Sotheby’s auctioned off the jersey that Argentina football icon Diego Maradona wore while scoring twice against England in the 1986 World Cup, including the memorable “Hand of God” goal, for USD 9.3 million.
Sotheby’s said seven bidders competed for the clothing in an auction that began April 20 and ended Wednesday morning, without revealing the buyer’s name.
“This historic shirt is a tangible reminder of an important moment not only in the history of sports, but in the history of the 20th century. This is arguably the most coveted football shirt to ever come to auction, and so it is fitting that it now holds the auction record for any object of its kind,” Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles Brahm Wachter said in a statement after the sale.
The jersey had previously belonged to rival midfielder Steve Hodge, who switched it with Maradona after England lost 2-1.
Hodge, whose autobiography is titled “The Man with Maradona’s Shirt,” has loaned the jersey to the National Football Museum in Manchester for the past 20 years.
Maradona’s two goals – one controversial and one brilliant – in Mexico City’s seething Aztec Stadium cemented his place in football history.
The first came just after halftime, when Hodge intercepted a pass on the edge of the England penalty area and flicked the ball back towards goal.
Running into the box, Maradona climbed alongside England’s goalkeeper Peter Shilton and punched the ball into the net. He later said the goal had been scored “a little with the head of Maradona, a little with the hand of God.”
Soon after, Maradona sped past five English defenders before gliding past Shilton and slotting home the “Goal of the Century” in a 2002 FIFA poll.
Argentina went on to win the final, and Maradona, who died of a heart attack in 2020, became a national hero in Argentina.
“The Golden Boy” held many Guinness World Records, including the most football (soccer) FIFA World Cup appearances as captain (16) and the most goals scored in a football (soccer) FIFA World Cup as captain (6).
He played 91 times for Argentina before taking over as head coach for their World Cup campaign in 2010.
He spent nearly ten years in Europe as a club player, with stints at Barcelona, Napoli, and Sevilla.
Record Breaking Shirt!
And so, just like the man who wore it, the iconic shirt has broken a couple of records at the auction!
The shirt is both the most expensive football (soccer) shirt sold at auction as well as the most expensive sports memorabilia sold at auction.
The shirt was most recently on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester, UK and had an estimated sale price of £4million ($5.25million).
But of course, the final price crossed that predicted line and almost doubled in value!