This World Cup has captured the imagination unlike pretty much any other.

As a Newcastle fan, it has been perfect for me, an opportunity to switch off from any worries about next season/Ashley and just watch the football lying on the sofa at home or sitting in the pub.

No outstanding teams but plenty of decent ones, means pretty much every game hasn’t been a sure thing for any country.

Meanwhile, plenty of talking points on and off the pitch have also enhanced the tournament.

One of those talking points has been Diego Maradona.

I find it quite incredible how so many people in England still idolise him.

Yes he was a very good football player but for me he can never be seen as a great, unless you are talking about the greatest ever cheat.

He is an unrepentant cheat as well, having conned his way to beating England in 1986 on the way to an undeserved World Cup tournament victory.

It is cheats such as Diego Maradona who are the very best adverts for use of VAR, just how would 1986 have turned out if video assistance had been available back in the day?

The sense of outrage at the time as all of us watching at home/in the pub knew what had happened and simply nothing could be done about it.

No surprise either to see that Diego Maradona went full on in his support of even another country against England.

The cheat switching his affiliation to Colombia on Tuesday night.

How ironic that now Maradona is accusing England of cheating and conning the referee – especially on the penalty decision, insisting that the referees boss Pierluigi Collina should ‘apologise to the Columbian people’ after they were knocked out, having put a referee from the United States in charge.

Having watched the embarrassing behaviour of Colombia’s players as they committed yellow card offence after yellow card offence, as well as repeatedly trying to get England players booked, surely you would have to be under the influence of various substances to see things exactly the other way round…

Diego Maradona is reported to be paid $10,000 per each game he attends from Fifa as part of its ‘Legends’ ambassador programme, surely FIFA hold themselves up to ridicule if they continue doing that, paying a cheat who has no respect for the truth or the current players, managers and match officials.

Diego Maradona:

“I screamed at Colombia’s equaliser as though I had been the one to head that ball because it’s not possible — you have to denounce this (England winning via the supposed bias of the referee).

“As the captain of legends, I have to tell (Fifa president) Infantino this cannot be left like this.

“This is a fatal mistake for a whole country.”

FIFA response to Diego Maradina:

“Following comments made by Diego Armando Maradona in relation to Tuesday’s round of 16 game, Colombia v England, Fifa strongly rebukes the criticism of the performance of the match officials which it considers to have been positive in a tough and highly emotional match.

“Furthermore, it also considers the additional comments and insinuations made as being entirely inappropriate and completely unfounded.

“At a time when Fifa is doing everything within its power to ensure principles of fair play, integrity and respect are at the forefront of this World Cup and how the organisation is now run, Fifa is extremely sorry to read such declarations from a player who has written the history of our game.”

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  • Alec Nicolson

    white lines….sniff sniff

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    A cheat on the field of play & also a drugs cheat

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Henderson should have been sent off for a headbutt and Stones for stamping on someones head so not all one way traffic. Shelvey would have walked for either of those offences.

  • Leazes.

    All strikers cheat…. some better than others, Deli Ali is a master, so he’s not wrong. I watched the game with the commentary off and I thought they were trying to do a wind-up job…. no I’ll rephrase that….. they did do a wind-up job, playing games, feigning contact and it worked. Its a game of cheating much more now than it was in the early jurassic period.

    • Desree

      That’s the best use case for VAR. We should get rid of refs and let the fans decide like in Gladiator battles.

      Chuck Neymar and Alli to the Lions!

  • grantham mag

    The man could never be classed as great he cheated through out his football career and he is now worse than ever, FIFA should get rid of the cheating little arsewipe.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Neither him nor Neymar could ever be classed as the worlds greatest ever footballer imo………too much cheating and conning of Refs from them………the likes of Pele and Messi are,and have been, the best footballers on the planet with the right attitude……..foul them and they’re straight back up……never trying to get players booked or sent off……..Maradonna is a first class prima donna and how FIFA class the little twt as a legend is beyond me……….Leg end……not legend……..drugged up little pile of 💩…

      • Kev Newcastle England

        I detest him on the same level as Ashley

        • Kneebotherm8

          One despicable little character…….FIFA need to look at their “Legends”ambassador program……..he’s been a total embarrassment for them with his ridiculous,hallucinatory comments.

    • Peter C

      What a brilliant and concise summary of an absolutely disgrace of a so called legendary sportsman.

      If he was English, I would feel ashamed to share the same nationality.

      He obviously has metal health issues, to go along with his drug and obesity problems. What a car crash and wreck of a man, he is.

      On another note, never thought someone from Margaret Thatcher country, could be so perceptive and wise.

      • grantham mag

        Cheers Peter, I only live there born and bred Geordie from Benwell Newcastle.

        • Peter C

          Thought, you must of emigrated there.

  • Paul Patterson

    He’s flying higher than his team . .

  • pedrodelgardo

    Definitely a football great in my house – he cheated like everyone else. Just a pity we paid the price still it was only 32 years ago and counting.

    • Elvin Burdon

      That doesn’t surprise me with a name like Pedro

  • Peaky

    Maradona….Messi……can’t stand the pair of them….stunted.

  • Dillon Tovak

    The man is clearly severely mentally ill.
    He is entertaining though and obviously a legend on the pitch.
    He’s an embarrassment to Argentinian football, their team are doing their best to join him.
    Colombia’s manager is just as bad, moaning like a little b*tch because his wind up tactics didn’t work.
    He’s the fool as he probably could have beat us if he’d actually sent his team out to play football.

    • Peaky

      I’m sure the Colombian manager and Charlie Watts from The Rolling Stones are the same person…

      • SuperDesHamilton

        Jose pekerman brilliant youth coach, not so good senior one & maybe a great drummer

    • Kneebotherm8

      What about the little twt at half time shoulder charging Sterling as he came off the pitch?…….cheating wind up merchants who got their just desserts in the penalty shoot out…….

    • Peter C

      He’s an embarrassment to the Argentinian nation, not just to football.

  • Andrew

    All the heat & extra bulk he’s carrying is restricting the blood flow to his brain.
    As my dad would say
    “Hush your backside”

  • Big Hairy Man

    Go easy on the nose candy Diego.

    • Peaky

      Aye….I think he’s had a large sesh on the ‘showbiz sherbet’….

  • SuperDesHamilton

    Henderson play acting was pathetic. A head that big am surprised the Colombian didn’t knock himself out

    • paul mclaughlan

      If Neymar had of been nutted that hard he’d still be unconscious.

      • SuperDesHamilton

        And our media would of been going on about it non stop, English player play acts & they don’t batter an eyelid

      • Peter C

        I bet Pele, or any other old time ex Brazilian players were cringing, watching him roll about when the Mexican stood on the bottom of his shin and ankle. His next career must be that of a thespian, the Ham variety. By the way, does anyone know what Rivaldo’s’ doing for a living.

  • Jonas

    England cheat. Every team cheats.
    Maradona isn’t allowed to say someone cheats because he handled a ball 32year ago?
    Thierry Henry is though?.

    we obsess over the few times England were cheated but instantly forget when England cheat others.
    English mentality reminds of Blackadder.
    German spies Filthy hun weasels fighting a dirty under-handed game”
    Our spies”brave Tommy’s salt of the earth”

    if Brazil.dont win it, whoever does is going to be the worst World champions for 70years if not of all time.
    far better England teams than this have failed to qualify for tournaments.
    no nation has sent by their standards one of the better sides. Maybe Croatia.

    Messi and Ronaldo are not near being in Maradona’s league either.

    • Peter C

      Would agree as to who wins this year’s World Cup, probably the worst winners of all time. And I would say that I have to agree with your point made about England.

      The crazy thing is, they just might win it, with a fair degree of luck.

      Just goes to show how far the standard has fallen, since the greatest of all World Cups, in 1970.

      • Leazes.

        No thats silly, you obviously don’t understand football at all.

        • Peter C

          How’s it silly, the standard of football in the World Cup, has been going backwards for a very long time. The Brazil team of 1970, would’ve made mincemeat of any of the teams in this years’ competition.

          If you don’t agree, it’s obvious that haven’t seen the World Cup of 1970.

          • Desree

            The standard of play has increased for all nations. What we are seeing is the most competitive world cup, not the worst teams.

          • Peter C

            We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

            Do you really believe that this England team, is better than the one of Italia 90, because I don’t think you would get many takers for that one.

          • Desree

            The same England team that just made it out of the group stages, got a last minute win against Belgium and almost lost to Cameroon.

            I would go as far to say this team has performed better than we could have expected and perhaps performed better than the Italia 90 team.

            It is all relative. 1990 you still had part time players and international minnows.

            My point is the level of skill and fitness of players has evolved.

          • Geordiegiants

            I agree that the fitness has evolved, but the skill has disappeared in my opinion. First and foremost fitness is the main part of football these days, skill and technique is definetly second now, there are no Gaza’s, Beardsley, Waddles these days. Any player with a bit of skill to go along with his fitness are MAD money now, they are that rare.

          • Desree

            The game is so much faster now. George Best stoodon a ball and tied his shoe lashes.

            I agree that there are not as many people who stand out perhaps. But the level of technical ability is higher all round.

            What I would say is that there are not many visionaries or Mavericks in the game now.

            But what is left to pioneer? The world was once dazzled by a cruyff turn, now 5 year olds do them as a natural part of their game.

            What we have from England this tournament is a team spirit akin to 1990. And a mental toughness I wouldn’t have associated with these lads TBH.

            Sweden were part timers in 1990 and our captain Brian Robson was an alchy.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      I’d agree that Maradona was a better player than Messi or Ronaldo but he’s become a bit of a joke now.

    • Elvin Burdon

      Are you playing with a full deck of cards you plonker

  • Antenociticus

    Maradona is Spanish for the end of a bell. . .

    • Leazes.

      No it isn’t…..but Gazza is Italian for ‘Magpie’.

  • Desree

    Maybe we can get Gazza to negotiate with Maradona?

    • Leazes.

      Couple of bookends!

      • Desree

        Diego, calm doon mate. I’ve got some tinnies, chicken and a dressing goon for ya.

  • Geordiegiants

    Best player in the world ever, if he had the fitness levels of today’s players he would of been even more untouchable.

    • Jordi

      biggest cheat ever.

      • Geordiegiants

        Without doubt, but it doesn’t take his ability away.

    • Kev Newcastle England

      Scum

  • Lord

    I guess he didn’t notice the Colombians trying to dig through the penalty spot. What a fool.

    Let’s hope he loses his $10,000 a game fee.

  • Dave Pattinson

    Poor Diego needs to discover a meaningful purpose in his life. Wearing a little pointy hat and sitting by my garden pond to scare away the heron that nick my carp could be the answer for him. Please no fish-related jokes, eg The Hand of Cod.