.

“The team arrived in Mexico low on confidence and nobody gave us much of a chance. On top of which there was a great deal of tension within the camp,” said Valdano. “But, as the World Cup went on, the squad grew stronger and showed a great deal of character. I'd say that it was the biggest turnaround I've seen in my life. Before the first game we weren't even sure we'd beat Korea [Republic], but by the last game we had no doubts whatsoever that we were going to beat Germany.”

Meanwhile, opponents West Germany boasted a squad packed with talented performers, including the likes of Rummenigge, Rudi Voller, Felix Magath, Pierre Littbarski, Andreas Brehme and Lothar Matthaus, though they too did not arrive at the World Cup in promising form. Indeed, Rummenigge, Voller and Klaus Allofs were all carrying injuries, “Our whole attack was crumbling,” summed up Matthaus, years later.

Nor did the oppressive heat aid the Europeans’ cause, with their opening three group games in Queretaro still remembered for cases of heat stroke suffered by their players. Even so, coach Franz Beckenbauer’s team gradually began to grow in strength and spirit, leading to victory over tournament sensations and then European champions France in the semi-finals. “The atmosphere was incredible and, in a way, that World Cup was ‘a summer fairy tale’ too” said Schumacher.

Highlights of this World Cup Final:

Full match: Argentina - Germany FR

Information from:, YouTube, Losmundialesdefú


  1. Partidos que son parte de la historia viva del fútbol. Gran aportación la del resumen y la del partido entero. Muy bueno para los fanáticos del fútbol

  2. Woow, very good article about one of the best finals of world cup´s history.

  3. Fue un mundial en el que Argentina demostró todo su potencial y en especial Diego Armando Maradona que marcós dos de sus goles mas recordados ante Inglaterra, para afianzar su pase a la gran final.

    1. Final espectacular. Partido apoteósico.

    2. Merece la pena ver de nuevo estos partidos.

    3. Partido espectacular.

  4. Final apoteósica que los que la vivimos fué sencilla y llanamente: ESPECTACULAR.

  5. Gracias por los comentarios, y sí, creemos que merece la pena recordar partidos de esta calidad y espectacularidad con tantos grandes jugadores sobre el césped. Leyendas del fútbol enfrentadas por el más ansiado trofeo, una final que recomendamos volver a visualizar y recordar.

    Un saludo