Mystery Buyer Emerges as Messi's Garments Rewrite Auction History

The final price of the jerseys, which Messi wore in the first half of every match at the World Cup, is the highest price of any sports item sold this year

by Sededin Dedovic
Mystery Buyer Emerges as Messi's Garments Rewrite Auction History
© Julian Finney / Getty Images

In a move that underscores Lionel Messi's enduring legacy and popularity and the passion of soccer fans, six jerseys worn by the Argentine star during his victory at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar fetched a staggering $7.8 million at auction.

Auction house Sotheby's, which hosted the sale, confirmed the final price, marking it as the highest amount paid for any sporting item this year. These weren't just any jerseys; they were the ones Messi wore in the first half of every match, carrying the sweat and glory of his historic journey to the World Cup.

From group stage clashes against Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Australia, to thrilling knockout rounds against the Netherlands, Croatia and finally France in the final, each shirt whispered the story of Messi's magic and Argentina's triumph.

Messi among the most popular sports icons

The auction house, keeping the identity of the buyer a secret, inadvertently revealed the enormous value placed on Messi memorabilia. This record sum surpasses the previous high of $450,000 paid for Messi's shirt in 2017 and firmly establishes his place among the most sought-after sports icons.

When you add up the number of jerseys and the price, the record from 2017 is greatly exceeded. After years of near misses and heartbreaking defeats, the 2022 victory was a cathartic moment for Argentina and Messi himself, and we all know how soccer is experienced in Argentina.

These jerseys, imbued with them, have become priceless relics for collectors, forever reminding them of the "little magician" who carved his name into football history. The $7.8 million figure is a testament to the cultural significance of soccer, the unifying power of a sporting hero and the enduring appeal of a legend like Lionel Messi.

Although the jerseys may have found a new home, their story, woven into the fabric of Argentine and global football history, will continue to inspire and live on among generations to come. And the price of jerseys itself will skyrocket at the moment of Messi's retirement, and we can only imagine what it will be like in some 20 years. So it can be said that this is a pretty good investment.