Diego Maradona   handles the ball past Peter Shilton of England to score

High noon, one blistering Sunday in Mexico City, and a quarter-final shootout between two arch rivals who hadn’t met in a World Cup for 20 years and h(...)

West German goalkeeper Toni Schumacher (right) jumps past the ball as he gets ready to collide with French defender Patrick Battiston during the 1982 World Cup semi-final in Stockholm. Battiston was carried off the field on a stretcher while Schumacher, unpunished,  resumed play with a goal-kick. Photograph: AFP

The semi-final stage of the World Cup has, on balance, not been particularly kind to France. In 1958, the free-scoring team of Just Fontaine and Raymo(...)