Diego Maradona’s ‘H Hands Of God’ Jersey Sold For $ 9.3 Million

During the last quarter of the 1986 World Cup, English footballer Steve Hodge hugged the ball to his teammate who was influenced by Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, giving Maradona a point. The most important goal against the Hodge team.

He would become one of the most talked about goals in football: In the fast lane, Maradona went out with his left hand to hold the ball, and then he call “the hand of God” to describe the result. .

In the stadium after Argentina’s 2-1 win, Hodge asked Maradona to change shirts.

Now, the winners of the exchange seem debatable. Maradona climbed to the final and won, but Hodge got the shirt, which’s sweaty and full, he just sold for nearly $ 9.3 million at a tournament held by Sotheby’s – believed to be worth it. the highest paid for a sports memory card.

Sotheby’s announced Wednesday sales on Twitter. He did not tell the buyer. In a press release, Sotheby’s quotes Hodge calling him “delighted” unveiled the shirt for the last 20 years at the National Football Museum in Manchester, England.

He added, “The Hand of God shirt has a deep meaning to the world of football, the people of Argentina, and the people of England and I am sure the new owner will be very pleased to come become the lord of the world sporting symbols. ”

Leila Dunbar, an analyst at the pop culture industry, said the sale was a sign of the recent rise in the price of sports memorabilia. “Since 2020,” he said, “this new advance seems like nothing I’ve seen in more than three years in the industry.”

Maradona, often considered Pelé among the best athletes, has been known for his skepticism and the emergence of virtue. Both of these characteristics were expressed by his performance in the semi-final match against England, which took place in Mexico City.

After a break from the left, Maradona immediately began to celebrate, before the Englishman had a chance to break away from the guards.

Four minutes later, Maradona scored what football fans sacrificed in the ballot by the sports governing body, FIFA, as “The Goal of the Year.” Starting on his team half the field, dribbling back for a moment, running for a while and in a slow to a prance, he reached 70 yards, crossing five English players, at then hit the soccer team and – in a nanosecond before the fall – kicked the goal to win.

The Falklands War, which ended in the British defeat of Argentina, gave the tournament a bigger character.

“This is revenge,” Maradona writes in her autobiography, “I Am Diego” (2000). “It’s something bigger than us: We defended our flag.”

The authenticity of the shirt was questioned a few weeks earlier, when Maradona’s eldest daughter, Dalma Maradona, told Agence France-Presse that her father had given her the Hodge shirt she was wearing during the affair. scoring the first half.

A spokesman for Sotheby’s told AFP that the store had made “passionate and scientific research” to identify the jerseys used during the game. Fundraisers from Maradona and Hodge confirmed the exchange of jerseys after the game. (In an email, Sotheby’s confirmed that the shirt had not been washed since.)

Rich Mueller, founder and editor of the Sports Collectors Daily, a website dedicated to sports memorabilia, says sales represent the highest value he has ever heard of. who pays for memorabilia, in competitions or private sales.

The most recent sports record sales of the tournament include the Babe Ruth jersey, which sold for $ 5.6 million as of June 2019, and the data that established the principles of competition. competition today, which sold for $ 8.8 million in December 2019.

To explain the way in which the cost of sports memorandum has increased, Ms. Dunbar, an analyst, pointed out that in 2017, Jackie Robinson shirts from 1947, his rookie season, sold for around $ 2 million, and last year, 1950 Robinson shirts sold for more than twice as much. – around $ 4.2 million. Ms. Dunbar estimates that the Robinson shirt sold now could fetch between $ 10 million and $ 20 million.

Brahm Wachter, director of clothing and accessories at Sotheby’s, said: “People know these products can be praised as art.” probably the longest of all the products I have ever been allowed to sell. “

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