Maradona’s “Hand of God” World Cup jersey was sold at auction for 9.3 million dollars

The jersey that Argentine football legend Diego Maradona wore two goals against England in the 1986 World Cup, including the infamous “Hand of God” goal, was auctioned for $ 9.3 million, a record for any sports memorabilia item, Sotheby’s said Wednesday.

Seven bidders competed for the garment in an auction that began on April 20 and ended Wednesday morning, Sotheby’s said.

“This historic shirt is a tangible reminder of an important moment not only in the history of sport, but in the history of the 20th century,” said Brahm Wachter, head of streetwear and modern collectibles at Sotheby’s, in a statement after the sale.

“This is probably the most coveted soccer jersey ever auctioned, so it’s only fitting that it now holds the auction record for any item of its kind,” he said.

The shirt had been owned by opposing midfielder Steve Hodge, who swapped his shirt with Maradona after England lost 2-1.

Hodge, whose autobiography is titled “The Man in Maradona’s Shirt”, has lent the shirt for public display at Manchester’s National Football Museum for the past 20 years.

The quarter-final showdown was carved into footballing tradition for Maradona’s two goals – one infamous and one sublime – at Mexico City’s seething Aztec stadium.

The first comes shortly after half-time when Hodge, on the edge of England’s penalty area, intercepts a pass and returns the ball to the goal.

Maradona, running into the box, got up with England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and threw the ball into the net. Later he said that the goal had been scored “a little with the head of Maradona, a little with the hand of God”.

Shortly thereafter, Maradona left five English defenders in his wake before overtaking Shilton and heading home for a strike that was voted “Goal of the Century” in a 2002 FIFA poll.

Argentina won the final and Maradona, who died of a heart attack in 2020, was adored in his home country.

– Jersey mixed? –

Maradona’s daughter questioned the sale earlier this month when she claimed the shirt auctioned had been the one her father wore in the goalless first half, not the second when he scored his two goals.

“This former player thinks he has my father’s second half shirt, but it’s a mess. He has the first aid, “said he daughter of him Dalma.

Sotheby’s insisted they had the right shirt, though.

A spokesperson for Sotheby’s told AFP: “There was really a different shirt worn by Maradona in the first half, but there are clear differences between that and the one worn during the goals.

“And so, before putting this shirt on sale, we did a lot of diligence and scientific research on the article to make sure it was the shirt worn by Maradona in the second half for the two goals.”

The photomatching process involved matching the shirt “to both goals, examining the unique details on various elements of the object, including the patch, stripes and numbering.”

He added that Maradona himself had recognized the origin of the shirt himself, in his book “Touched by God”, and remembers having given it to Hodge at the end of the game.

The previous record for a jersey worn by any sport was $ 5.6 million, set in 2019 for a jersey worn by Babe Ruth while on the New York Yankees.

So far the auction record for any sports memorabilia was the original autographed manuscript of the 1892 Olympic Manifesto, which sold at Sotheby’s for $ 8.8 million in December 2019.