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Maradona's 'Hand of God' shirt gets £4m bid on first day of auction

INTERNATIONAL: The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the iconic ‘Hand of God’ goal will fetch millions of pounds when it is sold at auction next month. A bid of £4 million has already been received in the online auction, which started on Wednesday 20th April and will run to May 4.

London’s Sotheby’s has also rejected claims by the Argentine’s family that the shirt wasn’t the one Maradona was wearing when he scored the famous goals against England in 1986 in the World Cup.

Maradona wore a No. 10 jersey in the quarter-final in Mexico, putting Argentina ahead by punching the ball into the net early in the second half, a goal that become known as the "Hand of God".

Just four minutes later he dribbled from his own half to score a sublime second that regularly tops polls as the greatest goal in World Cup history.

England midfielder Steve Hodge got Maradona's jersey after the game and recently announced he was putting it up for auction after 19 years on display at England's National Football Museum.

However, the sale was complicated by claims from Maradona's family that the wrong shirt is going under the hammer.

"It's not the shirt my dad wore in the second half," Dalma Maradona said on Metro radio in Argentina. "I know for sure that he doesn't have it, and I know who does. I don't want to say who has it because it's mad."

But Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectibles, told Reuters the authenticity of the shirt has been verified using photo-matching.

“We undertook a process called photo matching, which is when you look at the shirt in really microscopic detail, even examining individual threads and groups of fabric and comparing it against photos of the game to the shirt that we have in our possession and we were able to find conclusive photo matching through a firm outside of the company that we hired to do it," he said.

Sotheby's also pointed to Maradona's words from his autobiography 'Touched by God' where he talked about handing the shirt he was wearing at the end of the match to Hodge.

The company also said the shirt had been in the National Football Museum for nearly two decades and there had never been a claim that it was not the one Maradona wore while scoring the goals.

Since he died of a cardiac arrest in November 2020 Maradona's family has been involved in a series of scandals and court battles related to his legacy.

The former Napoli and Boca Juniors striker, who was 60 when he died, is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time and is a hero to millions of people around the world, and particularly in Argentina.

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