WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Steve Hodge, an English retired soccer player, sold Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” jersey for $9.28 million.
- Hodge swapped jerseys with Maradona at the 1986 World Cup.
- The sale is the highest price ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia.
Steve Hodge, a retired English soccer player, became $9.28 million richer after selling Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” jersey in an auction held by Sotheby’s.
Hodge swapped jerseys with Maradona during the 1986 World Cup, where the Argentine soccer legend scored two of the world’s most famous goals.
The sale is the highest price ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia, according to Sotheby’s.
Hodge played against Maradona in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals.
For the last 20 years, the “Hand of God” jersey has been held on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester. Argentina had a 1-0 lead after Maradona’s infamous goal against England. The jersey is a reminder of how Maradona scored using his left hand because the referee didn’t have a clear view of the play.
Maradona scored his second goal after dribbling past five English players, including Hodge, then sending the ball past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
He was famously quoted as saying that the first goal was due to “a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God.”
Maradona swapped jerseys with Hodge in the stadium tunnel after the game, which Argentina won with a score of 2-1. Hodge owned the “Hand of God” shirt ever since.
“The Hand of God shirt has deep cultural meaning to the football world, the people of Argentina, and the people of England, and I’m certain that the new owner will have immense pride in owning the world’s most iconic football shirt,” Hodge said in a news release from Sotheby’s. The jersey’s new owner was not identified.
However, there’s been some dispute over whether the shirt is the correct one.
Dalma Maradona, Diego’s eldest daughter, said her father had changed jerseys at half-time and that Hodge had gotten the shirt Maradona used in the first half of the game.
Sotheby’s insisted that Dalma’s claim was false.
“Prior to putting this shirt for sale, we did extensive diligence and scientific research on the item to make sure it was the shirt worn by Maradona in the second half for the two goals,” said Melica Khansari, Sotheby’s deputy director of communications.
According to Sotheby, Babe Ruth’s Yankees road jersey, which sold for $5.64 million in 2019, was the previous price record for a game-worn shirt.