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most expensive football memorabilia ever sold

The beautiful game isn’t just about what happens on the pitch. Off the field, a rich tapestry of history exists, and some fascinating items have fetched impressive prices. From legendary jerseys to historic trophies, here’s a look at some of the most expensive football memorabilia ever sold:

1. Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” Shirt (1986) 

£7.1 million ($9.3 million)

This shirt is etched in football history. Worn by the legendary Diego Maradona during the controversial 1986 World Cup quarter-final against England, it holds the record for the most expensive football item ever sold. The “Hand of God” goal, a mix of brilliance and gamesmanship, cemented the shirt’s place in football folklore and collector’s dreams. 

2. Sir Geoff Hurst’s 1966 World Cup Final Shirt

$8.95 million

This shirt rewrote history in October 2022. Sir Geoff Hurst, the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, donned this jersey during England’s glorious 1966 victory.  This sale pushed past the previously held record by Pele’s medal, highlighting the enduring legacy of that iconic match.

3. Lionel Messi’s 2022 World Cup Shirt Collection 

£6.1 million ($7.8 million)

Fresh off his World Cup win in 2022, Lionel Messi’s collection of shirts worn throughout the tournament fetched a record-breaking sum, showcasing the rising value of contemporary memorabilia.

4. Original Rules of Football (1857)

£881,250

Stepping away from player-centric items, the very foundation of the game itself holds value.  The original rules of football, drafted in 1857, fetched a significant price, a reminder of the sport’s humble beginnings.

5. Pele’s 1970 World Cup Winner’s Medal 

$427,000

The “King” himself, Pele, holds a place on this prestigious list.  His medal from Brazil’s 1970 World Cup triumph remains a significant piece of football memorabilia, a testament to his incredible career.

6. Lionel Messi’s First Barcelona Contract (2000) 

£400,000 ($512,000)

A glimpse into the future greatness of Lionel Messi, this signed contract, penned when he was just 13 years old, showcases the immense potential recognized early on. 

7. Jules Rimet Trophy Replica (1970) 

£254,000

The original Jules Rimet Trophy, awarded until 1970, was famously stolen in 1966 and never recovered. This replica, presented to Brazil after their 1970 win, holds value as a reminder of a bygone era in World Cup history.

8. Nobby Stiles’ 1966 World Cup Winner’s Medal 

£200,000 ($256,000)

Not all heroes wear capes.  Nobby Stiles, known for his tenacious defending, played a crucial role in England’s 1966 victory.  His medal serves as a reminder of the diverse contributions that make football teams successful.  

9. David Beckham’s Signed 2002 World Cup Boots

£22,000 ($28,000)

Even footwear can become a collector’s item!  David Beckham’s signed boots from the 2002 World Cup, a tournament where he rose to iconic status,  demonstrate the power of individual personalities in the sport.

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