Handballs: Even the most respected players have done it

After Luis Suarez handball against Mansfield a lot people are calling him a cheat. With Suarez never short of the limelight after biting a player while at Ajax and his racist encounter with Patrice Evra, fans are not surprised of Suarez handball against Mansfield but even the greatest players to have played the game have used their hands to help their team find the back of the net.

Here are some of the most controversial.

Thierry Henry vs Ireland

In a vital World Cup play- off the Irish had dominated France in Paris, and with the game in extra time Irish fans were dreaming of reaching South Africa and their first tournament since the world cup in 2002. But their hopes and dreams were shattered when Henry took it upon himself to use his hand once to keep the ball in play then a second time to control the ball and play it into William Gallas for the easiest of finishes. The goal stood and France were going to South Africa. After the match Henry admitted he handled it and the Irish even asked for a replay but it never came. This moment will never be forgotten in Henry’s career.

Paul Scholes vs Zenit St.Petersburg 

With Manchester United trailing 2-1 to Zenit in the Uefa Super Cup in 2008.The ever so reliable Paul Scholes like as if were playing volleyball slaps the ball into the corner as blatant as ever.However the referee was in a perfect decision to see it and disallowed the goal and gave Scholes his second yellow resulting in a red card. In his career he had many moments of glory grabbing  goals for United but when the midfield maestro hangs up his boots he will not want to be remembered for moments like this.

Raul v Leeds United

In 2001 Leeds were enjoying a very successful campaign in the Champions League. They travelled to Madrid having already qualified for the next round. Having taken the lead through Alan Smith, Madrid were awarded a free kick. Figo delivered an inviting free kick into the box into the talisman Raul and the Spaniard shamefully slapped the ball over the head of Nigel Martyn into the net for an equaliser. After the match Raul denied it had hit his hand and was adamant the goal was right to stand. I’m sure every Leeds fan felt justice was done when Raul’s clear goal against South Korea at the World Cup the following Summer was never given.

Messi v Espanyol

Without doubt the best player in the world. with 4 ballon d’ors to his name and the record of the most goals ever scored in a season. Lionel Messi has not done much wrong. However in 2007 with Barcelona 1-0 down to their fierce rivals Espanyol, Messi punched the ball into the net to equalise for Barca. The Espanyol players were bewildered and surrounded the linesman but the goal stood. Messi will always be remembered for his master class performances on the pitch scoring goals for fun whenever he plays. But maybe the greatest player to ever play the game still cheated to help his team.

Maradona vs England

Probably the two most infamous goals scored of all time in the same match. With England 1-0 up against Argentina in the quarter- final of the World cup in 1986. Maradona’s two goals will be remembered forever. His second goal to give Argentina the lead will be remembered as one of the best individual goals ever scored. However his equaliser will always be remembered as one of the most controversial goals. After  Terry Butcher’s poor attempt of a clearance made it’s ways towards Maradona, England goalkeeper Peter Shilton was favourite to reach the ball until the hand of Maradona flicked the ball over his head for the equaliser for the South Americans. The England players could not believe it was given. After the match Maradona christened the goal ‘the hand of god’.Terry Butcher has never forgiven Maradona and says he never will. Even though the goal happened 27 years ago it will never be forgotten.

After the amount of abuse Luis Suarez has taken after his handball not just against Mansfield but also Ghana in the 2010 World Cup. Preventing them from being the first- ever African team to make it to a World Cup semi -final.It is evident that even the most talented and respected players that have played the game have been involved in handling the ball for their club and country.

But what can be done? Should the players own up to handling it like Miroslav Klose did for Lazio against Napoli this season. When he handled the ball into the net and went up to the referee and owned up to cheating and the referee disallowed the goal. With video technology still not being used the referee’s sometimes miss these handballs but how do we prevent it from happening? Should there be huge fines, should players be banned.If players can be more like Klose and own up to the referee then the ‘Hand of God’ can eventually be forgotten .

The Author

Ciaran Fallon

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