The ball which became the infamous victim of Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ fist in the 1986 World Cup is set to go under the hammer next month.
The ball, used for the entirety of the match between Argentina and England in Mexico, is being sold by the man who refereed the match – Ali Bin Nasser – and could fetch upwards of £2.5m.
Maradona famously scored two goals in the last eight tie of the ’86 World Cup, one of which appeared to be fisted into England goalkeeper Peter Shilton’s net by the Argentinian legend.
“This ball is part of football history,” the former referee Bin Nasser said. “It is the right time to be sharing it with the world.”
Bin Nasser did not spot the deliberate hand ball. The goal stood and instantly entered itself into footballing folklore.
Maradona’s brace would hand Argentina a 2-1 victory over the Three Lions and the Albicelestes would go on to win the World Cup in Mexico.
The bidding opens on 28 October with the auction taking place on 16 November in an event which is marketing itself as a World Cup special auction.
“The timing of the match, the history between the two teams and the handball have all led to this match going down as one of the most famous and emotive matches in football history,” said Graham Budd, chairman of Graham Budd Auctions.
“With the history surrounding the ball, we are expecting this lot to be hugely popular when it comes up for auction.”
The shirt Maradona wore in the infamous match recently sold for £7.4m at auction – the second highest amount paid at auction for ‘game worn’ sporting memorabilia after Michael Jordan’s £8.7m 1998 NBA finals jersey.