- Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” jersey has just been sold for $9.28 million, auction house Sotheby’s has announced.
- It is believed to be the highest price ever paid for a sports memorabilia.
- The shirt belonged to Steve Hodge, who swapped shirts with Maradona at the 1986 World Cup.
Soccer legend Diego Maradona may have scored two of the world’s most famous goals in 1986, but it was his opponent who just became nearly $9.3 million richer from the feat.
Steve Hodge, a retired England midfielder who played against Maradona in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals, sold his Argentina counterpart’s shirt for $9.28million at auction organized by Sotheby’s, the auction house announced on Wednesday.
Known as the “Hand of God” shirt, it has been on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester for 20 years. According to Sotheby’s, the jersey is considered the most expensive sports memorabilia ever sold.
The shirt recalls Maradona’s infamous goal against England, in which he scored with his left hand, giving Argentina a 1-0 lead because the referee didn’t have a clear view of the game.
Minutes later he performed what is widely regarded as the greatest game in football of the 20th century, dribbling past five England players – including Hodge – before sending the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net.
Asked about the first goal, Maradona was famous city as saying it was due “a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God”.
Argentina ended up winning the game 2-1. In the stadium tunnel after the match, Maradona swapped shirts with Hodge, who has held the “Hand of God” shirt ever since.
“The Hand of God shirt has deep cultural significance for the world of football, the people of Argentina and the people of England, and I’m sure the new owner will be extremely proud to own the most iconic football shirt in the world,” Hodge said in a press release from Sotheby’s. The auction house did not identify the buyer of the jersey.
The cultural significance of the “Hand of God” game went beyond sport: the match was also seen as a symbolic act of revenge for Argentina after losing the Falklands War to the United Kingdom.
Maradona, who died of
in 2020, said once of the match: “It was more than beating a football team, it was beating an entire country.”
However, there has been some dispute over whether the shirt is the correct one.
Dalma Maradona, the eldest of the footballer’s three daughters, said her father changed his shirt at half-time because of the heat on the pitch and Hodge was given the shirt Maradona used in the first half. -game time.
“He’s got the first half top. I wanted to explain that to people so whoever wants to buy him knows the truth,” she said. Radio Metro in April.
Sotheby’s told Insider’s Barnaby Lane that Dalma’s claim was false.
“Before putting this shirt on sale, we did extensive and scientific research on the item to ensure that it was the shirt worn by Maradona in the second half for both goals,” said manager Melica Khansari. communications assistant at Sotheby’s.
The sale of Maradona’s jersey exceeded the price of the original Olympics manifesto, which sold for $8.8 million in 2019, according to Sotheby’s. The previous price record for a game-worn shirt was set by Babe Ruth’s Yankees road jersey, which sold for $5.64 million in 2019, according to the auction house.