Diego Maradona gets a red card in the 1982 World Cup for a kick to the groin area of Brazilian midfielder João Batista. It seems like Maradona might have been try to get some revenge on Brazil for the moment just before this play where one of his teammates is fouled but the referee doesn’t called it.
But really Maradona is surely frustrated overall at losing 3-0 to Brazil in his first World Cup. Clearly Maradona knows what he’s doing here and isn’t really going for the soccer ball. It’s more a karate like kick to the groin and a deserved red card for Maradona. The weight and pressure on Maradona by the Argentine fans was beginning to take its toll on Maradona too. The red card makes you think of Beckham’s red card against Argentina as well.
I had forgotten about this Maradona red card but was reminded of it listening to the excellent podcast by Brian Phillips on Diego Maradona’s goals in the 1986 World Cup.
“Instead of fulfilling his destiny and leading the team to glory, Maradona goes a slightly different route: the route of kicking Brazil’s João Batista in the groin and getting a red card in the 85th minute. He’s booed—or as the English commentator John Helm says at the time, “roundly booed”—off the pitch.”
Of course later when Maradona joined Barcelona he’d be involved in another episode of kicking out.
Barcelona Versus Athletic Bilbao (1984): Insane Diego Maradona Brawl
In some ways though you can’t blame Maradona entirely. Since he was such a gifted player on the ball he was constantly hacked and kicked himself. Certainly during his time playing in Spain he was protected enough on the pitch.