Sotheby’s is gearing up for its latest high-profile sports auction.
The auction house will be selling soccer champion Lionel Messi’s 2022 FIFA World Cup jerseys during a dedicated sale that runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 14. Sotheby’s is auctioning six of Messi’s Argentina home jerseys, which are expected to sell for more than $10 million.
“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,” said Sotheby’s head of modern collectibles Brahm Wachter. “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.”
The six jerseys are from Argentina’s key group stage matches, round of 16 game, quarterfinal game, semi-final game and the final match, which Argentina won against France.
The expected auction price makes the collection Sotheby’s most valuable in the sports memorabilia category. Sotheby’s record for game-worn sports memorabilia is Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals jersey, which sold in 2022 for $10.1 million.
Sotheby’s is working with U.S.-based tech start-up AC Momento for the auction. The company partners with high-profile athletes to manage their game-worn sports memorabilia collections.
A portion of the sale from Messi’s jerseys will benefit UNICAS Project, which is a program led by the Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital that provides aid to children battling rare diseases. The Leo Messi Foundation has previously worked with the program.
The auction comes after Sotheby’s announced last week that the auction house if the official source for game-worn NBA sports memorabilia, kicking off the partnership with an auction of over 60 NBA jerseys.
Sotheby’s has long held a presence in the sports memorabilia category, regularly hosting auctions of rare game-worn items from top players like LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Diego Maradona and others across sports like basketball, soccer, hockey and more.
Messi’s Argentina World Cup jerseys will also be on display for the public at Sotheby’s New York headquarters through the duration of the auction.