Argentina sends delegation to UK to demand the return of Maradona’s World Cup 1986 shirt on the day it is due to sell

An Argentinian delegation has mounted a last-minute push to have Diego Maradona’s notorious ‘Hand of God’ shirt sold at auction today for £5 million.

The playmaker’s shirt from the 1986 World Cup victory against England, in which he scored the ‘Hand of God’ goal and the ‘Goal of the Century,’ is expected to sell for a high price.

After full time, the late football legend swapped shirts with England midfielder Steve Hodge, who has had the prized possession for the past 35 years.

However, an Argentinian group, including Maradona’s family, a private memorabilia firm, and the country’s football organization, is believed to have landed in London with the intention of purchasing the £5 million shirt.

‘He is selling something that belongs to Maradona and the AFA without permission,’ a member told the Sun.

‘It should be in Argentina so that all Argentines may appreciate it, not just a millionaire’s closet,’ says the author.

The two goals ‘balance each other perfectly,’ according to Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables, and illustrate two aspects of Maradona’s character.

He described the first as “very ingenious” and “included an element of chance.” ‘But then he scored a second goal, which was one of the most important goals of his career.’

Argentina won the match 2-1 and went on to win the World Cup. Maradona, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, struggled with cocaine abuse and other excesses and died in November 2020 at age 60.

After the game, Maradona swapped shirts with England midfielder Steve Hodge, who never sold it, until now. 

For the past 20 years, it has been on loan to England’s National Football Museum in Manchester.

Hodge previously revealed how he went about acquiring the shirt. He said: ‘I was walking down the tunnel and Maradona was coming in the opposite direction. I just tugged my shirt and we swapped there and then.’

He has now revealed why he is selling the iconic shirt. He 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.’

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