Just over a year ago, the world’s eyes were on Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Lionel Messi, a titan in the football world, was yet to claim his much-coveted World Cup title.
His fifth attempt at this triumph became a global spectacle, with over five billion people eagerly watching.
Messi’s quest, filled with unparalleled skill and sheer determination, was not just a personal journey but a symbol of national pride for Argentina.
The moment of glory arrived on December 18, 2022, in what many call football’s finest match.
Messi’s Argentine team triumphed over France, marking a historic win after 36 years.
Lionel Messi’s Match-Worn Memorabilia: A Unique Auction
A year after this monumental victory, an extraordinary auction is set to take place. Sotheby’s is presenting a collection of six shirts worn by Messi during key matches of the tournament.
These iconic shirts, representing Argentina’s white and sky blue, are expected to fetch over $10 million.
Worn during the final, semi-final, and other crucial stages, they embody the spirit of Messi’s remarkable journey in Qatar.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup stands as one of the greatest events in sports history, intrinsically connected to Messi’s valiant journey and firmly establishing his status as the greatest player of all time. The sale of these six shirts stands as a monumental occasion in auction history, offering fans and collectors a connection to Messi’s crowning achievement. It is an honor for Sotheby’s to present and exhibit these invaluable collectables to the public, which encapsulate the sheer brilliance of a player who has redefined the boundaries of football excellence.Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head Of Modern Collectibles
AC Momento’s Role and Charitable Contributions
The shirts come to auction through AC Momento, a US-based tech startup known for partnering with elite athletes to manage their memorabilia collections.
This auction is more than just a sale; it contributes to a noble cause. A significant portion of the proceeds is pledged to the UNICAS Project under the Leo Messi Foundation, supporting the Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital.
This institution, already collaborating with Messi’s foundation, is instrumental in treating children with rare diseases and cancer.
From Setback to Triumph: Argentina’s World Cup Saga
Argentina’s path in the 2022 World Cup was anything but straightforward. The team, initially a favourite, faced an unexpected defeat against Saudi Arabia in their opening match.
However, Messi’s leadership and skill shone brightly in the subsequent games against Mexico and Poland, steering Argentina towards a victorious streak.
His 1,000th appearance for club and country was marked in the Round of 16, a milestone in his illustrious career.
The Final: A Match for the Ages
The final against France was a rematch filled with intensity and emotion. Despite Argentina’s early lead, France, led by Kylian Mbappé, staged a dramatic comeback.
The match, swinging like a pendulum, eventually went to penalty kicks, where Argentina emerged victorious.
Messi’s performance, coupled with Gonzalo Montiel’s decisive penalty, clinched Argentina’s World Cup win.
Messi, overwhelmed with joy, described it as a dream come true, a moment that sealed his status as the greatest footballer of all time.
As a longtime collector of match-worn football memorabilia, this is the kind of auction I dreamed about bringing to market when we started AC Momento. The winner of this sale will enjoy a profound connection to the pinnacle moment in the career of the greatest player of all time and own the most important collection of football shirts from any single event in the history of the sport.John Brennan, Founder And Ceo Of AC Momento
Messi’s Legacy: Beyond the World Cup
Lionel Messi’s World Cup triumph was the crowning achievement of his career.
His trophy cabinet, already brimming with accolades like Champions League and LaLiga titles, Copa América, and a record 8 Ballon d’Or awards, was finally complete.
His recent Ballon d’Or win, influenced by his World Cup performance, added another feather to his cap.
Sotheby’s: Pioneering the Sports Memorabilia Market
Sotheby’s role in this historic auction is not just about selling memorabilia; it’s about celebrating sports history.
Their dynamic involvement in the sports collectables market has attracted a new generation of enthusiasts.
With an array of memorabilia from legends like Michael Jordan, Diego Maradona, and Kobe Bryant, Sotheby’s has become a nexus for sports history and its avid collectors.
Their partnership with the NBA as The Official Game-Worn Source further cements their position in this vibrant market.
Conclusion: A Tribute to a Legend
The auction of Lionel Messi’s World Cup shirts is more than just a sale of memorabilia.
It’s a celebration of a legendary career, a testament to the power of sports in uniting people, and an example of how triumphs on the field can translate into impactful humanitarian efforts.
As these shirts go under the hammer, they carry with them stories of determination, skill, and the heart of a champion – Lionel Messi.