Lionel Messi set to break another record as World Cup-winning jersey tipped to fetch over £8MILLION at auction

7 months ago 85

LIONEL MESSI’S World Cup glory is poised to be enshrined in dazzling hard cash by a record fee for sporting memorabilia. 

A six-pack of the icon’s Qatar 2022 tops are tipped to cost more than the £8.1million paid for a Michael Jordan jersey and £7.1m for Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” shirt.

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Lionel Messi’s first-half top from the final win vs France is one of six of his World Cup 2022 shirts under the hammer as a set[/caption]
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This Diego Maradona top fetched £7.1m, more due to his handball than a glorious solo goal he soon added to it as Argentina beat England 2-1 in 1986[/caption]
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Michael Jordan’s ‘Last Dance’ season in 1998 was the most-watched on TV in NBA history, with his shirt fetching £8.1m 24 yeas later[/caption]

Messi‘s jerseys being auctioned include the first-half one from Argentina’s epic final victory over France.

The 36-year-old scored twice in a 3-3 draw before also netting in the 4-2 shootout triumph – helping him win an eighth Ballon d’Or.

Sotheby’s in New York are overseeing the sale, with some proceeds going to charity.

The Barcelona legend, who has since left PSG for Inter Miami, will see half a dozen of his shirts from Qatar go under the hammer.

Pride of place goes to his top from the first opening half of the final – in which the only goal was his spot-kick on 23 minutes.

The batch of tops is made up of his semi-final one against Croatia, the last-eight tie with Holland and round-of 16 clash against Australia, plus two from the three group matches.

If the valuation is met, Messi’s six shirts will surpass the record set in September 2022 by a jersey of basketball all-time great Jordan, now 60, from 25 years ago. 

That shirt is from the 1998 NBA Finals Game 1 in the Chicago Bulls superstar’s famous “Last Dance” season.

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For football fans, however, a more notable comparison to Messi’s tops might be the late Maradona’s short-sleeved shirt with which he leapt to handle the ball in against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final.

The Argentinian called it the “Hand of God”. But England keeper Peter Shilton called it “cheating” – and never forgave him.

But Shilton’s Three Lions’ colleague Steve Hodge swapped shirts with Maradona after the game – and got £7.1m for his part of the bargain at Sotheby’s in London last year.

The New York arm of that auction house said the Messi tops are being brought to sale by US-based tech start-up company AC Momento.

Sotheby’s added: “A portion of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to UNICAS Project, led by Sant Joan de Déu (SJD) Barcelona Children’s Hospital with the support of Leo Messi Foundation, to meet the needs of children suffering from rare diseases. 

“This follows the work the Leo Messi Foundation has completed with the SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cancer Center which treats 400 children with cancer each year.

“The set of shirts will be on view at Sotheby’s New York in a free, public exhibition open from 30 November to 14 December (the same period during which bids are invited).”

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