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Lionel Messi's World Cup jerseys fetch $7.8 million at Sotheby's auction

In a historic auction at Sotheby's, six of Lionel Messi's match-worn jerseys from Argentina's triumphant 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign were sold for an astonishing $7.8 million.

Football Lionel Messi's World Cup jerseys fetch $7.8 million at Sotheby's auction osf
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First Published Dec 15, 2023, 12:55 PM IST

Lionel Messi's jerseys worn during Argentina's victorious 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign have fetched an astounding $7.8 million at auction, marking a lasting tale of his triumph even after the tournament's conclusion. Guiding Argentina to a World Cup title in Qatar, Messi led his team to a dramatic victory against defending champions France, prevailing 4-3 on penalties following a 3-3 draw in a thrilling 120-minute final. Overcoming an initial setback with a loss to Saudi Arabia in the opening game, the Copa America champions secured the only missing trophy in Messi's illustrious career.

Post-tournament, Messi took a different career path, leaving European football to join Major League Soccer with Inter Miami. The significance of his World Cup journey, however, endured as six of his match-worn jerseys from the event were sold at a Sotheby's auction in New York for an impressive $7.803 million, with only the jersey from the 2-0 victory over Poland in the group stage missing, likely exchanged with opponents.

This auction marked the highest value ever achieved for a Messi item, ranking as the third most valuable sports jersey globally, behind Michael Jordan's 1998 NBA Finals jersey ($10.1 million) and Diego Maradona's iconic "Hand of God" goal jersey from the 1986 World Cup ($9.28 million), which sold in May 2022.

The proceeds from the auction are earmarked for the UNICAS Project, led by Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children's Hospital, supported by the Leo Messi Foundation. The funds will contribute to helping children facing rare diseases, adding a philanthropic dimension to the legacy of Messi's historic jerseys.

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