Since the international auction house Sotheby’s in London announced that the emblematic shirt with which Diego Maradona scored the two goals against England in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico would be auctioned, the versions about the veracity of the garment followed one after another . However, this Wednesday, within hours of the start of the tender, The first millionaire offer has already appeared.
As the publication reported, An interested party has already offered 4 million pounds sterling (5.22 million dollars) to stay with the blue substitute jacket with the 10 on the back, brand Le Coq Sportif, which Diego used in the second half against England, with which he scored the Goal of the Century and also the Hand of God.
Diego’s historic shirt in 1986 (AFP).
The auction will remain open for another 14 days, until Wednesday, May 4, and will be won by whoever makes the best offer. The historic shirt was valued between four and six million pounds, but it is expected that with the passing of days the figure could rise a little more.
The jacket was in the hands of former English footballer Steve Hodge, who exchanged it with the Ten, but as soon as the news of the auction was known, Dalma Maradona, Diego’s daughter, denied that it was the real thing. However, then the international house Sotheby’s issued a statement stating that it was the original and gave details of the process that was carried out to determine it.
In any case, Dalma did not give details about who owns the shirt that she says is the real one. Her mother, Claudia Villafañe, confirmed her daughter’s position: “The shirt is not the one from the second half. It is the word of this former player against ours. There are two shirts. The one that that man has is the one from the first time and it is a sin that he auctioned it. I don’t think you need the money, unless you want to auction it off for some good. It would be good if the AFA bought it”.
The catalog description
Diego’s historic shirt in 1986 (EFE).
It wasn’t just a game, it was more than that. It was history. Few moments in sport can truly change the line between athletics and something bigger. For Americans, people’s minds might go to the famous Miracle on Ice, when the United States defeated the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics during the height of the Cold War. However, these moments are few and far between in the sports world, when a game can go beyond the limits of physical competition. For England and Argentina, after bitter conflict in the Falkland Islands War just a few years earlier, that moment was encompassed during the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals, when the two met in a high-stakes match. steeped in historical importance.
On June 22, 1986, 25-year-old Diego Maradona “El Pibe de Oro” – who many consider to be the greatest in football history – would make history in the game and cement his name permanently in the sports chronicle and on the biggest stage in the world at that. Two of the most extraordinary (and perhaps one of the luckiest) goals in the sport of football were scored in the same match, by the same player no less.
Diego’s historic shirt in 1986 (REUTERS).
The first, known throughout the world as “The Hand of God”, occurred when Maradona -in the second half of the Quarterfinals- scored a great goal with his hand. It all happened fast, and in the blink of an eye, Maradona had fooled the judges, masking his mischievousness with a convincing celebration. As the referees did not have a clear view of the play, the goal stood, giving Argentina a 1-0 lead in the match. In his own words, Maradona would say that he told his teammates: “I told them: ‘Come hug me, or the referee won’t charge it’”. After the game, Maradona was quoted as saying that he scored the goal with “a little bit with Maradona’s head, and a little bit with the hand of God.” He would later explicitly state that he felt it was “symbolic revenge” for the UK’s victory in the Falkland Islands War.
The second goal known as the “Goal of the Century”, which is considered by many to be the greatest individual goal of all time, occurred when Maradona dribbled past a crowd of England players, dancing around him in angelic style, carrying the ball half long of the field and scoring a tremendous second goal to the English goalkeeper Peter Shilton.
In 2002, FIFA held a vote as part of a promotion for the 2002 World Cup. Over a span of 6 weeks, more than 340,000 votes were cast from over 150 countries, with Maradona’s second goal in the match receiving the title of “Goal of the century”. The goal would cement Argentina’s 2-1 win in the tournament against the English. Argentina would go on to win the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
Diego’s historic shirt in 1986 (EFE).
After the match, England midfielder Steve Hodge (the recipient of this offering), who had inadvertently thrown the ball to Maradona in the “Hand of God” game, decided that he would ask Maradona to exchange jerseys. In an interview with FIFA, Hodge recalled: “I thought, I’m not going to be here again. I’ll try to get a t-shirt… I shook hands with Maradona. He was being harassed by his classmates. So I thought: ‘It doesn’t make sense, just leave it’”. Hodge then did a television interview and then had a second-chance encounter with Maradona. “After the interview, I went down, behind the goal, to the changing rooms… While he was going down, Maradona was walking with two of his teammates. I looked him in the eye, tugged at my shirt as if to say ‘is there any chance of a trade?’, and he came over, made a prayer gesture and we exchanged shirts. And that was it. It was as simple as that. Touched by God, “On the way to the locker room, one of the English guys, it turned out to be Hodge, but I wasn’t sure at the time, he asked me to swap shirts with him. I said yes and we did it.” The shirt has been on loan to the National Football Museum in Manchester since 2002.
Part of Sotheby’s challenge in evaluating the shirt was to identify the shirt with the two historic goals. As part of this effort, Sotheby’s worked with Resolution Photomatching to match the jersey to both lenses, examining unique details in various elements of the item, including the patch, stripes and numbering. Resolution Photomatching was able to make a conclusive photomatch to the celebration after the goal of “La Mano de Dios”. The Photomatching resolution determined that Maradona changed his shirt during the match, but that Maradona used this shirt for the two historic goals in the second half of the match.
The shirt itself also has an interesting history. After beating Uruguay in the round of 16, coach Carlos Bilardo worried that the cotton jerseys would be too heavy in the scorching heat of Mexico City. Therefore, coach Bilardo sent a member of his coaching staff, Rubén Moschella, to look for a last-minute option that would be more suitable for the hot conditions. Apparently, they couldn’t choose between two options. Maradona would show up later and look at this same style of jersey and say, “That one. We’ll beat England on that.” Moschella bought enough to outfit the team, and two seamstresses at the training ground sewed makeshift patches from the Argentine Football Association. The numbers were then ironed on the back of the jerseys. Maradona would joke in his book Touched by God that “the numbers were a joke. When we walked out onto the pitch, some of the guys had flashes on their faces because the numbers were silver and shiny… And after kit genius Tito Benros ironed those numbers onto thirty-eight jerseys, it looked like he should have been in a carnival, not in the Azteca Stadium! If it rained, as it did in our match against Uruguay, it was going to be a real disaster: we wouldn’t know who was who or in what position the others were playing”.
The Hand of God (The Graphic).
A key part of understanding the article is understanding the historical context of the rivalry between Argentina and England. The Falkland Islands War began on April 2, 1982, approximately 4 years before the historic World Cup match, when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands, which the Argentines claimed as their own territory. As the islands had been under British leadership since the 1840s, the British, of course, did not agree. On April 5, the British government sent in the Navy to confront the Argentine armed forces. The conflict lasted more than 2 months and would culminate in British victory. The war had a serious cost, more than 600 Argentine soldiers lost their lives as well as more than 250 British troops. The history and rivalry between the two countries imbued this soccer game with deep historical, personal significance, and patriotic context for both nations. In his autobiography, Maradona would say: “It was like beating a country, not a soccer team. Although we said before the game that football had nothing to do with the Falklands War, we knew that many Argentine kids had died there, that they had mowed us down like little birds… That was our revenge, it was… recovering. a part of the Falklands. We all said beforehand that we shouldn’t mix the two things, but it was a lie. A lie! We didn’t think about anything other than that, like hell it was going to be just another game!”