EletiofeLionel Messi 2022 World Cup jerseys sell for $7.8...

Lionel Messi 2022 World Cup jerseys sell for $7.8 million at auction

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Sean Leahy

The lot of match-worn jerseys are from six of the seven games during Argentina's run to the 2022 World Cup title. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

The lot of match-worn jerseys are from six of the seven games during Argentina’s run to the 2022 World Cup title. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Six of the seven jerseys worn by Lionel Messi during Argentina’s run to the 2022 World Cup title were sold by Sotheby’s auction house for $7.803 million with buyer’s premium on Thursday.

The six jerseys, which feature Argentina’s iconic light blue and white vertical stripes, were worn during two of their three group stage matches against Saudi Arabia and Mexico; their knockout round victories over Australia, the Netherlands and Croatia, as well as the final against France, which saw Messi and La Albiceleste lift the trophy following penalty kicks.

Messi wore each jersey during the first half of those matches, according to Sotheby’s. (Second half jerseys were likely traded with opponents afterward.) The only jersey missing from the set is from Argentina’s final group stage match against Poland.

Messi had won numerous titles with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina, but the World Cup trophy was the only major individual or team award that eluded him in his legendary career.

The set of six 2022 World Cup jerseys worn by Messi sold for $7.8 million at auction on Thursday. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)

The set of six 2022 World Cup jerseys worn by Messi sold for $7.8 million at auction on Thursday. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)

Sotheby’s had estimated that the final sale price for the jerseys would surpass $10 million.

A portion of the $7.8 million total of the Messi 2022 World Cup jersey auction will be donated to UNICAS Project, led by Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital with the support of the Leo Messi Foundation, which helps children suffering from rare diseases.

Given Messi’s G.O.A.T. status in the sports world, his memorabilia brings in big dollars. Such as in April 2022, when the jersey he wore while playing for Barcelona against Real Madrid in the 2017 El Clásico sold for $450,000 via Goldin Auctions. Messi’s 92nd-minute goal gave Barcelona the win and was the 500th of his career.

Messi isn’t the only Argentinian soccer legend to set records in the sports memorabilia world. In May 2022, the jersey Diego Maradona wore when he scored the controversial “Hand of God” goal during the quarterfinals of the 1986 World Cup against England sold for $9.3 million, the highest auction price for a sports memorabilia artifact at the time until a Michael Jordan 1998 NBA Finals jersey sold for $10.1 million four months later.

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