Lionel Messi is arguably the biggest name in soccer. The Argentine star recently won a record eighth Ballon d’Or award, cementing his status as the GOAT of the sport. He also landed the World Cup trophy for Argentina last December after beating France in the world cup to become the world’s most decorated player, even above Dani Alves.
Lionel Messi’s World Cup campaign will go down as one of the most successful in history. He scored six goals in seven games for Argentina, and the former Barcelona man has seen six of his worn-match jerseys at the 2022 World Cup go under the hammer at a recent Sotheby’s auction for a combined total of $7.8 million.
Lionel Messi’s World Cup jerseys fetch $7.8 million at auction
It was widely believed that without a World Cup title to his name, Lionel Messi was some steps below Diego Maradona in the GOAT ranking. However, the Argentine star proved he could be as great as his compatriot, who led Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986.
Argentina’s World Cup triumph seems even trickier, considering how they lost their opening group stage game to an underdog Saudi Arabia. After that loss, Argentina went on a six-game unbeaten run, including an extra-time win over the Netherlands in the quarter-finals and a penalty shootout victory over France in the final.
Messi’s World Cup triumph continues to be a great one, as six of his match-worn shirts at the World Cup recently sold for $7.8 million at Sotheby’s New York auction. The Argentine himself announced the auction last month, saying, “Six World Cup shirts, one auction. My friends at @acmomento are announcing an auction at @sothebys for six shirts I wore during the World Cup in Qatar, including my shirt from the final.”
Lionel Messi is having the best year of his career so far in terms of individual awards, as the World Cup winner was recently named TIME’s Athlete of the Year, the first time the award has been given to a soccer player.
What is the most valuable jersey sold of all time?
Lionel Messi’s jerseys were expected to claim the top spot on the list of the most expensive jerseys sold at auction. However, they fell short of some iconic jerseys sold in the past, including those worn by Michael Jordan and Diego Maradona when he scored the ‘hand of God’ goal.
According to ESPN, Michael Jordan’s game-worn jersey for the 1998 NBA Finals Game 1 sold for $10.1 million in a private sale in September 2022. The jersey holds the record for the most expensive match-worn jersey sold at auction.
Ranked second is Diego Maradona’s jersey from the 1986 World Cup in a quarter-final game against England when he scored the infamous ‘hand of God’ goal. The jersey sold for $9.28 million in May 2022, with both Jordan and Maradona’s jerseys bettering Messi by some figures.
Will the 2022 World Cup be Lionel Messi’s last?