Six shirts worn by Lionel Messi during Argentina's triumphant 2022 World Cup campaign will be auctioned in December, Sotheby's has announced, with their estimated value expected to exceed $10 million.
The soccer superstar wore these shirts during the first halves of the World Cup group stage matches against Saudi Arabia and Mexico, as well as the matches against Australia, the Netherlands and Croatia - and in the final against France. Argentina's winning streak was also the last major trophy to elude Messi in his career - he had failed to reach the world title in his previous four appearances at the World Cup.
If the jerseys do in fact cross the $10 million mark, this could become the most expensive sale of sports memorabilia, Sotheby's revealed. The most expensive individual jersey ever sold at auction belonged to basketball legend Michael Jordan from his NBA Finals run with the Chicago Bulls in 1998. It sold for $10.1 million last year.
Auction houses have increasingly taken into account sports memorabilia in recent years, considering that it is a growing market. The jerseys were brought up for auction by American tech start-up AC Momento, which helps athletes manage sports memorabilia collections. A portion of the sale will be donated to the UNICAS project, an initiative of a children's hospital in Barcelona that helps children suffering from rare diseases.
The jerseys will be available for free public viewing when they are auctioned between November 30th and December 14th. /BGNES