Diego Maradona's 1986 World Cup Golden Ball to be auctioned

Football legend and former Dubai resident who passed away in 2020 won the award for leading Argentina to glory

Diego Maradona with his 1986 World Cup Adidas Golden Ball Trophy. Presse Sports
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Diego Maradona's Golden Ball trophy, awarded for being named the best player at the 1986 World Cup, is set to be auctioned off in France on June 6.

The Aguttes auction house announced this week that the item will go under the hammer. It will be the first time a Golden Ball has been presented at auction and is expected to fetch millions.

Maradona received the trophy in Paris on November 13, 1986, but it was presumed missing. The anonymous seller picked it up in 2016 at an auction in France but was initially unaware of its significance.

“He bought it with many other things, at the beginning he did not know it was something important,” the Aguttes auction house sport expert Francois Thierry told BBC Sport.

“In the case he bought there were a lot of trophies. He then searched on the internet and found it could be the Golden Ball.

“He tried to call Maradona and Fifa, but had no luck.”

Maradona, who lived in Dubai for many years and spent time as manager of Al Wasl and Fujairah, passed away in 2020, aged 60.

He won the award after leading Argentina to World Cup glory in Mexico. His inspirational performances amounted to what is widely considered the finest individual showing at a major tournament in world football history.

His genius and the controversy that so often followed him were encapsulated in a politically-charged quarter-final against England. He first scored his infamous 'Hand of God' goal before dribbling through the entire England defence to score one of the greatest goals of all time.

His former Argentina teammate, Jorge Burruchaga, recalled: “At that 1986 World Cup, Diego shone like never before or since in his career; it was his monument. We knew we had the best player in the world, there was no doubt about it, we knew it for a fact.

“My favourite recollection of this World Cup is the second goal he scored against England, which remains the most beautiful in history for me because you must consider the state of the pitch, the altitude, the context between the two countries, and what he managed to do.”

At a recent auction, the shirt worn by Maradona during the match against England, was sold for a reported figure of $7 million. It was sold by the former England player Steve Hodge who exchanged shirts with Maradona after the classic World Cup clash at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

Updated: May 08, 2024, 3:28 PM