Legendary Maradona jersey on show in Qatar at 2022 World Cup

Legendary Maradona jersey on show in Qatar at 2022 World Cup
Credit: Belga

The jersey Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona wore against England at the 1986 World Cup will go on display in Qatar during the 2022 World Cup, six months after being auctioned off for $9.3 million, French news agency AFP learned on Saturday.

The jersey, bought on 4 May by an anonymous buyer for the record sum at an auction organised by Sotheby's, was loaned to the Qatar Sports Museum, where it will be exhibited from Sunday until 1 April.

Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, head of Qatar's museums and a figure in the ruling family, said she was "happy" to have obtained the loan for an exhibition dedicated to the history of football and of the World Cup. It has an entire history of its own, she recalled in a statement to AFP, "starting with the moment Nottingham Forest midfielder Steve Hodge swapped shirts with Maradona after the game, in what now seems like a very inspired move."

During the legendary quarter-final against England at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Maradona, who died in November 2020 at the age of 60, scored the two winning goals (2-1). The Argentinian, wearing No.10 jersey, had pushed the ball with his hand against England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, saying later that this first goal came "a bit from the head of Maradona, a bit from the hand of God."

Four minutes later, he beat five England players and Shilton to score the "goal of the century," according to a FIFA poll in 2002.

Argentina went on to win the World Cup.

After their trade, Hodge loaned the shirt to a museum in Manchester for 20 years before putting it up for auction, where it went for more than double Sotheby's valuation. The anonymous buyer won ahead of six other bidders, including the Argentine Football Federation.

Maradona's jersey is not, however, the most expensive sporting item in the world. On 16 September, that honour went to a jersey worn by basketball legend Michael Jordan, which sold for $10.1 million.

Maradona's jersey will be on display alongside a ball from the first World Cup final in 1930, the first writing of the rules of football, a bronze of the right foot of iconic Brazilian star Pelé and other jerseys worn by sports greats.

The museum opened at the end of March inside the Khalifa International Stadium, one of the eight venues of the 2022 World Cup.

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