Lionel Messi’s World Cup match shirts, including the one he wore in the historic final against France, are expected to fetch £8 million at auction.
Sotheby’s in New York is auctioning off six tops from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, in which Argentina defeated France on penalties to win the trophy, with a percentage of the revenues going to charity.
According to Mail Online, the shirts are from the first half of the final, the semi-final against Croatia, the quarter-final against the Netherlands, and the round-of-16 encounter against Australia, as well as two of the three group-stage games, and are worth at least $10 million (£8 million). That would be a world record for a “sports memorabilia collection.”
The current record for a sports memorabilia item is Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls jersey from Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals, which sold for £8.1 million at Sotheby’s New York in September of last year.
Meanwhile, the most valuable item of music memorabilia is Kurt Cobain’s guitar, which he used during an MTV Unplugged performance just five months before his death in 1993. In 2020, it was sold for £4.2 million.
Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of modern collectibles, said: ‘The 2022 FIFA World Cup stands as one of the greatest events in sports history, intrinsically connected to Messi’s valiant journey and firmly establishing his status as the greatest player of all-time.
‘The sale of these six shirts is a watershed moment in auction history, providing fans and collectors with a connection to Messi’s highest achievement. It is a privilege for Sotheby’s to showcase and exhibit these priceless collectibles to the public, which capture the utter brilliance of a player who has redefined the bounds of football perfection.’