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The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored his famous "hand of God" goal has sold for a record-breaking £7.1 million.
The late Argentinian player swapped his number 10 shirt with England midfielder Steve Hodge at the end of their 1986 World Cup quarter-final match in 1986 and following a 20-year stint on loan to the National Football Museum in Manchester, the garment went under the hammer at Sotheby's on Wednesday (04.05.22) afternoon, with the winning bid of £7, 142,500 setting a new auction record for an item of sports memorabilia.
The buyer has not been named.
Maradona - who died in November 2020, aged 60 - famously described his opening goal in the match as “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God” as the referee didn't see it had touched his left hand when it bounced into the net. He went on to score a second goal in the match, with the strike voted goal of the century in 2002, and Argentina ultimately won the World Cup that year.
Ahead of the sale, Sotheby's admitted there had been a "palpable excitement in the air" over the chance to own the "historic shirt".
Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles, said: “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.
“In the weeks since we announced the auction we have been inundated by sports fans and collectors alike, with a palpable excitement in the air for the duration of the public exhibition – and this unfiltered enthusiasm was echoed in the bidding. 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.”
Meanwhile, former England player Steve described the garment as having "deep cultural meaning to the football world, the people of Argentina and the people of England.”
He added: “It was an absolute privilege to have played against one of the greatest and most magnificent football players of all time.”
Before the sale of the shirt - which was expected to sell for at least £4 million - the previous sports memorabilia auction record was set in 2019 when an original autographed manuscript of the Olympic manifesto from 1892 sold for $8.8 million, or £7.05 million at the current exchange rate.