Diego Maradona, the magician of football, is no more, but his popularity is still intact as if he is living in this world. Along with Brazilian legend Pele, he is regarded as the greatest footballer in football history. Maradona had breathtaking speed, stamina, skill, and strength that were unmatchable on the football field.
The Argentine was at his best during the 1986 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Mexico.He mesmerises the defence of his opponents with his breathtaking ball control and lightening speed. He used to wear the number 10 jersey.
‘Hand of God’ goal
His two goals against England short-circuited the hope of three lions in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals, including the infamous “hand of God” goal, which was auctioned for $9.3 million, a record for any item of sports memorabilia, Sotheby’s said Wednesday.
Sotheby’s said seven bidders vied for the garment in an auction that began April 20 and ended Wednesday morning, without releasing the name of the buyer.
Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles, said in a statement following 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.
After the match, Maradona exchanged that jersey with England’s midfielder, Steve Hodge. Argentina won that match by 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.
Running into the box, Maradona jumped 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, the solo run of Maradona was nothing less than supernatural, as he dodged more than five English defenders before gliding past goalkeeper Peter Shilton. That goal was voted “Goal of the Century” in a 2002 FIFA poll.
Maradona captained in 1986 WC
Argentina went on to win the final against West Germany. Maradona, the captain of the side, lifted the coveted trophy. The great man, who died from a heart attack in 2020, became worshipped in his home country.
Maradona’s daughter cast doubt on the sale earlier this month when she claimed that the shirt put up for auction had been the one her father wore in the goal-less first half, not the second when he scored his two goals.
“And so, prior to putting this shirt on sale, we did extensive diligence and scientific research on the item to make sure it was the shirt worn by Maradona in the second half for the two goals.”
The photomatching process involved matching the shirt “to both goals, examining unique details on various elements of the item, including the patch, stripes, and numbering.”
It added that Maradona himself had acknowledged the provenance of the shirt himself, in his book “Touched by God,” and he recalls giving it to Hodge at the end of the match.