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Messi’s 2022 World Cup shirts to be auctioned; expected to sell for more than $10m

By Vincent Ashitey
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A set of six match-worn Lionel Messi shirts from the 2022 World Cup are to be auctioned in New York.

The shirts the Argentina captain wore in the first half of the final, semi-final, quarter-final, round-of-16 and two group-stage matches in Qatar as he won the World Cup for the first time are estimated to be worth over $10million (£8.02m) by Sotheby’s, the fine-art auction house presenting the collection.

They could set a record for the most expensive piece of match-worn sports memorabilia to be sold at an auction. The current holder is Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls jersey from the 1998 NBA finals — known as “the Last Dance” season — which sold for $10.1m in September 2022.

Diego Maradona’s 1986 World Cup quarter-final shirt, where he scored twice for Argentina against England with his “Hand of God” goal and famous solo effort, is the most expensive match-worn football shirt sold at auction, fetching $9.3 m in May 2022.

The shirts will be open for bidding between November 30 and December 14 at Sotheby’s gallery in New York.

A portion of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Unicas Project — a project led by Sant Joan de Deu (SJD) Barcelona Children’s Hospital with the support of the Leo Messi Foundation, which aims to aid children suffering from rare diseases.

Messi scored seven goals in seven appearances at the 2023 World Cup, including twice in Argentina’s penalty shootout victory over France in the final following a dramatic 3-3 draw.

The victory saw the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner secure his inaugural World Cup triumph at the fifth attempt and he was named player of the tournament.

Argentina had lost their opening group game to Saudi Arabia in one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history, before going on to be crowned world champions for the first time in 36 years.

Messi confirmed after Argentina’s semi-final victory over Croatia that the 2022 World Cup would likely be his last.

“It’s my last World Cup,” the 36-year-old said. “It is impressive to end up playing a final. There’s a long way to go for the next one, there are many years and surely because of age I won’t get to it.”