Six months after his “Hand of God” shirt broke auction records, another piece of memorabilia connected with Diego Maradona’s most famous match is expected to sell for millions.
The ball used in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal between Argentina and England is up for auction in London on November 16 and has been valued at between $2.7 and 3.3 million.
With that ball, Maradona scored two iconic goals – the first when he controversially used his hand and punched the ball into the net, and the second when he dribbled past multiple England players and rounded goalkeeper Peter Shilton.
Argentina would go on to win the match – and the tournament a week later.
In May, the shirt Maradona wore against England sold for $9.3 in an online auction – at the time the most ever paid for an item of sports memorabilia.
But in a blockbuster year for the sports memorabilia market, that figure was eclipsed three months later when a Mickey Mantle baseball card fetched $12.6 million, while Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals jersey sold for $10.1 million in September.
The 1986 World Cup quarterfinal ball is currently owned by Ali Bin Nasser, the Tunisian referee who oversaw the match and allowed Maradona’s controversial first goal to stand.
He retrieved the ball after the match and had it signed by his linesmen and the fourth official in the dressing room to keep as a memento of the occasion.
“This ball is part of international football history – it feels like the right time to be sharing it with the world,” said Bin Nasser.
When later asked about his first goal against England, Maradona, who passed away two years ago, famously said it was scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.”
London-based company Graham Budd Auctions is overseeing the sale of the ball as part of its World Cup Special auction next month.
“2022 has been an amazing year in the sports memorabilia market with records broken on three occasions,” said Graham Budd, the auction house chairman.
“It’s an exciting time in the market and we’re wondering whether this famous football will break records as well.”