Six of the shirts worn by Lionel Messi during Argentina’s World Cup-winning campaign are to be sold at auction.
Captain Messi, 36, lifted the trophy after they beat France on penalties in last December’s final in Qatar.
His shirt from the final is included in the set of six, which are expected to fetch more than £8m in the auction hosted by Sotheby’s in New York.
The record for a game-worn football shirt is Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ jersey, which sold for £7.1m in 2022.
Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of modern collectibles, said the sale of Messi’s six shirts “stands as a monumental occasion in auction history”.
“The 2022 FIFA World Cup stands as one of the greatest events in sports history, intrinsically connected to Messi’s valiant journey and firmly establishing his status as the greatest player of all time,” Wachter said.
Messi, an eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, became the first player in World Cup history to score in the group stage, last 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final of a single tournament.
Wachter added: “It is an honour for Sotheby’s to present and exhibit these invaluable collectables to the public, which encapsulate the sheer brilliance of a player who has redefined the boundaries of football excellence.”
The collection of Messi’s shirts will be on view at Sotheby’s New York headquarters in a free, public exhibition during the bidding process, which is open between 30 November and 14 December.
Messi played in all seven of Argentina’s 2022 World Cup matches, but only two of the three shirts he wore during the group stage will be auctioned after Australia squad member Cameron Devlin swapped shirts with the former Barcelona forward during the tournament.
Sotheby’s said: “A portion of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to Unicas Project, led by Sant Joan de Deu (SJD) Barcelona Children’s Hospital with the support of the Leo Messi Foundation, to meet the needs of children suffering from rare diseases.”