NEW RECORD: Maradona's "Hand of God" Shirt Sells for £7.1 Million

Update - May 4th: The auction has finished and the shirt worn by Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final against England is now officially the most expensive football shirt of all time. The winning bid came in at a whopping £7,142,500 (US$8.924.589).



Update - April 22nd: The auction of Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" shirt started on Thursday the 20th of April, and someone has already met the reserve of £4 million. It was the first, and so far only bid on the shirt, but there is still plenty of time for others to get in on the act and drive the price up before the lot closes at 5:01pm on the 5th of May.

As the reserve has been met, the shirt will definitely be sold, so we are now sure that there is a new most expensive shirt in history, easily surpassing the previous record of £157,750 paid for Pele's 1970 World Cup final jersey. It will be interesting to see if any more bids come in and just how much the shirt will go for.

Original:Diego Maradona’s match-worn shirt from Argentina’s game against England in the 1986 World Cup is to be sold at auction at Sotheby's. Sotheby's expect the winning bid to be in excess of £4 million, which would make it by far the most expensive shirt ever.


£157,750: Pele's 1970 World Cup final shirt is the most expensive shirt to dateAs things stand the No. 10 shirt worn by Brazil legend Pele during the 1970 World Cup final, which was bought at Christie's, London on March 27, 2002, for £157,750 ($225,109), is the most expensive shirt ever sold, a record Pele will probably not be too happy about losing to his old rival Maradona.

Maradona’s “Hand of God” Shirt to be sold at auction




The blue Argentina away kit worn in that quarter-final is of course best known for the feats accomplished by Diego Maradona as he scored probably the two most iconic goals in World Cup history. The first was an astonishing run from inside his own half where he skipped past four England defenders before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting the ball home. The second was the infamous “Hand of God” where he punched the ball into the England net with his fist tucked in close to his head.



The shirt will go to auction at 6 pm on the 20th of AprilAfter the game, England’s Steve Hodge tried to swap shirts with Maradona, only to seemingly miss his chance. Fortunately for him - and whoever buys the shirt at auction - he got a second bite at the cherry after giving a tv interview:


Hodge loaned the shirt to the National Football Museum in 2002 and it has remained on display there since. Hodge had this to say:

“The Hand of God shirt has deep cultural meaning to the football world, the people of Argentina, and the people of England, and I’m certain that the new owner will have immense pride in owning the world’s most iconic football shirt.”

Very rare and never sold: Origins of the shirt


Being associated with such huge moments is enough to make the shirt a part of football folklore, and of course, the rarity of the blue away kit adds even more to its status. The shirt was never available to buy for quite an unusual reason, and the only ones in existence were prepared for that particular match.



Argentina went to the World Cup in Mexico with a set of blue cotton away shirts, which they wore against Uruguay. The combination of the heavy material and the scorching Mexican sun meant that the players were very hot during the game. To avoid his players overheating against England, Argentina manager Carlos Bilardo sent coach Ruben Moschella to find an alternative shirt three days before the match.



Moschella browsed the sports shops in Mexico City and came back with two options, both blue Le Coq Sportif shirts, which were deemed to be of similar weight. They were having trouble deciding which one to go for until Maradona himself arrived and said:

“That’s a nice shirt, we’ll beat England in that.”El Diego had of course chosen the now-famous shiny-striped shirt with the deep, white v neck and cuffs, and a large Le Coq Sportif logo on the right of the chest. AFA badges were then stitched onto the shirts, but they had to use the only ones available, which were an older design and therefore different from the ones they had worn until then in the tournament.

The shirt numbers applied were intended for American football shirts and were silver with a sparkly texture.



Argentina took to the field of the Estadio Azteca and did as Maradona had said they would do, beating England in that shirt. A real piece of football history with so many layers to it, it’s probably fair to say that Maradona’s number 10 shirt from that game is deserving of the title of most expensive shirt ever sold.

The shirt will go to auction at 6 pm on the 20th of April on sothebys.com.

What do you think of this backstory? Do you think the shirt is worth £4 million? Comment below.
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