Lionel Messi, the legendary Argentine footballer, is set to make history once again, this time in the realm of sports memorabilia. His collection of Argentina World Cup shirts, including his match-worn jersey from the 2022 Qatar World Cup, is expected to fetch a staggering sum of over £8 million at an upcoming auction at Sotheby’s in New York. This ambitious figure challenges the current record set by Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals jersey, which sold for £8.1 million last year at the same auction house.
Lionel Messi’s World Cup Final Shirt Eyes Auction Record Over Michael Jordan
The highlight of Messi’s collection is undoubtedly his jersey from the thrilling final against France, where Argentina emerged victorious in a penalty shootout after a pulsating 3-3 draw. Messi’s exceptional performance, including his two goals in that match, solidified his place among football’s all-time greats.
Alongside this iconic jersey, his match-worn shirts from the semi-final against Croatia, the quarter-final versus the Netherlands, and the round-of-16 clash against Australia will also be up for grabs. Additionally, the collection features two shirts from three group-stage matches, making it a comprehensive and coveted assortment for football enthusiasts.
👕 Lionel Messi's World Cup match shirts – including the kit he started the iconic final against France is – set to sell for £8MILLION at auction, overtaking Michael Jordan for a memorabilia world record. 🇦🇷 [@CraigHope_DM] pic.twitter.com/CzgajFY2VF
— Football Talk (@FootballTalkHQ) November 20, 2023
The auction, scheduled to take place between November 30 and December 14, will not only be a chance for collectors to acquire these rare artifacts but also an opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause. A portion of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to the UNICAS Project, a collaboration between the Leo Messi Foundation and the Sant Joan de Déu (SJD) Barcelona Children’s Hospital.
This initiative aims to support children suffering from rare diseases, exemplifying Messi’s commitment to making a positive impact beyond the football field. While the auction’s anticipated outcome may break records, it is worth noting that the current pinnacle in football memorabilia sales belongs to Diego Maradona‘s shirt from the infamous ‘Hand of God’ game in the 1986 World Cup. In a remarkable transaction, an anonymous bidder acquired Maradona’s iconic jersey for a staggering £7.1 million.
As collectors and enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the auction, the bidding war for Messi’s shirts promises to be a captivating spectacle, fueled by the passion and admiration surrounding one of the greatest footballers of all time.
The sale of Messi’s World Cup shirts signifies not only the value of these tangible artifacts but also the intangible emotions and memories they evoke. As they change hands, these cherished items become a bridge that connects fans to the moments and players who have left an indelible mark on the beautiful game.
Whether Messi’s collection will ultimately surpass the record set by Michael Jordan’s jersey remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the sheer magnitude of the anticipated bids reflects the immense global following and admiration that Messi commands. As the auction unfolds, the world will be watching to witness the outcome of this remarkable chapter in the history of sports memorabilia.