The football shirts that Lionel Messi wore during Argentina’s 2022 World Cup victory are set to be auctioned. The six jerseys that the Argentina captain wore in Qatar, including the one he wore during the thrilling final match against France in December 2022, are estimated by Sotheby’s to be worth over $10 million, as per a report in Sky News.
The 36-year-old football player announced the auction on social media and stated that a percentage of the sales would benefit children with rare diseases through the UNICAS Project, which is run by the Sant Joan de Deu Barcelona Children’s Hospital.
The set will be put up for auction by Sotheby’s New York branch between November 30 and December 14. During the bidding days, the shirts will be available for viewing at its New York offices.
In terms of football memorabilia specifically, the record for a game-worn item is currently $9.3 million, set in 2022 by Diego Maradona’s shirt from the 2-1 quarterfinal victory over England in 1986, when he scored the now-famous “Hand of God” goal.
“The 2022 World Cup stands as one of the greatest events in sports history, intrinsically connected to Messi’s valiant journey and firmly establishing his status as the greatest player of all time. The sale of these six shirts stands as a monumental occasion in auction history, offering fans and collectors a connection to Messi’s crowning achievement,” Sotheby’s Head of Modern Collectables Brahm Wachter said.
Meanwhile, after winning the FIFA World Cup, the football legend told the Argentine Urbana Play radio station, “The cup called out to me, it told me: come and grab me, now you can touch me. “I saw it sparkling in that beautiful stadium and I didn’t hesitate” to kiss it, he added, referring to the stunning Lusail Stadium in Doha, where the final was played.
“After so much suffering and lost finals, God kept it for me,” he said of the World Cup. “I would have liked Maradona to hand me the cup, so he could at least see Argentina champions. From up above he gave me strength, as did so many people who love me,” he added.