Shilton turned down a request from Maradona a few years ago to appear alongside him on a television programme.
Peter Shilton, who played more times for England than anyone, has reportedly said that Maradona’s the greatest player in history but he does not respect him.
Shilton, who turned down a request from Maradona a few years ago to appear alongside him on a television programme, was referring to infamous Hand of God.
“I always took that stance because I was brought up to respect the game. I’ve seen other players cheat, admit to it and apologise. But his (Maradona’s) attitude explains why there’s animosity. We’ve been offered a number of times to put it to bed. But he won’t apologise, and I won’t shake hands with him or acknowledge him. I always say he’s the greatest player in history but I don’t respect him as a sportsman and I never will. Same as Terry Butcher won’t,” Shilton told the British newspaper The Guardian in an interview.
Shilton is often remembered most for being the victim of Diego Maradona’s infamous Hand of God goal in a 1986 World Cup quarter-final in Mexico City.
“It’s remembered for the wrong reasons. I did everything I could and the famous photo shows that I’m closer to the ball than his head. That’s why he punched it in with this hand. You always have people saying: ‘Oh, he out-jumped you.’ He didn’t out-jump me. He cheated. So to be associated with that moment …” he further said.
Shilton reportedly told the newspaper that Maradona’s second goal in that game was both legal and brilliantly sumptuous in the way he dribbled past five England players before ghosting away from Shilton. He followed the Hand of God with the Goal of the Century.
“It was typical of what he could do,” Shilton admits. “But we weren’t in the right frame of mind after what happened. When you know someone’s cheating, in a big match like that, your stomach drops. So we weren’t quite tuned in to our defending after that but I have to say, before the ball broke to Maradona, Glenn Hoddle was fouled. But you can’t take anything away from him. Maradona did what he’s capable of doing.”