The shirt that Lionel Messi wore during Argentina’s 2022 Fifa World Cup final triumph over France is anticipated to sell for a record-breaking $10 million (£8 million) when a set of six shirts that he wore are put up for auction at Sotheby’s in New York on Thursday with the intention of breaking the record.
At three o’clock in the afternoon, GMT on Wednesday, bids for Messi’s shirts had reached as high as $6.5 million. There are still 26 hours left until the auction finishes at five o’clock on Thursday.
If the lot is successful in attracting bids that are greater than $10.1 million, it will establish a new price record for sports tops. This will surpass the $10.091 million that was paid for a jersey that Michael Jordan wore during Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals.
If Messi’s shirts were to sell for more than the £7,142,500 that was paid earlier this year for the shirt that Diego Maradona wore when he scored twice, including the “hand of God” goal, to knock England out of the 1986 World Cup, then Messi’s clothes would become the most expensive football gear that has ever been sold.
Steve Hodge, the England midfielder who accidentally passed the ball to Maradona for the handball goal, has been the owner of Maradona’s shirt for the past 35 years. Hodge was the one who made the mistake. Towards the conclusion of the game, the two players exchanged their shirts. Sotheby’s was also responsible for selling the shirts for both Jordan and Maradona.
During the group stage, Messi wore two different shirts, which are included in the Messi set. The remaining four were worn throughout the quarterfinals, the semi-finals, the final, and the other four rounds of the tournament.
During the course of the competition, Messi finished with seven goals and three assists, including two goals in the championship game. After Kylian Mbappé of France, he was awarded the silver boot for being the second-highest scorer in the tournament. He was also awarded the golden ball for being the greatest player in the competition.
Messi includes the following statement in the catalogue that is included with the shirts: “It was wonderful. For me, that day was the beginning of everything. Having waited for such a long time in my professional life, we were finally able to achieve the goal that we had dreamed of so much. At long last, it transpired at the very end.”
Messi had already won ten LaLiga titles with Barcelona, four Champions League titles, and the Copa América and Finalissima trophies with Argentina, but the World Cup trophy was the ultimate achievement that he had been hoping to achieve. After being honored with seven Ballon d’Ors, he had already established himself as the most decorated football player in history. Since then, he has won yet another.
According to the details provided in the catalogue, the shirts that are now for sale were “worn through the first half of each respective match.” A portion of the revenue that has not been disclosed will be given to the Unicas project, which is being directed by the Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s hospital and is receiving funding from the Leo Messi Foundation. The purpose of this initiative is to provide assistance to children who are afflicted with unusual diseases.