A rematch of the classic England v Argentina 1986 World Cup quarter final is to take place at Villa Park - with the same players coming head to head for the first time since the infamous match.
England will have the chance for revenge on October 14 for a ’friendly’ meeting - more than 21 years after Maradona struck two of football’s most talked about goals for Argentina to win the match 2-1 in Mexico.
Maradona punched in the first goal - claiming later the goal was scored by 'the hand of God' - before scoring what is often regarded as the best goal in the history of the World Cup.
Players including former England captain Bryan Robson, 50, Glenn Hoddle, 49, Chris Waddle, 46, Peter Reid, 51, and Ray Wilkins, 50, have already confirmed their participation in the rematch.
Gary Lineker, who scored England’s lone goal to finish top scorer at the 1986 World Cup with six, is unable to play, but has agreed to take the first kick of the match.
Organisers said they hope to have all the players and both managers will be involved in some form.
Ex-England star Peter Reid described the match as a chance for ’revenge’.
"It’s one of those games that’s talked about so much and meant so much that it’s impossible to forget how devastating it was to lose and to lose to one absolutely amazing goal but also to one which was, let’s say, a little dubious," said Reid.
"This is our chance to show what we can do and get a little bit of revenge. They’ve said they’re coming to play and that’s fine by us. We’re going out to win - no question."
Maradona, 46, said: "Everyone talks about the ’Hand of God’ from this match. It was a bit of mischief - the goalkeeper had the advantage of grabbing with his hands. It was too high for me and I stuck out my fist.
"After the goal, I was waiting for my teammates to embrace me and no one came. I told them, 'Come hug me or the referee isn’t going to allow it."’
Argentina beat England in front of more than 114,000 fans on June 22, 1986. Maradona gave his team a 51st minute lead when he leaped to challenge goalkeeper Peter Shilton and punched the ball into the net. Three minutes later, with England still upset at the referee’s failure to spot the blatant handball, Maradona justified his status as the world’s best player by dribbling half the length of the pitch and past five players before slipping the ball low past Shilton.
Lineker got an 80th-minute goal back and England came close to forcing an equaliser.
It is unclear how much of the match Maradona will be able to complete. He has battled obesity, cocaine addiction and alcoholism since his 1997 retirement and had eight serious hospitalizations in the last decade.
While several of the England players are still reasonably fit and take part in the five-a-side Masters Series - a regional indoor tournament - the Argentina players have been training for two months for the match.
"This time, we will come to England, there will be no mischief, only great goals," Maradona said. "For us, this is very serious. We are coming to win."
>> What do you remember of that match in 1986? Is Maradona's second goal over-rated, bearing in mind he only had to outpace Peter Reid? Let us know at the Post Forum.
* Aston Villa will not be selling tickets for the match. Tickets, priced #25 (#10 cons), are only available through www.ticketmaster.co.uk (0870 847 1698)