A set of six jerseys worn by Lionel Messi during Argentina’s victorious epic at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be sold at auction in December, Sotheby’s announced on Monday, which estimates their value at more than 10 million dollars (9.14 million euros).
The tunics with the famous blue and white stripes were worn by the “Pulga” during the first halves of the group matches against Saudi Arabia and Mexico, then in the 8th against Australia, and in the quarter-final against the Countries -Bas, from the half against Croatia and the final won 3-3, 4-2 on penalties and at the end of the suspense against Kylian Mbappé’s France.
With this “priceless” lot, sold on the internet from November 30 to December 14, and exhibited to the public at the same time at Sotheby’s New York headquarters, the company hopes for a sale of “more than 10 million dollars”, which would make it “the most valuable collection of sports memorabilia ever sold at auction,” according to a Sotheby’s press release.
For comparison, the most expensive jersey sold at auction, the one worn by American basketball legend Michael Jordan during the final of his last NBA title with the Chicago Bulls in 1998, went for 10.1 million dollars in September 2022.
Jerseys of Babe Ruth, the American baseball legend, of Kobe Bryant, the tragically deceased Los Angeles Lakers star, or of Diego Maradona, the market for collectible sporting goods is attracting more and more buyers and houses auction houses like Sotheby’s have launched into this niche to diversify and give themselves a facelift.
Witness to this craze, Messi’s jerseys are consigned by the American company AC Momento, which operates a mobile application for sports fans and “partners with high-level athletes to help them manage their collections of souvenirs worn during matches,” explains Sotheby’s.
Still according to the auction house, “part of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the UNICAS project, led by the Sant Joan de Déu Children’s Hospital (SJD) in Barcelona with the support of the Leo Messi Foundation, in order to respond to the needs of children suffering from rare diseases.