A jersey worn by Argentine football legend Diego Maradona when he scored his “Hand of God” goal in 1986, has broken the record for the highest price paid for a piece of sports memorabilia when it sold for USD 9.28 million (RM 40.67 million) at a recent Sotheby’s auction in London.
The previous high for a sports memorabilia was USD 8.8 million, which was what the original hand-drawn Olympic manifesto fetched in 2019 in New York. The final price for Maradona’s jersey thus also surpasses the previous record for a match-worn jersey, which was USD 5.64 million in 2019 for Babe Ruth’s 1928-1930 New York Yankees shirt.
“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,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables.
Why was the Maradona jersey so coveted?
The two goals that immortalised El Diego
Maradona wore the jersey during the historic match against England in the quarterfinal of the 1986 World Cup. In that match, he scored both goals for Argentina in the second half to defeat England 2-1.
The first of the two goals came to be known as the “Hand of God”. In a controversial move, Maradona softly punched the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton to the dismay of the English. Describing the goal later, Maradona had said that it was “a little from the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God.”
The second, however, is considered one of the greatest goals in the history of football. Maradona dribbled past almost the entire English team starting from the halfway line and shot the ball into the back of the net as the hapless Shelton looked on. FIFA later named it the “Goal of the Century”.
Jersey was with England midfielder Steve Hodge
The jersey was in the possession of former England midfielder Steve Hodge, who obtained it immediately after the 1986 match in a swap with Maradona. The “Hand of God” jersey was on display in the National Football Museum since 2002 and Hodge had declined numerous bids for it in the past.
The family of Maradona, who died in November 2020, had claimed that the jersey was not the one the Argentine legend wore during the encounter with England. But Sotheby’s verified its authenticity using Resolution Photomatching.
The estimate for the shirt was between USD 5 million and USD 7.5 million. The auction was announced on 6 April and opened on 21 April.
(Main and Featured images: Sotheby’s)
This story first appeared on Augustman Singapore