Diego Maradona has set a new record. And this record does tell a thing or two about his popularity.
The shirt that Maradona worn when he scored the controversial ‘Hand of God’ goal versus England in the 1986 World Cup has been sold for 7.1 million pounds ($9.3 million), which is the highest price ever paid at auction for a piece of sports memorabilia. In Rupees, it amounts to Rs Seventy one crore, sixteen lakh, sixty six thousand and six hundred and ninety (Rs 71,16,66,690).
Auctioneer Sotheby’s sold the shirt in an online auction that closed Wednesday. It did not identify the buyer.
The Diego Maradona @Argentina shirt which he wore in the 1986 @FIFAWorldCup quarter-final against England has sold for _7,142,500 at the end of a two-week online auction at @Sothebys, it officially becomes the most expensive match-worn sports jersey in history. pic.twitter.com/MTGVFlgmhZ
— Asif Burhan (@AsifBurhan) May 4, 2022
Maradona scored two goals during the quarter-final game in Mexico City on June 22, 1986, just four years after Britain and Argentina had fought a war over the Falkland Islands.
The Argentine great’s first goal was ruled a header, but the ball had bounced off Maradona’s fist, out of sight of the referee.
Maradona said afterward that it had been scored ?a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God.”
Maradona’s second goal saw him dribble the ball past almost the entire English team before beating goalkeeper Peter Shilton. In 2002, it was voted ?goal of the century? in a FIFA poll.
After the game Maradona swapped shirts with England midfielder Steve Hodge, who loaned it long-term to England’s National Football Museum in Manchester before putting it up for sale.
Maradona, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, struggled with cocaine abuse and other excesses and died in November 2020 at age 60.
The previous record for sports memorabilia was $8.8 million paid at a December 2019 auction for the manifesto that launched the modern Olympic movement. The previous record for a piece of sportswear was $5.64 million for a Babe Ruth New York Yankees jersey in 2019.
The sale prices include an auction house charge known as the buyer’s premium.
With PTI inputs