Messi’s Shirts Set to Be Sold at Sotheby’s Auction
Sotheby’s is set to host an auction of six shirts worn by Lionel Messi during Argentina’s victorious run at the soccer World Cup in Qatar. The auction house believes these 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. The shirts will be available for viewing at Sotheby’s New York headquarters throughout the bidding period, which runs from November 30 to December 14.
Sotheby’s is partnering with U.S.-based tech startup AC Momento, which collaborates with well-known athletes to manage their match-worn memorabilia. This partnership aims to provide athletes with better control and ownership of their items and make it easier for collectors to acquire authentic pieces of sports history.
Currently, Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals jersey holds the record for the most valuable game-worn item of sports memorabilia, having sold for $10.1 million at Sotheby’s in New York in September 2022. Diego Maradona’s shirt from Argentina’s 1986 quarterfinal victory over England holds the highest sale for soccer memorabilia, having 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 this 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.