Sotheby's has already received a bid of £4 million for the jersey, which will make it the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia ever sold.
It is an iconic piece of Argentine football history, linked intimately with the nation's greatest sporting idol and his crowning moment on the field.
That makes a London auction house a rather incongruous, if temporary, home for what will soon become by far the most expensive piece of sporting memorabilia ever sold.
The blue shirt worn by Diego Maradona during Argentina's 2-1 defeat of England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final is currently up for auction at Sotheby's, having spent the last three and a half decades in the possession of one of the late genius' Three Lions victims, Steve Hodge, as well as on loan to Manchester's National Football Museum.
Hodge was one of the England players who was left star-struck and seething in equal measure that June day by two of the most memorable goals ever seen at a World Cup finals, known in turn as the Hand of God and Goal of the Century.
Hodge had the good sense to bag a piece of footballing history as he swapped shirts with the then-Napoli star – in hindsight an inspired decision.
Such was the significance of that prize – which has already met its £4 million ($5m) reserve valuation and will surely go for much more once bidding ends next week – that upon writing his memoirs following a career that took in spells at the likes of Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Tottenham as well as two World Cup appearances, the battling midfielder chose as his autobiographical title The Man with Maradona's Shirt.
Is it the shirt, though?
Maradona's daughters by wife Claudia, Dalma and Giannina, have publicly disavowed the auction, claiming that the jersey in Hodge's possession is not the one which was on the No.10's back when he broke English hearts.
“It isn't the one. I don't want to say who has it because it's crazy. That man [Hodge] doesn't have it,” Dalma told reporters following the start of the auction. “That's not from me, [Maradona] said it. He told me, 'How would I give away my most treasured shirt?'
“This ex-player thinks he has my dad's shirt from the second half, but he's confused, he has it from the first half.”
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|