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Soccer: Maradona's 'Hand of God' World Cup jersey sells for record $9.2M

Soccer: Maradona's 'Hand of God' World Cup jersey sells for record $9.2M
Diego Maradona wore his blue Argentina jersey for two of his most famous goals at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico City. Photo courtesy of Sotheby's

May 4 (UPI) -- The Argentina jersey, which Diego Maradona wore for his "Hand of God" and "Goal of the Century" scores at the 1986 World Cup, sold for a record $9.2 million, Sotheby's auction house said Wednesday.

Maradona, who died at 60 in 2020, wore the blue shirt in a 2-1 quarterfinal win over England on June 22, 1986, at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. The sale set a new record for the priciest sports memorabilia item in history.

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The previous record was from a 2019 Sotheby's auction, when an original autograph manuscript of the Olympic Manifesto from 1982 sold for $8.8 million.

"This is arguably the most coveted football shirt to ever come to auction, and so it is fitting that it now holds the auction record for any object of its kind," Sotheby's head of streetwear and modern collectables Brahm Wachter said in a news release.

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Argentina and England were scoreless through the first half of the quarterfinal. Maradona then broke the deadlock in the 51st minute. The legendary striker dribbled through the defense, played off a pass and continued to run into the box.

The England defense attempted to clear the ball, but played in back toward Maradona. The Argentine forward then jumped in front of goalkeeper Peter Shilton. Maradona appeared to use his left hand to hit the ball, which went into the net.

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After the game, Maradona went on to say he scored the goal with "a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God."

Maradona went on to double Argentina's lead with another score in the 55th minute. He started that score deep in Argentina territory. Maradona split two defenders and bolted toward the right flank. He then outran another defender and beat three additional foes to reach the box. He finished the play with a shot just inside the near post.

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The score was later dubbed the "Goal of the Century" through a FIFA vote ahead of the 2002 World Cup.

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England's Gary Lineker went on to score the final goal of the quarterfinal in the 81st minute. Argentina went on to beat Belgium 2-0 in the semifinals. Maradona also scored both of those goals.

Argentina beat West Germany 3-2 in the World Cup Final on June 29, 1986, in Mexico City. Maradona was awarded the Golden Ball, as the best player in the tournament.

The Argentine Football Association announced Maradona's death on Nov. 25, 2020. He died of a heart attack while in Buenos Aires.

Maradona underwent brain surgery and was released from a hospital weeks before his death. He also was hospitalized in 2004 due to heart and respiratory issues related to drug and alcohol abuse.

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