In a historic auction held in New York on Thursday, six shirts worn by Lionel Messi during Argentina’s triumphant run at the 2022 World Cup were sold for an astonishing $7.8 million. The auction, facilitated by Sotheby’s, shattered the previous record for the sale of an item associated with the football legend, making it the most valuable sporting memorabilia auctioned this year.
The collection includes the iconic shirt Messi wore during the first half of the final against France in Qatar, encapsulating a pivotal moment in football history. Sotheby’s Head of Modern Collectables, Brahm Wachter, emphasized the significance of these shirts, stating, “These historic shirts are not only a tangible reminder of one of the most important moments in the history of sports but are principally connected to the pinnacle moment in the career of the most decorated football player in history.”
The staggering price tag underscores the global admiration for Lionel Messi and the reverence for his contribution to football. While this auction becomes a highlight of the sporting memorabilia market, it falls short of Michael Jordan’s jersey from the opening game of the 1998 NBA Final, which still holds the record for the highest price paid for a game-worn sports memorabilia item, fetching an impressive $10.1 million last year.