Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ jersey sells for $ 9.3 Million

During the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup, England footballer Steve Hodge snatched a goal from Argentina goalkeeper Diego Maradona, enabling Maradona to score one of the most famous goals against Hodge.

It would be one of the most talked about goals in professional football: In a series of high-speed matches, Maradona ran with his left hand to hit the ball, and later asked for “God’s hand” to explain what had happened. .

In the tunnel after Argentina’s 2-1 win, Hodge asked Maradona to exchange jerseys.

Now, the winner of the exchange seems to be negotiating. Maradona made it to the finals and won, but Hodge received a shirt that, in the dry sweat and all, sold for nearly $ 9.3 million at an auction owned by Sotheby’s – believed to be the highest price ever paid for a piece of sports records.

Sotheby’s announced Wednesday sales on Twitter. It did not identify the buyer. In a news release, Sotheby’s quoted Hodge as calling it “fun” to show off the shirt for the past 20 years at the National Football Museum in Manchester, England.

He added, “The Hand of God jersey has great cultural significance for the football world, the Argentine people, and the British people and I am sure the new owner will be very proud to own the most amazing football shirt in the world. ”

Leila Dunbar, an expert on pop culture products, said the sale was a sign of a recent increase in the value of sports records. “Since 2020,” he said, “this recent rise is like nothing I have ever seen in more than three decades in business.”

Maradona, who is generally regarded as one of Pelé’s best football players, was known for his reckless and sudden explosions of kindness. Both qualities were evident in his performance in the second half of the quarter-final match against England, held in Mexico City.

After the error of the left hand, Maradona immediately began to celebrate, before the English players got a chance to explode the referees.

Four minutes later, Maradona scored what football fans had dedicated to a vote of the FIFA World Cup as the “Century Goal of the World Cup.” He started in half of his team’s field, going back for a while, running for a minute and in another slow motion, traveling 70 yards, dodging five English players, then hitting the team goalkeeper and – for a second before falling over – he scored the winning goal.

The Falklands War, which ended with the British defeat against Argentina, gave the match a great symbolic direction.

“This was revenge,” Maradona wrote in his autobiography, “I am Diego” (2000). “It was something bigger than us: we were defending our flag.”

The authenticity of the jersey was questioned a few weeks before, when Maradona’s eldest daughter, Dalma Maradona, told Agence France-Presse that her father had given Hodge the jersey he was wearing during the first half of the match which did not have many incidents.

A Sotheby’s spokesman told AFP that the auction house had done “extensive research and scientific research” to confirm the use of the jersey during the peak of the game. Accounts written by Maradona and Hodge confirm the exchange of jerseys after the game. (In an email, Sotheby’s spokesman confirmed that the jersey had not been washed since then.)

Rich Mueller, founder and editor of Sports Collectors Daily, a website that specializes in the sports memory industry, said the sale represented the highest price anyone had ever heard of paying for records, at auction or private sale.

Recent record auction products include the Babe Ruth jersey, which sold for $ 5.6 million in June 2019, and a document setting out the basic principles of the modern Olympics, which sold for $ 8.8 million in December 2019.

To show how sporting record prices went up, Ms. Dunbar, a valuer, said that in 2017, Jackie Robinson’s jersey from 1947, his rookie season, sold for around $ 2 million, and last year, Robinson’s jersey in 1950. sold more than twice – about $ 4.2 million . Bi. Dunbar estimated that the Robinson jersey that went on sale could bring in $ 10 million to $ 20 million.

“People realize that these products can be valued as a work of art,” Brahm Wachter, head of street and modern clothing collection at Sotheby’s, said. “I’ve been wanting to sell the shirt for a long time, maybe longer than any other product I’ve ever had the opportunity to sell.”

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