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Goal! Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt sets auction record

The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the controversial ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the 1986 World Cup sold for 7.1 million pounds ($9.3 million ), the highest price ever paid at auction for a sports memorabilia.

Auctioneer Sotheby’s sold the shirt in an online auction which ended on Wednesday. He did not identify the buyer.

Maradona scored twice in the quarter-final match in Mexico City on June 22, 1986, just four years after Britain and Argentina fought a war for the Falkland Islands. The Argentine great’s first goal was ruled as a header, but the ball had bounced off Maradona’s fist, out of sight of the referee.

Maradona said afterwards that he was marked “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 England team before beating keeper Peter Shilton. In 2002, he was voted “goal of the century” in a FIFA poll.

After the match, Maradona swapped his shirt with England midfielder Steve Hodge, who gave it on long-term loan to England’s National Football Museum in Manchester before putting it up for sale.

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.

The previous sports memorabilia record was $8.8 million paid at an auction in December 2019 for the manifesto that launched the modern Olympic movement. The previous sportswear record was $5.64 million for a Babe Ruth New York Yankees jersey in 2019.

Sale prices include an auction house commission known as the buyer’s premium.

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