Messi Shirt from El Clasico Celebration Sold for Over €400,000

Lionel Messi’s match-worn shirt from the 2017 Clasico has been sold for over €400,000 at auction, making it the most expensive Messi shirt ever sold. A huge sum of money for a football jersey, but still a few zeros off that of his compatriot, Diego Maradona, which went for a cool £7.1 million.

Messi Shirt Sold for Over €400,000

The shirt in question will have been seen by millions of people who may not even have watched the match, as Messi held it aloft in front of the Madrid fans at the Bernabeu to celebrate his stoppage time winner in what became an iconic moment. The photos of this celebration have been shared thousands of times online.

The sale of the shirt was handled by Goldin, specialists in selling collectables, after seemingly being a part of @damianrodrigo’s collection. Instagram user @anishfutbol claims to have bought it.

As was the case with the Maradona “Hand of God” shirt, the authenticity of Messi’s shirt was confirmed by Resolution Photomatching, who analysed the shirt that was auctioned and compared it to photos from the match.

The buyer described it as “the holiest of holy grails for my collection”. The two goals that Messi scored while wearing it - he finished the season with 37 in La Liga - were enough to beat Madrid on the day, but Los Blancos had the last laugh as they pipped Barcelona to the title by three points.

Inspiration and Imitation

Messi was not the first footballer to show off his shirt to the opposition fans after scoring a goal. Ronaldinho did it in his PSG days after scoring against rivals Marseille, and current Madrid captain Marcelo waved his jersey in the faces of Atlético Madrid fans in the 2014 Champions League Final. Messi’s celebration may have been a tribute to his old friend and Barcelona team mate, Ronny, or maybe he wanted to turn the tables on Marcelo.

Although he wasn’t the originator, Messi inspired a couple of similarly memorable post-goal shirt removals in the months following the match. Nabil Fekir incited a pitch invasion when he held up his Lyon shirt to fierce rivals Saint-Etienne, earning himself hero status in the process. The Lyon fans even created an enormous tifo referencing the incident for the next derby that season .

And of course, anything Messi can do, Ronaldo can do better. Cristiano in turn taunted Barcelona fans (and Messi) with his own topless Clasico celebration at the Nou Camp when Madrid won the Super Cup in August 2017.

Can you think of any other shirt-centric goal celebrations? Do you think the jersey was worth the price paid for it? Have your say below.