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Soccer legend Maradona's 'Hand of God' ball is going up for auction

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Talk about cashing in on a mistake - a former soccer referee from Tunisia is putting a ball up for auction. It's expected to sell for around $3 million because it is the same ball the Argentine legend Diego Maradona touched with his hand to tap toward the goal and score perhaps the most famous soccer goal of all time.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATOR: That is why England is so furious. Maradona has punched it in with his left hand.

SIMON: The hand of God, as the goal's become known, shouldn't have been allowed, but that missed call gave Argentina lead in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal against England, which they went on to win. Argentina would also win the World Cup that summer. Maradona became an international star and a national hero. He died in 2020 and is remembered as one of the all-time greats who excelled at passing and ball control but is still remembered best for a controversial goal that he scored with his hand rather than his feet. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.