Maradona’s “Hand of God” World Cup jersey auctioned for $9.3m

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File photo of the football shirt worn by Argentina’s Diego Maradona during the 1986 World Cup quarter-final match against England, is pictured during a photocall at Sotheby’s auction house in London ahead of its sale. ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP

The jersey that Argentina football legend Diego Maradona wore while scoring twice against England in the 1986 World Cup, including the infamous “hand of God” goal, was auctioned for $9.3 million, a record for any item of sports memorabilia, Sotheby’s said Wednesday.

Seven bidders vied for the garment in an auction that began April 20 and ended Wednesday morning, Sotheby’s said.

“This historic shirt is a tangible reminder of an important moment not only in the history of sports but in the history of the 20th century,” Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles Brahm Wachter said in a statement after the sale.

“This is arguably the most coveted football shirt to ever come to auction, and so it is fitting that it now holds the auction record for any object of its kind,” he said.

The jersey had been owned by opposing midfielder Steve Hodge, who swapped his jersey with Maradona after England lost 2-1.

Hodge, whose autobiography is titled “The man with Maradona’s shirt,” has for the past 20 years loaned the jersey to be on public display at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

The quarter-final showdown became etched in football lore for Maradona’s two goals — one notorious and one sublime — in Mexico City’s seething Aztec Stadium.

The first came shortly after half-time when Hodge, on the edge of the England penalty area, intercepted a pass and flicked the ball back towards goal.

Maradona, running into the box, rose with England’s goalkeeper Peter Shilton and punched the ball into the net. He later said the goal had been scored “a little with the head of Maradona, a little with the hand of God.”

Soon after, Maradona left five English defenders in his wake before gliding past Shilton and slotting home for a strike that was voted “Goal of the Century” in a 2002 FIFA poll.

Argentina went on to win the final and Maradona, who died from a heart attack in 2020, became worshipped in his home country.

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