Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' shirt has gone to auction 35 years after the legendary Argentine's iconic performance in the 1986 World Cup quarter final against England.
Maradona scored twice at the Azteca Stadium, Mexico to knock England out of the tournament.
One goal was shrouded in controversy as the Napoli and Barcelona legend jumped up ahead of Peter Shilton and punched the ball into the net.
He also scored a scintillating solo strike dubbed "the goal of the century", dribbling past multiple players and slotting home in exquisite fashion.
Referring to his brace after the game, Maradona memorably uttered the phrase, “a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God.”
He also described the goal standing as “symbolic revenge" for United Kingdom winning the Falklands War.
After the game, Maradona swapped shirts with Steve Hodge, who had inadvertently flicked the ball to 'El Diego' for the infamous goal.
For years, Hodge, who played 24 times for England, emphatically turned down all offers and was adamant the classic shirt would not be for sale due to its "incredible sentimental value".
𝗗𝗶𝗲𝗴𝗼 𝗔𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗼 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗼𝗻𝗮'𝘀 𝟭𝟵𝟴𝟲 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝘁𝗯𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗷𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘆 𝗴𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝘂𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻.— nss sports (@nss_sports_) April 6, 2022
The current owner is former England midfielder Steve Hodge, who after years has decided to put it up for sale. 🚧⚽️ pic.twitter.com/iFgOLa8cJI
Already, a whopping bid of £4 million has been made and the auction runs until Wednesday 4 May, 4pm BST time.
The shirt, with the No.10 is on display at the auction house’s New Bond Street exhibition space in London, having spent 20 years in the National Football Museum, Manchester with Hodge's blessing.
In June 1986, a 25-year-old Diego Maradona made history in what is now one of the world’s most famous football matches. Now, the shirt he wore as he scored 'The Hand of God' is set to break a record as it heads to auction for the first time.https://t.co/9gIsVAtaK1— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) April 6, 2022
As per ITV, Hodge said: "I have been the proud owner of this item for over 35 years, since Diego and I swapped shirts in the tunnel after the famed match.
“It was an absolute privilege to have played against one of the greatest and most magnificent football players of all time. It has also been a pleasure to share it with the public over the last 20 years at the National Football Museum, where it has been on display.
“The Hand of God shirt has deep cultural meaning to the football world, the people of Argentina, and the people of England, and I’m certain that the new owner will have immense pride in owning the world’s most iconic football shirt.”
This auction will already smash the previous record set for the most expensive football shirt in history. Pele's shirt wore in the 1970 World Cup win over Italy sold for £157,750 20 years ago.
Featured Image Credit: Image: Sotherby's & Steve Hodge
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