Leicester leapfrogged all three of their Europa League rivals to the top of Group C after a comfortable 3-1 win against Legia Warsaw at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes started Thursday's game bottom of a tight group, but with Spartak Moscow beating Napoli 2-1 on Wednesday, Brendan Rodgers' side now sit top thanks to first-half goals from Patson Daka, James Maddison and Wilfried Ndidi.

The only negative for Rodgers on the night aside from Filip Mladenovic's consolation strike was losing Jonny Evans to a muscle injury in the warm-up, with Daniel Amartey replacing him in defence.

The Premier League outfit will travel to Napoli for the final game of the group stage knowing that a draw will be enough to see them qualify for the knockout stage.

Leicester put the pressure on the visitors from the first whistle and were ahead in the 11th minute when good work from Harvey Barnes forced a deflection that fell kindly for Daka, who calmly slid in his fifth Europa League goal of the campaign.

They doubled their lead in the 21st minute as Maddison worked the ball onto his left foot after a one-two with Ademola Lookman before firing into the top corner of the net.

The Polish side had a penalty just five minutes later after Caglar Soyuncu's clearance struck Wilfried Ndidi on the arm. Mahir Emreli's spot-kick was saved by Kasper Schmeichel but Mladenovic was quickest to follow up and slot in the rebound.

Ndidi made amends for his penalty concession in the 33rd minute, though, as the unmarked Nigerian headed in Leicester's third from a Maddison corner.

Both teams could have added to the scoring in the second half but the hosts were happy to see out the win, only their second in this year's Europa League group stage.

 

What does it mean? Foxes in the driving seat

Leicester avenged the 1-0 defeat they suffered in the reverse fixture on matchday two with relative ease and now sit top of Group C, one point ahead of both Spartak Moscow and Napoli.

Rodgers will be more than satisfied with that after picking up just one point from their first two games in the group, though it promises to be a tough final fixture in Naples in two weeks.

The Foxes have now only lost two of their 16 home matches in European football (W9 D5).

Maddison rises to the occasion

Maddison has had a quiet start to the season, but was at his influential best in the hour he got on the pitch against Legia, taking three shots, making two key passes and putting in six crosses.

The 25-year-old also scored and assisted in a single game for Leicester for the third time in all competitions, previously doing so against Sporting Braga (November 2020 in the Europa League) and Brentford (January 2021 in the FA Cup).

Legia Warsaw in crisis

Marek Golebiewski's side have now lost nine of their last ten games in all competitions and sit second from bottom in the Polish top flight.

This was Legia Warsaw’s first European match in England since November 1995, when they drew 0-0 with Blackburn Rovers in the Champions League group stages, and despite getting on the scoresheet, never looked like stopping the rot in Leicester.

What’s next?

Leicester host former boss Claudio Ranieri and his Watford team in the Premier League on Sunday, while Legia Warsaw are at home to Jagiellonia Bialystok on the same day in the Ekstraklasa.

The Chicago Bears scrapped to a 16-14 Thanksgiving win over the Detroit Lions, as the returning Jared Goff's wait for a first career win without Sean McVay went on.

Bears coach Matt Nagy had to answer questions about his future this week, but he was boosted by a trip to Detroit to play Goff and the winless Lions in Thursday's early game.

Goff – back after an oblique injury – is now 0-16-1 when not coached by McVay, having gone 42-20 in their four years together with the Los Angeles Rams, and this was another outing to forget.

Although a matchup between the teams ranked 29th and 30th for points per game heading into the week was never likely to be a classic, it started well for Goff when he connected with Josh Reynolds on a 39-yard touchdown.

D'Andre Swift soon went down with a shoulder problem to check Detroit's momentum, however, and Cairo Santos' field goal got the Bears on the board before two Andy Dalton passes broke the game open late in the half, as he threw 52 yards to Darnell Mooney and then 17 yards to Jimmy Graham up the middle for a TD.

That was quickly followed by a Goff fumble – his eighth of the year and the fifth he has lost – and the Lions continued to struggle to move the chains even after an Amani Oruwariye interception, instead allowing Santos to stretch Chicago's lead before half-time.

But Goff's work through the air was much improved and a patient third-quarter drive ended with a pass to T. J. Hockenson to edge the Lions in front.

The hosts came close to their first win of the season but were ultimately thwarted by the boot of Santos as Chicago's final drive led to a successful 28-yard field goal in the final seconds.

The Chicago Bears scrapped to a 16-14 Thanksgiving win over the Detroit Lions, as the returning Jared Goff's wait for a first career win without Sean McVay went on.

Bears coach Matt Nagy had to answer questions about his future this week, but he was boosted by a trip to Detroit to play Goff and the winless Lions in Thursday's early game.

Goff – back after an oblique injury – is now 0-16-1 when not coached by McVay, having gone 42-20 in their four years together with the Los Angeles Rams, and this was another outing to forget.

Although a matchup between the teams ranked 29th and 30th for points per game heading into the week was never likely to be a classic, it started well for Goff when he connected with Josh Reynolds on a 39-yard touchdown.

D'Andre Swift soon went down with a shoulder problem to check Detroit's momentum, however, and Cairo Santos' field goal got the Bears on the board before two Andy Dalton passes broke the game open late in the half, as he threw 52 yards to Darnell Mooney and then 17 yards to Jimmy Graham up the middle for a TD.

That was quickly followed by a Goff fumble – his eighth of the year and the fifth he has lost – and the Lions continued to struggle to move the chains even after an Amani Oruwariye interception, instead allowing Santos to stretch Chicago's lead before half-time.

But Goff's work through the air was much improved and a patient third-quarter drive ended with a pass to T. J. Hockenson to edge the Lions in front.

The hosts came close to their first win of the season but were ultimately thwarted by the boot of Santos as Chicago's final drive led to a successful 28-yard field goal in the final seconds.

Moussa Diaby capped a dramatic late fightback by snatching a 3-2 victory to put Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16 of the Europa League and knock Celtic out.

Leverkusen knew they would be guaranteed to win Group G by securing all three points at the BayArena on Thursday and Robert Andrich's header gave them an early lead.

The Hoops fought back brilliantly, Josip Juranovic equalising with a cheeky first-half Panenka penalty and Jota sending the travelling fans into raptures when he put them in front after the break.

Celtic were unable to hold on, though, as Andrich levelled and Diaby won it with a fine late volley after 87 minutes to send the Bundesliga side through and consign the Hoops to the UEFA Conference League.

West Ham continued their excellent Europa League campaign with a 2-0 win at Rapid Vienna to confirm their place at the top of Group H on Thursday.

David Moyes' men are fourth in the Premier League but have arguably been even more impressive in Europe, with this their fourth victory in five matches.

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Mark Noble shortly before half-time teed up a straightforward triumph, albeit one that was played out without a crowd as a lockdown kept home fans away after West Ham's travelling supporters had already been banned.

The Rapid faithful would not have been particularly impressed by what they saw if they had been present, as the margin of West Ham's victory could have been wider.

Jarrod Bowen passed up a huge chance for an early opener when he toed Arthur Masuaku's superb sixth-minute cross agonisingly wide, but West Ham had the lead they merited six minutes from the end of the first half.

Yarmolenko nodded Nikola Vlasic's teasing centre back across Paul Gartler for his first Hammers goal since January, before the scorer earned a clip from Maximilian Hofmann for a stoppage-time spot-kick, which Noble dispatched.

West Ham kept pushing and Bowen was wasteful again when he shot straight at Gartler at the end of a wonderful run and then when he blasted against the legs of retreating defender Filip Stojkovic after the goalkeeper had parried Tomas Soucek's header following a smart initial save.

Rapid threatened only fleetingly at the other end, as West Ham's comfortable position meant they could disregard events elsewhere in the group and hand a debut to Sonny Perkins, who almost scored with his first touch on a productive night for the visitors.

What does it mean? Hammers in complete control

West Ham's stunning start to this campaign meant it would take a remarkable collapse not to advance to the knockout stage, but they took apart Rapid on matchday five just to make sure.

Although there were occasional lulls in the game, West Ham were always in control with 61.2 per cent of the possession, while their 12 shots had a collective value of 4.15 expected goals (xG).

Masuaku makes his mark

Knee surgery restricted Masuaku to 12 Premier League appearances last season, and Aaron Cresswell established himself as a surefire starter under Moyes in that time.

But the fit-again left-back took his opportunity to impress with an all-action display in Austria. Only Noble had more touches than Masuaku (92) at the time of his substitution, as he excelled at both ends, creating two chances while also making three interceptions, two tackles and two clearances.

Bowen off the boil

If West Ham have great depth at full-back, the same is not quite true up front. Michail Antonio was rested for this match, meaning Bowen played through the middle in the absence of an obvious natural alternative.

While it feels a little harsh to criticise Moyes' attack in a comprehensive win, Bowen alone could have stretched the scoreline significantly. The winger failed with three shots worth a combined 1.81 xG.

What's next?

Having taken care of business, West Ham can return their focus to the Premier League and a trip to Manchester City. Their next Europa League assignment is at home to Dinamo Zagreb on December 9, when Rapid go to Genk.

Michael Carrick insists he is fully focused on preparing Manchester United for Sunday's game against Chelsea, with the Red Devils reportedly on the brink of appointing Ralf Rangnick.

According to reports, the 63-year-old is set to take over the reins at Old Trafford as interim manager for the remainder of this season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having been dismissed after last weekend's 4-1 defeat at Watford.

The Red Devils are believed to have agreed terms with Rangnick and Lokomotiv Moscow, where he is serving as their head of sports and development.

Carrick, who was assistant to Solskjaer, oversaw United's 2-0 win over Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday, and will remain in charge for this weekend's showdown with Premier League leaders Chelsea.

And the former midfielder, who played over 450 times and won five Premier League titles at Old Trafford, has his sights firmly set on the trip to Stamford Bridge.

"My future is the next two or three days – that's as far as I'm prepared to look," he said. "That's the right way to go about it. 

"Football is that type of business – you never know what's around the corner at the best of times. All my energy is on Sunday.

"I'll control what I can control. How do I prepare the team for the next game? Everything else is not for me to worry about or get involved with."

"I'm literally just looking at this next game, a huge game. Whatever happens after that we'll have to wait and see.

"I didn't put myself in this position, but to be involved in a big game like this – as a player or coach – it's a hugely challenging game. 

“Playing against Chelsea, they were always our big rivals when I first got here. I've got a history with them, but we thrive on that competition."

Rangnick's first game at the helm would be the home Premier League clash with Arsenal next week.

The German has managed five clubs in the Bundesliga and guided Schalke to a second-place finish in 2004-05.

He also steered them to glory in the DFB-Pokal six years later, as well as the Champions League semi-finals.

David Luiz believes Flamengo "without a doubt" have the quality to play in the Champions League as they prepare for the Copa Libertadores final against Palmeiras.

Former Chelsea centre-back David Luiz joined Flamengo in September, ending a 14-year association with European football after his contract with Arsenal expired. 

Injuries have hampered his return to Brazilian domestic football, but his side have cruised to the final of South America's showpiece event with a perfect six wins beyond the group stage.

Indeed, the 34-year-old made his debut in the Libertadores semi-final against Barcelona SC following a lengthy spell on the sidelines after knee surgery when at Arsenal.

While Palmeiras remain focused on the weekend, David Luiz told Stats Perform how he believes Flamengo are good enough to play in Europe's premier club competition.

"I believe that is right," David Luiz responded when asked whether Flamengo could cut it in the Champions League.

"Flamengo are the first club to be organised to give players the opportunity to represent and do best what we have to do, and that is to play football the best way we can. 

"We have an amazing structure – high calibre players, players who have played in numerous places and have a lot of quality. I believe, yes, we have the quality to play in the Champions League, without a doubt."

Palmeiras are eyeing a title defence in Montevideo after succeeding in last year's final against Santos in CONMEBOL's top-tier club tournament.

Flamengo, meanwhile, are searching for their second South American title in three seasons, and former right-back and now Cruzeiro assistant manager Juliano Belletti told Stats Perform how the pair have reached a class above in Brazilian football.

"It's a fact that Palmeiras and Flamengo have reached another level here within Brazilian football," Belletti said.

"With the signings that were made, the investment, both on and off the pitch. It's interesting to highlight that too. The structure of the clubs has changed a lot, for the better. 

"That's why they deserve to be in the Libertadores final. It's a match of great technical quality, which often goes against the spirit of the Libertadores that many people talk about.

"We see Palmeiras and Flamengo coming through, playing great football. They played good football to reach the final, a well-balanced game, and they deserved to be in this final match."

However, Belletti – who enjoyed spells with Barcelona and Chelsea during his playing days – was more measured in his response when asked the same question about Flamengo's Champions League credentials.

"The technical quality doesn't define a team's capacity to play or not in a competition like the Champions League," Belletti responded. 

"But there are players of quality that could play in teams that compete in the Champions League. That's for sure."

Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby have withdrawn their intention to appeal against sanctions imposed and have apologised to match officials for misconduct during the British and Irish Lions series.

South Africa director of rugby Erasmus was last week banned from all rugby activities for two months and suspended from matchday activities until September 30 next year.

Erasmus was in hot water after he accused the Lions of "reckless and dangerous" play in their 22-17 win in the first Test in July and hit out at the standard of refereeing from Nic Berry.

The World Cup-winning coach also made the claims in a 62-minute video clip posted on social media as he highlighted what he felt were a number of calls that went against the world champions.

Erasmus also retweeted clips from an anonymous Twitter user, alleged to be one of his own accounts, highlighting "questionable calls".

World Rugby last week revealed that an independent misconduct committee found the 49-year-old was guilty of all six charges that were brought against him.

The 49-year-old was also warned about his future conduct and told to issue an apology to the relevant match officials, while a fine of £20,000 was issued to SA Rugby along with a warning over the governing body's conduct going forward.

Both Erasmus and SA Rugby stated they would exercise their rights to appeal the verdicts, but both parties have now decided against challenging the sanctions.

A statement released by SA Rugby on Thursday said: "SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus wish to apologise to the match officials appointed to the first Test of the Springboks' Series against the British and Irish Lions.

"We also confirm that SA Rugby and Erasmus have advised World Rugby that they withdraw their Notice of Appeal and will not lodge an appeal against the sanctions imposed by the Judicial Committee.

"This has been a highly stressful and charged environment with unusual pressures placed on all concerned and we have no wish to prolong that experience for anyone.

"We have drawn a line under the incident and only wish to look forward. We will respect the outcomes of the hearing, allowing our national teams and rugby operations to plan with clarity for the coming months."

A World Rugby statement said: "World Rugby welcomes the public apology from SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus to the match officials involved in the first test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions this year and the matter is closed."

Tabraiz Shamsi says there is no chance South Africa will be "slacking off" when they face the Netherlands in a historic three-match ODI series.

Temba Bavuma is among a host of South Africa players to be given a rest for matches that will form part of the Cricket World Cup Super League, so Keshav Maharaj leads the side in a series that starts at SuperSport Park on Friday.

South Africa are ninth in the Super League standings, while the Netherlands are bottom but have only played three matches as they eye a place in the 2023 World Cup.

The Dutch are very much underdogs for their first full international series against the Proteas in South Africa.

Shamsi says South Africa will not be taking anything for granted as they look to put the disappointment of missing out on the T20 World Cup semi-finals behind them.

The spinner said: "It is going to be a good challenge. They are obviously going to be up to the fight but so are we because we have some new guys in the squad. That's a lovely opportunity for all of us to put in performances and to put our hands up.

"As you have seen, we have a World Cup basically every year and we always want to win but the simple thing is to prepare as best as we can.

"We can't take these guys lightly because they have quality players in the squad. They have a lot of guys who have been playing county cricket as well but we are definitely not slacking off.

"Just looking at the opposition, they have some quality players in their squad and we will have to be at our best to beat them and get all the Super League points."

 

Proteas pacers can show strength in depth

South Africa are set to unleash a new-look pace attack on the Netherlands after Lungi Ngidi joined the list of absentees following his positive coronavirus test.

With Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje rested, there will be a chance for Sisanda Magala, Daryn Dupavillon and Junior Dala to charge in.

The experienced Wayne Parnell makes a long-awaited return, while Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo are also included.

Khaya Zondo is also back in the squad over three years after the middle-order batsman played his last ODI.

 

Feeling at home on tour

The tourists will have a former South Africa international in their ranks as Roelof van der Merwe returns to his homeland.

Colin Ackermann, Stephan Myburgh, Brandon Glover and Clayton Floyd were also born in South Africa, while Ryan ten Doeschate has taken on a mentor role following his recent retirement. 

The Netherlands have been smarting from failing to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup, having lost all three matches.

Sheffield United have dismissed Slavisa Jokanovic and appointed Paul Heckingbottom's as manager until the end of the 2025-26 season.

Jokanovic signed a three-year deal to take over at Bramall Lane following the Blades' relegation to the Championship, but has departed only six months into his reign with the club 16th in the second tier.

Heckingbottom, who stepped in as caretaker boss last season following Chris Wilder's departure, has been installed as boss on a long-term deal.

The former Leeds United, Barnsley and Hibernian manager had been in charge of the South Yorkshire club's Under-23 side. Stuart McCall will be Heckingbottom's number two.

The Blades were relegated from the Premier League with a whimper last season, finishing bottom after winning only seven matches.

Stephen Curry hailed his "unbelievable" younger brother Seth as the sibling rivalry became a thrilling sideshow in the Golden State Warriors' win over the 76ers.

It appeared Seth was going to win the battle but lose the war when he led Stephen in scoring while Philadelphia trailed in the game, going into the closing minutes.

Yet a three-pointer with 1:27 to play from Stephen meant he reached 25 points as well as finishing on the winning team, while Seth ended the game on 24 points and on the beaten side.

On Thursday, both NBA stars were set to get together with their family for Thanksgiving, along with Golden State's Damion Lee, who is brother-in-law to the pair after marrying their sister, Sydel.

Philadelphia swept to a 34-23 lead after the first quarter as Seth Curry made a blazing start to Wednesday's game, but a dazzling second half from Stephen and the Warriors saw them dominate 64-35 to snatch a 116-96 win.

Seth missed all five of his three-point attempts, to put another downer on his night.

He said of facing Stephen: "It's not always fun to play against him. For 80 nights out of the year, I want him to have a good game and them to win, but tonight the switch is flipped and I gotta compete against him and try to stop him.

"It's good for our families to watch. I was a little upset in the end of the fourth: it was the first chance I had to outscore him and he gets a wide open three at the end of the game when it's said and done to eclipse me by one point, so I wasn't happy about that."

All the same, Seth was smiling about it all, so a family get-together looked sure to be an enjoyable affair.

He added: "Especially around the holidays it's good for everybody to see each other, and you don't take it for granted, me, Stephen and Damion playing against each other."

 

This was the second time this season the Warriors won a game by at least 20 points after trailing by at least 10. The rest of the NBA's teams only have three such games.

Stephen Curry made just one free throw (Seth was eight-from-eight from the line) but connected on six of 11 three-point attempts.

After the game, Stephen insisted he had been unaware Seth was close to pipping him for points until that late three-pointed.

"He reminded me right after the game. I didn't know the stakes were so high on that shot," Stephen said.

"That dude's playing unbelievable basketball. It's fun to watch and he continues to get better. It's impressive the way he's playing and the way he's stepped into his identity in this league. I'm a proud, proud brother."

Golden State have won nine straight home games, all by at least 13 points.

Stephen Curry felt the second-half contribution of Juan Toscano-Anderson was key to the comeback, with abundant energy complementing his 13 points, six rebounds and six assists.

"For sure. That is contagious. You feel a different spirit because of how much it means to him and how he knows he can influence and impact games," said Warriors star Curry.

"Anybody can skill their way into it and have that flashiness. He has that dog in him that comes out and it's contagious for sure and we feed off that."

Gennadiy Golovkin says a third fight with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez remains "possible" but no progress has been made over a potential trilogy.

Golovkin and Canelo's first battle ended in a split-decision draw in September 2017 before the Mexican superstar contentiously won the rematch on points 12 months later.

There has been plenty of talk about a third fight, but it has not yet come to fruition.

Canelo is set to chase a title in a fifth weight class after the WBC approved his request to challenge Ilunga Junior Makabu for the cruiserweight championship.

The 31-year-old made history with a brutal 11th-round knockout of Caleb Plant in their blockbuster unification showdown on November 6 – becoming the first undisputed super middleweight champion.

Golovkin's next assignment is a fight with Ryota Murata in Japan on December 29.

The 39-year-old Kazakh middleweight icon believes another fight with Canelo could happen, but is not on the cards as it stands.

He told Sky Sports: "This fight is possible. Theoretically nothing has changed.

"There are certain questions which have been posed. They are still open, they remain unanswered.

"We have been discussing it but haven't moved towards this fight for quite some time. You are interested because he beat all the UK fighters! But it is of no concern to me."

What Golovkin is certain of is that he will not be moving into a different weight division.

"I don't want to entertain moving to a different division unless there is an offer on the table," he added.

"Imagine if I moved to 175lbs [light-heavyweight], the number of people calling me out will increase by 30 per cent!

"The army of fighters who self-promote themselves by using my name would only increase in number."

Shreyas Iyer marked his Test debut with 75 not out as India held the upper hand by reaching 258-4 at stumps on day one against New Zealand.

Following 54 appearances in limited-overs internationals for his country, Iyer was given the opportunity in the long format and showed he has what it takes in this first game of a two-match series.

The 26-year-old shared an unbroken 113-run fifth-wicket partnership with Ravindra Jadeja, who scrambled a single in the fading light to end the day on 50 not out.

Their commanding batting meant India did not lose a wicket after tea, scoring 104 runs in 28 overs, with Iyer striking a six off William Somerville in the final over of the day.

It was his second maximum of the innings to go with seven fours, giving India a strong platform from which to build on Friday.

Kyle Jamieson was the pick of New Zealand's attack with 3-47 and said India were "maybe a fraction ahead".

He bowled India opener Shubman Gill for 52, having earlier had Mayank Agarwal (13) caught behind, then got lucky when India captain Ajinkya Rahane played on to go for 35.

Cheteshwar Pujara was caught by wicketkeeper Tom Blundell off Tim Southee for 26, but Iyer and Jadeja's solid union meant India finished the day on top at Kanpur's Green Park Stadium.

Jamieson told Sky Sports: "Hopefully the new ball swings a little in the morning and we can take a few, but at the same time there's two really classy guys in the middle and there's still some batters to come, so we'll have to be on our game tomorrow morning.

"I think we've hung around pretty good. To have them four down, certainly we'd have liked another one or two more, but if we have a good start early tomorrow morning we're still in a pretty good position."


Iyer in good company

As he navigated his way three quarters of the way to a century, Iyer found capable and experienced company at the other end. Jadeja is one of just five India players to have reached 200 Test wickets and 2,000 runs in the long format, and he now has 17 fifties alongside a lone Test century. Iyer became India's 63rd debutant to post a half-century, and he could become the 22nd newcomer to make three figures.

Not the only new face

As Iyer caught the eye, India Test debutant Rachin Ravindra found it altogether more tricky to make an impact. In seven overs of his left-arm spin, the 22-year-old Ravindra failed to make a breakthrough, giving away 28 runs.

Wherever you stand on football's GOAT debate, you can't deny the legacy of Diego Maradona.

Some would place him behind Lionel Messi as Argentina's greatest ever footballer, and short of Pele in the sport's pantheon of the mighty; others would say Maradona eclipses them all. It's a debate that has raged for decades, and one that is not likely to be settled for some time.

But nobody can argue that Maradona – who died a year ago to the day at the age of 60 – produced a string of performances to rival anything the World Cup has ever witnessed in Mexico in 1986.

From the group stage to the final with West Germany, via the 'Goal of the Century' and a brazen moment of cheating, Maradona was so far above his contemporaries that the sheer idea of anyone else winning the Golden Ball was laughable.

Argentina beat South Korea, drew with Italy and defeated Bulgaria in their group, then saw off Uruguay, England and Belgium in the knockouts before a 3-2 final defeat of West Germany. 

As Opta data shows, Maradona was the beating heart of the Albiceleste's second World Cup triumph.

TAKE MY BREATH AWAY

Gary Lineker was the only player to score more goals (six) at the 1986 World Cup than Maradona (five). That's about the only category where he did not come out on top.

He added five assists to those five goals in his seven appearances, giving him the most goal involvements (10) of any player, ahead of the USSR's Igor Belanov (eight), and Lineker, Careca and Preben Elkjaer Larsen (six).

It stands to reason that Maradona also created more goalscoring chances (27) than any other player. Next on the list was France's Alain Giresse (24), then Klaus Allofs (23), Michel Platini (19) and Careca (17).

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH

Everyone, most famously West Germany, tried to man-mark Maradona out of the equation. None succeeded.

He completed 53 dribbles across the tournament, a tally that puts the rest of the competition to shame. The next highest number was recorded by USSR's Ivan Yaremchuk, who managed 16.

Of course, that kind of dazzling play will always attract a more prosaic approach from the opposition. Maradona was fouled 53 times, more than double the number of anyone else (Enzo Francescoli was next on 27 fouls won).

EDGE OF HEAVEN

Maradona's all-round impact on proceedings could only come from a player given freedom to drop deeper and seize the ball from lesser men. It's incredible, then, that he managed 44 touches in the opposition box, eight more than the next-highest on the list, Brazil's Careca. Lineker, winner of the Golden Boot, had 31 such touches.

Lineker and England have, of course, never forgotten Maradona's impact on their 2-1 quarter-final defeat in Mexico City. It was the scene of his greatest goal – a mazy, miraculous waltz through the heart of the opposition that ended with the bamboozling of goalkeeper Peter Shilton – and his crowning moment of infamy, when 'The Hand of God' punched Argentina into the lead.

Perhaps that wasn't such a one-off, though. Since 1966, no player has committed as many handballs at the World Cup as Maradona (seven) – and they're just the ones the referees spotted.

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