The jersey worn by Maradona during the ‘Hand of God’ goal to sell for $5.2 million – Reuters Sports News

The iconic piece of sports memorabilia will be on display in Sotheby’s London showroom during the bidding period



By AP

Published: Wed 6 Apr 2022, 2:30 PM

Last update: Wed 6 Apr 2022, 2:36 PM

It was the best of times – or the worst of times – in football history, and now deep-pocketed sports fans can own a piece of it.

The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the controversial ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the 1986 World Cup is on sale for the first time.

Auctioneer Sotheby’s said on Wednesday the jersey could fetch more than 4 million pounds ($5.2 million) at an online auction which opens on April 20.

Brahm Wachter, head of streetwear and modern collectibles at Sotheby’s, said the shirt was “on a small list of the most important sports memorabilia items in the world”.

“I’ll never be able to handle something this good again,” Wachter said. “The moment is iconic in the history of the sport.”

Maradona scored twice in the quarter-final match in Mexico City on June 22, 1986, just four years after Britain and Argentina fought a war for the Falkland Islands. The Argentine great’s first goal was ruled as a header, but the ball had bounced off Maradona’s fist, out of sight of the referee.

Maradona said afterwards that he was marked “a little with Maradona’s head, and a little with the hand of God”.

Maradona’s second goal saw him dribble almost the entire England team before beating goalkeeper Peter Shilton. In 2002, he was voted “goal of the century” in a FIFA poll.

Wachter said the two goals “balance each other brilliantly” and reveal two sides of Maradona’s character.

The first “was really tricky and involved an element of luck,” he said. “But then he scored a second goal, which was one of the most incredible – almost angelic – goals of all time.”

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Argentina won the match 2-1 and won the World Cup. 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.

After the match, Maradona swapped his shirt with England midfielder Steve Hodge, who never sold it until now. For the past 20 years he has been on loan to England’s National Football Museum in Manchester.

The blue jersey with light blue stripes was a one-off, hastily put together as the tops the Argentine team planned to wear were deemed too heavy for the Mexico heat. Argentine Football Association crests were sewn on and shiny numbers, including Maradona’s 10, were ironed on the back shortly before the game.

Hodge said he had been the “proud owner” of a shirt which “has deep cultural significance for the world of football, the people of Argentina and the people of England”. According to Wachter, Hodge had decided “the time was right” to sell.

Sports memorabilia prices have skyrocketed in recent years. The jersey could break a record for sportswear, held by a Babe Ruth New York Yankees jersey which sold for $5.64 million in 2019. A buyer paid $8.8 million for the manifesto which has launched the modern Olympic movement, a record for a sports article. .

The shirt will be displayed in the Sotheby’s showroom in London during the auction period from April 20 to May 4.

Elizabeth J. Harless