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Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' shirt sells for record €8.4 million at auction

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By AP  with Euronews
Sotheby’s sold the shirt in an online auction that closed on Wednesday.
Sotheby’s sold the shirt in an online auction that closed on Wednesday.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File

The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the controversial "Hand of God" goal at the 1986 World Cup has sold for a record price.

The fee of £7.1 million (€8.4 million) is the highest price ever paid at an auction for a piece of sports memorabilia.

The shirt was sold online by the auctioneer Sotheby’s on Wednesday and the buyer has not been identified.

Marcelo Ordas, an Argentine collector, told national TV that his bid to repatriate the shirt was "unfortunately" beaten by "an offer from the Middle East that came at the last moment".

Maradona scored two goals while wearing the shirt during the 1986 World Cup quarter-final match against England in Mexico City.

The Argentine great’s first goal was officially ruled a header, despite the ball clearly connecting with Maradona's fist.

Maradona said afterwards that it had been scored “a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God.”

His second goal in the game -- voted "goal of the century" in a 2002 FIFA poll -- saw him dribble past almost the entire English team before beating goalkeeper Peter Shilton. Argentina won the game 2-1 and went on to lift the World Cup.

After the game, Maradona had swapped shirts with England midfielder Steve Hodge, who then loaned it to England’s National Football Museum in Manchester before it was up for sale.

Maradona, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, died in November 2020 at age 60.

Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, said the shirt was "a tangible reminder of an important moment not only in the history of sports but in the history of the 20th century."

Additional sources • AFP