Lionel Messi World Cup 2022 shirts sell for nearly $8m in New York auction

Collection was most valuable piece of sports memorabilia sold at auction this year, Sotheby's says

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A collection of six shirts Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi wore during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have sold for almost $8 million at auction in New York, Sotheby's said on Thursday.

The collection of six match-worn shirts sold for $7.8 million after bidding closed. It was the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia sold this year and the auction record for any Messi memorabilia.

Sotheby's said the previous record for a match-worn shirt by Messi was the Barcelona shirt he wore during the 2017 El Clasico against Real Madrid, which sold for $450,000 in 2022.

The collection features the white and sky-blue kit that Messi wore during the first half of the World Cup final against France.

Argentina went on to win that match in penalties, giving Messi the final trophy to add to his illustrious cabinet.

The collection also included shirts he wore during the semi-final against Croatia, the quarterfinal against the Netherlands and the first knockout round against Australia. Shirts worn during the group stage in matches against Saudi Arabia and Mexico were also part of the collection.

Messi's kit collection fell short of the all-time record for game-worn sports memorabilia, however.

That title still belongs to basketball great Michael Jordan, whose 1998 NBA Finals jersey sold for $10.1 million last year.

Updated: December 14, 2023, 6:15 PM