BY MATT MASON / @MattMason_
I met God 14 years ago. We sat alone in a hotel conference room and he told me about his work. Being God, he was quite humble about his achievements. Gently clasping his long fingers together on the table between us, he spoke so impassively about The Miracle Of Marseille that his description dulled the otherworldly magic of his deeds.
Fifteen months earlier, on a warm Saturday evening in the south of France, God was sprinting along the grass inside Stade Vélodrome, watching a football drop from the sky towards him. What happened next was an incredible display of skill and nerve. Although the way God described it, it wasn’t anything special. “On the last moment before the ball reached my foot, I decided to take it inside,” he told me. “After that I just hit it.”
He hadn’t “just hit it”. After taming the dropping ball with one touch, he’d brushed it past panicked Argentinian defender Roberto Ayala with his next before calmly arcing a precise volley into the top corner with the outside of his right foot. Three beautiful, daring touches made all the more thrilling because they’d come in the final seconds of a deadlocked World Cup quarter-final.