The ball used by Diego Maradona to score Argentina’s infamous “Hand of God” World Cup goal against England in 1986 will be auctioned off next month and could fetch up to £3 million.
Bidding will begin on November 16, but prospective buyers can register online beginning October 28, according to London-based Graham Budd Auctions, which expects the ball to sell for £2.5-3 million (up to $3.4 million).
With the ball’s history, we expect this lot to be extremely popular when it goes up for auction,” Graham Budd, chair of the auction house, said in a statement.
The quarter-final match between Argentina and England in 1986 had a tense build-up due to political tensions following the Falkland Islands war, and it was defined by two contrasting goals scored by the late Maradona.
Maradona ran into the box, rose with England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, and punched the ball into the net for the first goal.
He later stated that the goal was scored “a little with Maradona’s head, a little with God’s hand.”
The second came four minutes later, when Maradona sped past five English defenders and Shilton to score the “Goal of the Century,” according to a FIFA poll conducted in 2002.
Argentina won the rematch 2-1 after referee Ali Bin Nasser upheld Maradona’s controversial first goal, and went on to win the World Cup.
“This ball is part of international football history, and it feels like the right time to share it with the world,” said the ball’s owner, Bin Nasser.
The jersey Maradona wore in the quarter-finals sold for nearly $9.3 million at auction in May, more than twice the value predicted by Sotheby’s.
However, the previous record for on-field sports memorabilia was broken in September when basketball legend Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA finals jersey sold for $10.1 million.
Maradona died of heart failure in November 2020, at the age of 60.
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