Six shirts worn by Lionel Messi during the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar are poised to become the most valuable collection of sports memorabilia at a Sotheby’s auction. The shirts, each of which have been worn in the final, semi-final, quarter-final, round of 16, and critical group stage matches, are being offered in a dedicated auction open for bidding from November 30 to December 14.
The exceptional collection, estimated at over US $10 million, is expected to overtake Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals
jersey – the current record for a game-worn item of sports memorabilia – which sold for $10.1 million. These shirts are a testament to one of history’s most decorated football players and symbolize his biggest triumph. After years of being credited as the greatest of all time, the 2022 Fifa World Cup finally gave Messi the one title that had always eluded him; the win was also Argentina’s first in 36 years. “I dreamed of it so many times, I wanted it so much that I still can’t believe it,” the legend recalled after the historic tournament.
Brahm Watcher, Sotheby’s head of modern collectibles, said, “The 2022 Fifa World Cup stands as one of the greatest events in sports history, intrinsically connected to Messi’s valiant journey and firmly establishing his status as the greatest player of all time. The sale of these six shirts stands as a monumental occasion in auction history, offering fans and collectors a connection to Messi’s crowning achievement. It is an honor for Sotheby’s to present and exhibit these invaluable collectibles to the public, which encapsulate the sheer brilliance of a player who has redefined the boundaries of football excellence.”
The shirts are being brought to auction by US-based tech startup AC Momento, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to UNICAS Project, led by Sant Joan de Déu (SJD) Barcelona Children’s Hospital with the support of Leo Messi Foundation, to meet the needs of children suffering from rare diseases. While owning these memorabilia will undoubtedly be an exclusive privilege, the shirts will be exhibited publicly from November 30 to December 14.