Never-before-seen detail in infamous piece of Maradona history

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The jersey Diego Maradona wore in the infamous 'Hand of God' game has set a new record at auction. Pic: Getty
The jersey Diego Maradona wore in the infamous 'Hand of God' game has set a new record at auction. Pic: Getty

Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal is widely regarded as one of the most controversial moments in football history and now the jersey he wore in the infamous World Cup victory has been sold for a staggering and record-breaking fortune.

Maradona, who died in 2020 at the age of 60, wore Argentina's famous No. 10 shirt in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final victory of England in Mexico.

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Six minutes into the second half, a man regarded by many as the greatest player of all-time put his team ahead by punching the ball into the net for what he famously claimed afterwards came via the 'hand of God'.

Four minutes later, Maradona then dribbled from his own half to score a goal widely considered to be the best in World Cup history.

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

Incredibly, the shirt sold for a staggering 7.14 million pounds ($A12.5 million) - a new auction record for an item of sports memorabilia.

"This historic shirt is a tangible reminder of an important moment not only in the history of sports, but in the history of the 20th century," said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables.

Sotheby's said the buyer was anonymous.

The sale on Wednesday broke the previous record for sports memorabilia set by the original autograph manuscript of the Olympic Manifesto from 1892, which went for $US8.8 million ($A12.4 million) in 2019.

The sale of Maradona's jersey was complicated by claims that the wrong shirt was going under the hammer, with his daughter and ex-wife saying Hodge received the shirt Maradona wore in the first half of the match.

Sotheby's said they used photomatching technology to "conclusively" match the shirt to both goals by "examining unique details on various elements of the item, including the patch, stripes, and numbering".

Pictured here, Diego Maradona at the FIFA World Cup in 1994.
Diego Maradona at the FIFA World Cup in 1994. (Photo by Michael Kunkel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Diego Maradona died after chequered career

The Argentine, who had battled health issues and underwent emergency surgery for a blood clot on his brain - died in 2020 after suffering a heart attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

England's Gary Lineker, who played against Maradona in the 'Hand of God' game, tweeted after his death: “By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he'll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego.”

The Argentinian legend was regarded as a ‘troubled genius’ after a number of off-field controversies overshadowed his mercurial talent on the football pitch.

Maradona’s international playing career ended in shame when he failed a drugs test at the 1994 World Cup in the United States and he was notorious for a wayward lifestyle throughout his life.

He was also banned from football in 1991 after testing positive for cocaine while playing for Napoli.

There were media reports that emerged in the years after that Maradona had learned how to fool drug testers, including by using a fake penis filled with urine that wasn’t his.

However, he remained a revered figure at the Italian club, where he won two Serie A titles.

Seen here, people gather in front of the Argentinian Presidency building 'Casa Rosada' to view Diego Maradona's coffin.
People gather in front of the Argentinian Presidency building 'Casa Rosada' to view Diego Maradona's coffin. (Photo by Mariano Gabriel Sanchez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Maradona was also revered as a God-like figure in Argentina, where tens of thousands of people gathered after his death ton pay their respects.

The huge crowd formed a line more than 20 blocks long stretching from the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires where Argentines gathered to celebrate the Maradona-led triumph in the 1986 World Cup.

with agencies

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