The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the controversial “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup sold for $9.3 million (£7.1 million), the highest ever auction price for a sports memorabilia.
Auctioneer Sotheby’s sold the shirt in an online auction that closed on Wednesday. It did not identify the buyer.
Maradona scored two goals during the quarterfinal game in Mexico City on 22 June 1986, exactly four years after Britain and Argentina fought on the Falkland Islands. The Argentine great’s first goal was a header, but the ball hit Maradona’s fist, out of sight of the referee.
Maradona later said that it was made “a little by Maradona’s head, and a little by the hand of God”.
Maradona’s second goal saw the ball dribble in front of almost the entire English team before defeating goalkeeper Peter Shilton. In 2002, it was voted “Goal of the Century” in a FIFA poll.
Argentina won the game 2–1 and won the World Cup.
after the game. Maradona swapped the shirt with England midfielder Steve Hodge, who had long loaned it 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, battled cocaine abuse and other excesses and died in November 2020 at the age of 60.
After Sotheby’s announced the upcoming sale last month, relatives of Maradona suspected that the blue number 10 jersey was the shirt the football star wore in the second half of the game, when he scored both goals. The auction house said the shirt’s identity was confirmed by sports memorabilia photo-matching firm Resolution Photomatching and confirmed by Sotheby’s chief science officer.
Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles Brahm Wachter said the shirt “is a true reminder of an important moment not only in the history of the sport, but in the history of the 20th century.”
A previous record $8.8 million was paid for sports memorabilia at the 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 price includes an auction house fee known as the buyer’s premium.