ALAPPUZHA: When Diego Maradona mesmerised the world with his 'Goal of the Century' in the 1986 world cup in Mexico, another name too was etched in the footballing hall of fame -- Victor Hugo Morales, the Spanish commentator. Football fans say, that wonder goal against England in a quarterfinal match is best enjoyed in the company of Morales' electric voice.
Now, the legendary piece of football commentary has been recreated in Malayalam! And to fulsome praise from the master himself.
Initiated by Kerala Calling, the Kerala public relations department publication, the Malayalam rendition comes from Shaiju Damodaran, popular with Kerala fans for his energetic work in the Indian Super League.
Interestingly, Morales himself had expressed interest to hear his Maradona commentary recreated in the local language.
The Uruguay-born Argentina-settled commentator made the request when C Rajesh, the editor of Kerala Calling, approached him for an interview.
"When I contacted him two weeks ago for an interview about Maradona for the latest edition of our magazine, he agreed to an email interview. But his demand was not money, rather the reproduction of his commentary on Maradona's goal in our language. My search for a Malayalam commentator ended with Shaiju," Rajesh said.
The Spanish commentary was translated and reproduced using the ambience of the boisterous gallery in the original.
"Morales was pleased to hear the Malayalam commentary and has aired it in Argentina through his Radio programme AM 750," Rajesh said.
Shaiju said recreating the commentary following the original track was a very difficult task.
"After repeated takes, I managed to recreate the commentary. After hearing my commentary in an unknown language, he thanked me through an email," Shaiju said.
In the Argentina-England match held on June 22, 1986, at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Maradona dribbled his way from Argentina's half past the entire English defence including the goalkeeper to score what was voted the goal of the 20th century.
Earlier in the match, Maradona had scored the 'Hand of God' goal where he surreptitiously punched the ball over English keeper Peter Shilton while attempting a header