Thirty-six years after the final in Mexico City where Maradona led La Albiceleste to its second world title, the shirt worn by the legendary No. 10 has finally made it home.
Lothar Matthäus, the man tasked with the job of marking arguably the most gifted man to ever play the game, swapped shirts with Maradona and had it until August 2022.
Matthäus then donated the shirt to the Argentinean Embassy in Madrid, Spain, where it was on display at the the museum ‘Legends’, which displays historical football memorabilia, before being moved back to Argentina.
When donating the shirt, Germany’s captain for the final said: “Diego is a god in Argentina, that is why it was special to give them the jersey.
“Too bad he’s not here today,” he added, “Diego will always be present in our hearts.”
Maradona died from a heart attack in 2020 at the age of 60. The former captain and manager of Argentina had various health complications before passing away.
The 1986 World Cup is widely remembered as El Pelusa’s World Cup. The forward scored five goals and was by far and away the best player at the tournament.
In the quarterfinal victory over England, Maradona scored two of the most famous goals in soccer history. He used the “Hand of God,” when he punched the ball over the on-rushing Peter Shilton, and followed it up four minutes later with the “Goal of the Century,” in which he slalomed past five English players – including Shilton – before slotting home.
The shirt that Maradona wore in that game was auctioned in May 2022 for a then-record $8.01 million and will be on display in Qatar during the World Cup.
Maradona scored another brace in the semifinals against Belgium, but had a relatively quiet game in the final where Matthäus marshaled him well.
Argentina had taken a two-goal lead thanks to José Brown and Jorge Valdano, but goals from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Voeller pulled Germany level with only nine minutes left in the match.
Just three minutes later though, Maradona finally found a pocket of space, picking up the ball on the turn before sliding Jorge Burruchaga through on goal who coolly fired home to seal the victory for Argentina.
The Argentinian Football Association (AFA) thanked Matthäus for gifting the shirt back to the country.
“This is the story of a German captain who had an Argentine captain as his friend,” the AFA said in a video celebrating the pair’s relationship.
“And like all friends they exchanged the best things they had, a hug, a piece of advice and the odd shirt.”
AFA president Claudio Tapia added: “[The shirt is] an important armor for all of Argentine football. This shirt allowed us to hug each other when we won the title of Mexico.
“The value of this armor, it means a lot to our country and our history.”