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The shirt, worn by Diego Maradona in the legendary match between Argentina and Mexico at the '86 World Cup, was sold in an online auction for a record price. Photo: Getty Images.
The shirt, worn by Diego Maradona in the legendary match between Argentina and Mexico at the '86 World Cup, was sold in an online auction at a record price. Photo: Getty Images.

The (other) 'hand of God' paid more than $9 million for a Maradona shirt

The shirt, which was worn by Argentine football idol Diego Maradona at the 1986 World Cup, was auctioned off in London for a record price.

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The legend of Maradona is still alive two years after he passed away. 

This week, the international auction house Sotheby's in London auctioned off the shirt worn by the idol of Argentine soccer when he scored the famous goal with the 'hand of God.' This was the first of two goals by the idol of the Argentine soccer team against his arch-rival England in a match played on June 22 at the Azteca Stadium, for the '86 World Cup in Mexico.

It is one of the most controversial goals in football history. Years later, Maradona himself acknowledged that he scored the goal using his hand.

“The truth is that I never regretted having scored that goal with my hand... Thief who robs a thief gets a hundred-years pardon,” he said at that time.

The second goal of that unforgettable game, which gave the victory to the Argentines, also caused a stir. This time it was due to its spectacular nature, and was dubbed 'goal of the century.'

Once the game was over and in the typical exchange of shirts between the players, the Argentine idol took off the shirt he was wearing and gave it to the English midfielder Steve Hodge. Hodge kept it as a unique memorabilia.

He received offers from people who wanted to acquire the Diego jersey, but rejected all of them. Since 2002, Maradona's shirt has been on display at the National Football Museum located in Manchester, England.

At the beginning of April in 2022, its auction at the market was arranged. After 20 days, a person willing to pay more than the $5 million – starting price — appeared. The buyer paid $9.28 million for the shirt of the Argentine soccer star, who died in October 2020.

“The Hand of God shirt has deep cultural meaning to the football world, the people of Argentina, and the people of England and I’m certain that the new owner will have immense pride in owning the world’s most iconic football shirt,” Hodge said according to a Sotheby's press release

A record auction

The online auction of Maradona's shirt became the most expensive item of sports memorabilia in history and smashed a record. The last record was a jersey of one of the best baseball players of all time, George Herman Ruth (also known as Babe Ruth), of the New York Yankees. His shirt was sold for $5.64 million, paid by a collector in 2019.

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