It was the best of moments – or the worst of moments – in soccer history, and now sports fans with deep pockets can own a piece of it.
The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the controversial “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup is for sale for the first time.
Auctioneer Sotheby’s said Wednesday that the jersey could fetch more than 4 million pounds ($5.2 million) in an online auction that opens April 20.
Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles, said the shirt is “on a small list of the most important sports memorabilia items in the world.”
“I’ll never get to handle anything this good again,” Wachter said. “The moment is iconic in the history of sports.”
Maradona scored two goals during the quarter-final game in Mexico City on June 22, 1986, just four years after Britain and Argentina had fought a war over the Falkland Islands. The Argentine great’s first goal was ruled a header, but the ball had bounced off Maradona’s fist, out of sight of the referee.
Maradona said afterward that it had been scored “a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God.”
Maradona’s second goal saw him dribble the ball past almost the entire English team before beating goalkeeper Peter Shilton. In 2002, it was voted “goal of the century” in a FIFA poll. Wachter said the two goals “balance each other brilliantly” and reveal two facets of Maradona’s character.
The first “was really cunning and did involve an element of luck,” he said. “But then he scored a second goal, which was one of the most unbelievable – almost angelic – goals ever.”
Argentina won the match 2-1 and went on to win the World Cup. Maradona, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, struggled with cocaine abuse and other excesses and died in November 2020 at age 60.—AP