Messi’s World Cup Jerseys Fetch $7.8 Million at Auction

Lionel Messi's six jerseys worn during Argentina's triumphant 2022 World Cup campaign sold for $7.8 million, setting a new record in sports memorabilia auctions.

Six jerseys worn by Lionel Messi at the last World Cup in Qatar 2022

12/14/2023.- Photo provided by Sotheby’s showing the six jerseys worn by Lionel Messi at the last World Cup in Qatar 2022 and with which he won his first World Cup. EFE/Sotheby’s

Latin American Post Staff

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Leer en español: Las camisetas de Messi para el Mundial se subastan por 7,8 millones de dólares

In a remarkable testament to the global impact of football icon Lionel Messi, six jerseys worn by the Argentine maestro during the 2022 World Cup fetched an astounding $7.8 million in a recent auction. This sale underscores Messi's legendary status and highlights the immense value placed on sports memorabilia by enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.

The collection featured the jersey Messi donned in the first half of the Qatar World Cup final, which sealed Argentina's third FIFA World Cup title and Messi's first. This historic moment culminated in Messi's illustrious career and captivated audiences globally, further elevating the value of these jerseys.

While the $7.8 million sum is staggering, it fell short of Sotheby's initial valuation, which surpassed $10 million. Nonetheless, this sale has set a new benchmark for the year, becoming the most valuable sports item sold at auction in 2023.

Chronicle of Triumph: Each Jersey Tells a World Cup Story

Each of the six jerseys represented a different stage of Argentina's World Cup journey, a month-long saga that ended with a nail-biting penalty shootout victory over France. The demand for these jerseys, and by extension for Argentina's team kits, skyrocketed following their World Cup triumph, with Adidas reporting a quick sell-out.

The auction's success places Messi's memorabilia in an elite league, previously dominated by items like Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" shirt, which fetched $9.3 million, and Michael Jordan's 1998 NBA Finals opening game jersey, sold for a record $10.1 million. Messi's achievement in this realm illustrates his prowess on the field, his immense marketability, and the deep emotional connection fans have with their sporting heroes.

Brahm Wachter of Sotheby's aptly captured the sentiment surrounding this auction, noting the monumental nature of the sale and its significance in providing fans a tangible link to Messi's most significant accomplishment. The auction was more than a transaction; it was an opportunity for enthusiasts to own a piece of football history, a testament to Messi's redefinition of footballing excellence.

From $450,000 to $7.8 Million: Messi's Soaring Memorabilia Value

Before this auction, the most expensive Messi-worn jersey sold for $450,000. This shirt, worn during the intense 2017 El Clásico, where Messi scored his career's 500th goal, exemplified the high stakes and drama Messi consistently delivered on the pitch.

Sotheby's remarks on the vibrant sports memorabilia and collectibles market highlight a growing trend. This sector, driven by unique ownership experiences, is attracting younger buyers, with many under 40 and new to auction participation. Items related to NFL legend Tom Brady and the late NBA star Kobe Bryant are also drawing significant interest, showcasing the broadening appeal of sports memorabilia.

Also read: Messi Eyes Copa América and Possible 2026 World Cup Participation

Messi's influence extends beyond the auction room. His recent move to Inter Miami in Major League Soccer (MLS) ended nearly two decades in European football with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. His MLS debut has spiked ticket prices and created a frenzy for his replica jerseys, illustrating his continued impact on the sport.

This auction is a testament to Lionel Messi's unparalleled stature in the world of sports. The sale of his World Cup jerseys is not just about setting records; it reflects the profound emotional and cultural impact he has had on fans around the globe. As Messi continues to dazzle on the field, his legacy off it, as showcased by this historic auction, cements his place as one of the greatest sports icons of all time.

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