Saturday December 9, 2023

Messi Set To Challenge For Another Off-Pitch Record

  • Game-worn World Cup Messi jerseys are headed for auction.
  • The collection could garner more than $10 million
Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
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Lionel Messi’s heroics at last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar helped the Argentinian win a record eighth Ballon d’Or award — and might now set even more records in the memorabilia market.

Six jerseys Messi wore during World Cup matches — including the final in which he scored two goals and converted a penalty-shootout kick — are being put up for auction by Sotheby’s, a multinational collectibles broker.

With demand for Messi booming after the World Cup and his subsequent move to MLS, Sotheby’s predicts that the collection could end up being sold at a record price of more than $10 million. Sotheby’s was responsible for selling the current most expensive piece of game-worn sports memorabilia — a Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan jersey from the 1998 NBA Finals, which netted $10.1 million in 2022.

The six Messi jerseys — all featuring Argentina’s iconic light-blue-and-white stripes — were worn by the legend during the first half of matches throughout the group stage, Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and final in Qatar. They are being sold together, unavailable to be purchased individually — meaning any record price would be for a sports memorabilia collection, not an individual item.

Pretty In Pink

After joining MLS in July, Messi’s new Inter Miami kit became the top-selling MLS jersey in 2023.

This year, many soccer retailers and manufacturers have struggled to keep up with the immense demand for Messi jerseys, with some orders still in the works and not scheduled to ship until December.

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