In an exciting move in the world of sports memorabilia, Sotheby’s is set to auction a remarkable collection of six match-worn shirts donned by football legend Lionel Messi during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Expected to become the most valuable sports memorabilia collection ever sold, these jerseys, worn in the Final, Semi-final, Quarter-final, Round of 16, and key Group Stage matches, provide fans and collectors a tangible link to Messi’s triumphant journey.
The auction, orchestrated by US-based tech startup AC Momento, showcases Sotheby’s role in the thriving sports memorabilia market. Attracting a new wave of collectors, more than 50% of bidders and buyers are newcomers to Sotheby’s, with half under the age of 40.
The auction house, known for setting benchmarks with memorabilia from icons like Michael Jordan, Diego Maradona, Kobe Bryant, and Tom Brady, recently earned the title of The Official Game Worn Source of the NBA.
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This momentous event marks the one-year anniversary of Messi’s historic World Cup victory. After captivating the world with a stellar performance, Messi and Argentina triumphed over defending champions France in what is widely regarded as the greatest football match of all time. The shirts, meticulously preserved by AC Momento, are now estimated to fetch over $10 million in the upcoming auction.
Beyond the excitement of the auction, there’s a philanthropic touch. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the UNICAS Project, a collaboration between Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital and the Leo Messi Foundation. This initiative aims to support children suffering from rare diseases, building on the foundation’s existing work with the SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cancer Center.
From November 30 to December 14, the public will have the opportunity to view this extraordinary collection at Sotheby’s New York in a free exhibition. The shirts, steeped in the history of Messi’s monumental achievement, serve not only as coveted collector’s items but also contribute to a noble cause.
As the auction unfolds, all eyes are on whether Messi’s jerseys will surpass the current sports memorabilia records. Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals jersey holds the top spot at $10.1 million, followed closely by Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt, which sold for $9.3 million. Sotheby’s, a trailblazer in the realm of sports memorabilia, is once again poised to make history with this iconic collection from the world’s greatest football player.
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Images: Instagram @lionelmessi