Soccer Stories: Anecdotes, Oddities, Lore, and Amazing Feats

By Donn Risolo | Go to book overview

7

REFEREES

I just try to be as clear as possible.
It is very important that everyone un-
derstands the decision immediately.
PIERLUIGI COLLINA, fifa referee

They’re only human. That’s probably the nicest thing you’ll ever hear many players, coaches, and fans say about referees. For all their dedication, sense of fairness, and knowledge of the Laws of the Game, they still can’t be everywhere on the field at once, see everything, and get every one of their couple hundred calls (or noncalls) right. Still, they continue to pursue that elusive, perfectly officiated match, and as only their colleagues will point out, some occasionally come mighty close.


Hand of God

It was one of the greatest—if not the greatest goal—in World Cup history. A long, breathtaking solo run and a brilliant finish, the kind of goal that prompts those unfamiliar with soccer to wonder, “Why can’t they just do that all the time?” and leaves those who know better shaking their heads in awe.

Of course, soccer players can’t score at will, but for about ten seconds during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals Argentine idol Diego Maradona made it look possible as he shredded the English defense over seventy yards before slipping a left-footed shot from short range past goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

In the fifty-fifth minute Maradona collected a ball in his own half and roared down the right wing. He sped past Peter Reid, cut left to beat Gary Stevens, sent Terry Butcher the wrong way, fought off Terry

-223-

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Soccer Stories: Anecdotes, Oddities, Lore, and Amazing Feats
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • 1 - Everyone, Everywhere 1
  • 2 - History 13
  • 3 - Worldcup 51
  • 4 - Misbehavior 89
  • 5 - Soccer, War, and Peace 135
  • 6 - America 169
  • 7 - Referees 223
  • 8 - Coaches 247
  • 9 - Superlatives 259
  • 10 - Snafus 279
  • 11 - Tragedies 313
  • 12 - Only in Soccer 337
  • Bibliographic Essay 387
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