Home Adidas jersey Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ World Cup ball sold for $2.4 million

Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ World Cup ball sold for $2.4 million

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The ball kicked by Diego Maradona for his ‘Hand of God’ goal in the 1986 World Cup has been auctioned off for nearly $2.4 million by the referee who missed football’s most famous handball.

Ali Bin Nasser, the former Tunisian referee who officiated the quarter-final between Argentina and England in Mexico, owned the 36-year-old Adidas ball which was sold at Graham Budd auction in London for £2million ($2.37 million) on Wednesday.

Ben Nasser said ahead of the auction that he felt it was a good time to share the object with the world and expressed hope that the buyer would put it on public display.

The Maradona goal that gave Argentina a 1-0 lead in that game against England – but shouldn’t have been allowed – is now part of footballing legend.

Maradona jumped in as if to head the ball, but instead hit England keeper Peter Shilton. Maradona later joked that he was branded “a bit with Maradona’s head and a bit with the hand of God”, leading to his iconic name.

Speaking ahead of the auction, Bin Nasser said, “I couldn’t see the incident clearly. The two players, Shilton and Maradona, faced me from behind.

Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the 1986 World Cup league match.

“In accordance with FIFA’s instructions issued before the tournament, I asked my line judge to confirm the validity of the goal – he returned to the halfway line indicating that he was satisfied that the goal should stand. At the At the end of the match, England head coach Bobby Robson said to me: “You did a good job, but the linesman was irresponsible.”

Maradona scored a brilliant second goal against England just four minutes later with the same ball – the only one used in the quarter-finals. He ran almost 70 yards into his own half and fought his way past half the England squad before sliding the ball past Shilton to make it 2-0. This goal was voted goal of the century in the World Cup in 2002.

Argentina won the match 2-1 and won the World Cup. Maradona died in 2020 at the age of 60. The next World Cup in Qatar, which begins on Sunday, will be the first since Maradona’s death.

The jersey worn by Maradona against England sold in May for $9.3 million, at the time the highest price paid at auction for a sports memorabilia. That was beaten by a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card, which fetched $12.6 million in New York in August.