Sotheby’s is set to auction six shirts worn by Lionel Messi during Argentina’s victorious run at the soccer World Cup in Qatar. The auction house believes the shirts could become the most valuable collection of sports memorabilia ever sold, with a potential price tag of over $10 million. The six shirts from the first half of matches will include the one Messi wore during Argentina’s dramatic win in the final against France.
Sotheby’s will host the auction in New York between November 30 and December 14, with the shirts available for viewing at its New York headquarters throughout the bidding period. The auction house is partnering with U.S.-based tech startup AC Momento, which collaborates with well-known athletes to manage their match-worn memorabilia.
The highest sale for soccer memorabilia was Diego Maradona’s shirt from Argentina’s 1986 quarterfinal victory over England, where he notably scored one goal with his hand. The shirt sold for $9.3 million at Sotheby’s in London in May 2022. Winning the World Cup in 2021 allowed Messi to join the likes of Maradona as an all-time great in Argentine soccer history.
Proceeds from the auction will be donated to UNICAS Project, led by Sant Joan de Déu (SJD) Barcelona Children’s Hospital with the support of the Leo Messi Foundation, benefitting children with rare diseases. Messi, who currently plays for Inter Miami in the MLS, spent 17 years at Barcelona and has won Spain’s league and the European Champions League multiple times. His record includes eight Ballon d’Or titles, awarded annually to the game’s top player. This landmark success made Messi’s shirts extremely valuable.