Lionel Messi is expected to break the world record for a piece of sporting memorabilia when a collection of his shirts from last year’s World Cup – including the one he wore in the final – go on sale at an auction today.
As exclusively revealed by Mail Sport, the six tops will be auctioned as a set by Sotheby’s in New York and are expected to cost in excess of £8million, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.
The current record for an item of sports memorabilia is Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls jersey from the 1998 NBA Finals Game 1 – from the famed ‘Last Dance’ Netflix season – which sold for £8.1m in September 2022.
But Messi could surpass this figure, with fans likely to be very keen to get their hands on the shirt he donned while winning the World Cup in Qatar.
Messi has auctioned his shirts before, with his 2017 jersey from an El Clasico clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid where he scored an injury-time winner at the Bernabeu proving to be the most expensive to date at £360,000.
Lionel Messi is auctioning six shirts that he wore at last year’s World Cup in Qatar
One of the shirts up for sale is the one he wore in the final against France as Argentina claimed their third World Cup
Chris Sutton has revealed the one football shirt from an icon of the game he would want
He is set to smash that mark this time around, and he could beat the current record for a football shirt which is currently held by his fellow countryman Diego Maradona.
Maradona’s Hand of God shirt from the infamous 1986 World Cup quarter-final against England sold for £7.1m to an anonymous bidder last year.
It was put up for sale by former England midfielder Steve Hodge, who asked Maradona for his shirt after the match in Mexico City.
Hodge may have been happy to hand over a Maradona jersey, but Mail Sport columnist Chris Sutton would not be so generous.
Sutton revealed on Mail Sport’s It’s All Kicking Off podcast that the one shirt he craves is Maradona’s, who he views as a ‘God’ of the game.
Co-host Ian Ladyman threw some iconic names Sutton’s way for him to select from, but the former Blackburn and Chelsea striker needed no time at all to respond.
‘I would want Maradona,’ Sutton told Ladyman when asked for the shirt he’d want the most.
Diego Maradona’s Hand of God shirt sold for £7.1m at an auction last year, and Sutton would love to get his hands on a Maradona jersey himself
Like Messi, Maradona won the World Cup, and Sutton believes he’s the greatest player ever
‘I’d say he was the greatest ever, Maradona. When you look at the footage of him being kicked from pillar to post.
‘Messi, brilliant player, Ronaldo, of course, you know, Pele. Pele was a little bit before my time, I’ve seen the footage, but I thought Maradona was a God.
‘The attention which he got and people used to tackle him around his waist and he used to just get up and go again. I thought he was the best. The pitches he played on as well.’
Sutton has made his thoughts clear on the memorabilia he’s after, but what is top of your wishlist? Join the debate in the comments.