In a staggering turn of events, a collection of six Lionel Messi jerseys, including the iconic attire worn during the 2022 FIFA World Cup’s final match, has been auctioned off for a jaw-dropping $7.803 million.
The New York City-based auction house Sotheby’s facilitated the unprecedented sale, which fell short of breaking the record set by Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals jersey, fetching $10.1 million last year.
The mesmerizing collection comprised jerseys worn in Argentina’s gripping group-stage encounters against Saudi Arabia and Mexico, intense knockout round clashes with Australia, Croatia, and the Netherlands, as well as the climactic final against France.
Notably absent from the ensemble was the jersey from Argentina’s group-stage triumph over Poland.
Sotheby’s had anticipated that Messi’s jerseys would shatter the existing record, but the final bid fell short of Jordan’s monumental achievement.
The second-highest price ever paid for a sports jersey at auction remains Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal jersey from the 1986 World Cup, which commanded an impressive $9.28 million in May 2022.
The sale of Messi’s jerseys not only highlights the immense global appeal of soccer but also cements the Argentine legend’s status as a transcendent sporting figure.
The auction, while falling short of some predictions, undoubtedly adds another chapter to the ongoing narrative of sports memorabilia reaching astronomical values in the collector’s market.