Maradona's "Hand of God" jersey auctioned for $9.3 million
Maradona's "Hand of God" Argentina jersey breaks the record for any sold item of sports memorabilia.
The jersey that late Argentina football legend Diego Maradona wore while scoring twice against England in the 1986 World Cup, including the infamous "hand of God" goal, was auctioned for $9.3 million, a record for any item of sports memorabilia, Sotheby's fine arts company announced on Wednesday.
Seven bidders competed for the jersey in an auction that began April 20 and ended Wednesday morning, Sotheby's noted, without releasing the name of the buyer.
In a statement after the sale, Sotheby's head of streetwear and modern collectibles Brahm Wachter highlighted that "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."
"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," he added.
Diego Maradona's shirt that he scored the 'Hand of God' and the 'Goal of the Century' in at the 1986 World Cup has sold for a world-record £7.1 million at auction 🤑 pic.twitter.com/DHYrEHL6ki— GOAL (@goal) May 4, 2022
Hodge, whose autobiography is titled "The man with Maradona's shirt," has for the past 20 years loaned the jersey to be on public display at the National Football Museum in Manchester.
He previously expressed his pride in owning the shirt for over 35 years, adding that the "Hand of God shirt has deep cultural meaning to the football world, the people of Argentina, and the people of England and I’m certain that the new owner will have immense pride in owning the world’s most iconic football shirt."
Maradona's infamous goal came after Maradona, running into the box, rose with England's goalkeeper Peter Shilton and punched the ball into the net. He later said the goal had been scored "a little with the head of Maradona, a little with the hand of God."
The Hand of God and the Goal of the Century.— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 4, 2022
The shirt Diego Maradona wore during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal vs. England has been sold at auction for $8.9M 👕 pic.twitter.com/s4ng2cmmLa
Maradona's daughter: "It's a mix-up"
Earlier this month, Maradona's daughter, Dalma, cast doubt on the sale when she claimed that the shirt put up for auction 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 dad's second-half jersey, but it's a mix-up. He has the one from the first half," she indicated. However, Sotheby's insisted they had the right shirt.
A Sotheby's spokesperson told AFP that "prior to putting this shirt for sale, we did extensive diligence and scientific research on the item to make sure it was the shirt worn by Maradona in the second half for the two goals."
The photo-matching process had involved matching the shirt "to both goals examining unique details on various elements of the item, including the patch, stripes, and numbering," she explained.
Maradona himself had acknowledged the provenance of the shirt himself, in his book "Touched by God," and he recalls giving it to Hodge at the end of the match.
The previous record for a game-worn shirt from any sport was $5.6 million, set in 2019 for a jersey baseballer Babe Ruth wore while on the New York Yankees.
Until now the auction record for any sports memorabilia was the original autograph manuscript of the Olympic Manifesto from 1892, which sold at Sotheby’s for $8.8 million in December 2019.