Diego Maradona’s infamous “Hand of God” goal made footballing history and cemented the legendary status of the Argentinian superstar. Now the shirt he wore when he scored that goal in the 1986 World Cup championships is estimated to sell for at least £4m.
Maradona’s number 10 shirt has been owned for the past 35 years by the former England midfielder Steve Hodge, after the two players swapped shirts at the end of the quarter-final between Argentina and England.
Argentina won the match 2-1 after Maradona, then 25, scored both the notorious Hand of God and a second legendary goal, later named Goal of the Century. Argentina went on to win the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
The Hand of God was hugely controversial. Hodge kicked the ball towards England’s goalkeeper, Peter Shilton. Both Maradona and Shilton leapt to reach the ball, which touched Maradona’s left hand before landing in the back of the net.
Although handballs are against football rules, the referee did not have a clear view of the encounter between Maradona and the ball. He allowed the goal, and the linesman confirmed the decision.
After the game, the Argentina player said the goal was made “a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God”, a phrase which became part of footballing history.
Later Maradona, who died in November 2020, admitted the goal was scored with his hand, although he later claimed to have been misquoted.
His second goal came after Maradona dribbled past and danced around England players before scoring. It was named Goal of the Century in a 2002 poll of 340,000 fans in 150 countries.
Hodge said Maradona’s shirt had “deep cultural meaning to the football world, the people of Argentina, and the people of England”. He added: “It was an absolute privilege to have played against one of the greatest and most magnificent football players of all time.”
Brahm Wachter, head of streetwear and modern collectibles at Sotheby’s, which is auctioning the shirt, said: “The Hand of God is truly a singular moment not only in the history of sports, but in the history of the 20th century.
“The moment resonated far beyond the world of football, coming soon after the Falklands conflict, and has in turn inspired books, films, and documentaries.
“Maradona is now remembered as one of the greatest to ever play the game of football – and this particular game is an instrumental part of his legacy.”
Online bidding for Maradona’s Hand of God shirt will be open from 20 April until 4 May. The shirt will be on public display at Sotheby’s New Bond Street gallery.