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Butcher, who’s he? asks Maradona

By Steven Beacom

England produced a superb performance to win in Germany but it was their old foe, Diego Maradona, who showed the most cutting edge in a not so friendly occasion at Hampden Park.

Maradona mocked Terry Butcher after a Maxi Rodriguez goal gave Argentina a deserved 1-0 victory over Scotland at Hampden last night in his first match in charge of the South Americans.

The Scotland assistant manager – who played for England when Maradona scored his 'Hand of God' goal in the infamous 1986 World Cup quarter-final victory in Mexico – insisted he was still feeling so sore about the incident he would not shake Maradona's hand after their challenge match at the national stadium.

While Maradona fretted about the health of his youngest daughter Giannina, who had suffered a pregnancy scare which had led to her fiance, Sergio Aguero, quitting the Argentina camp to return to Spain, Maxi slid the ball past Scotland keeper Allan McGregor with only eight minutes gone to set up a comfortable win.

Butcher was nowhere to be seen when the final whistle sounded but afterwards at the press conference, when asked if he had shaken the former England captain's hand, Maradona retorted: "Who is he? Who is Butcher?

"I greeted the Scotland manager after the game. Who is Butcher?"

Then bursting into a wide smile, Maradona said: "Since the bad news I've had about my daughter, it's the first time I've managed to laugh.

"I've been thinking of my daughter and her baby and the lads made things easy for me during a difficult time.

"She was happy for me to be here leading the Argentina side. The players wore the shirt with pride and made me proud.”

The England players can also be proud of their excellent display in Berlin with goals from Matthew Upson and skipper John Terry earning them a 2-1 victory over Germany.

Terry saluted the performance of Fabio Capello's fringe players after heading a late winner in the Olympic Stadium.

The Chelsea defender blamed himself – and exonerated goalkeeper Scott Carson – for gifting Germany's Patrick Helmes an equaliser early in the second half.

But Terry, one of only three first choice players in the side, made amends by heading home a Stewart Downing free-kick with just six minutes remaining.

And he believes the players who won in Berlin have given Capello a headache for when the World Cup qualifiers resume in the New Year.

Terry said: "The youngsters can be proud of themselves and I thought Gabby (Gabriel Agbonlahor) did fantastically well and let's hope he keeps that form going for Aston Villa and England.

"I think these youngsters who have done so well in Germany have given the manager a difficult problem for the future when he comes to picking his side.”

It was not such a good night for the Republic of Ireland with Giovanni Trapattoni experiencing defeat for the first time as his side lost 3-2 at home to Poland, while Wales won 1-0 in Denmark.

Belfast Telegraph

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