(New York) A set of six jerseys worn by Lionel Messi during Argentina’s epic victory at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, including the one from the victory against France in the final, was sold for 7, $8 million at auction Thursday at Sotheby’s, the company said.

The sale price, which includes fees and commissions (the final bid was $6.5 million), is lower than Sotheby’s estimate of more than $10 million, but it is according to company “one of the highest for a sports collector’s item”, which reflects the enthusiasm of wealthy collectors for these objects.

Who put up such a sum to win the unique lot of jerseys, “linked to the pinnacle of the career of the most decorated footballer in history,” as Sotheby’s sports specialist Brahm Wachter described them? As usual, the company did not disclose information about the buyer.

The record for the most expensive jersey in history sold at auction therefore still belongs to a jersey of American basketball legend Michael Jordan, during the final of his last NBA title with the Chicago Bulls in 1998 (10, 1 million dollars in September 2022), in front of the jersey worn by Argentina’s No.10, Diego Maradona, during the memorable quarter-final won (2-1) against England at the 1986 World Cup ( 9.3 million in May 2022).

Three offers followed one another for Messi’s jerseys, during this sale which had been taking place on the internet since November 30.

The tunics with the famous blue and white stripes were worn by the “Pulga” during the first halves of the group matches against Saudi Arabia and Mexico, then in the 8th against Australia, and the quarter-finals against the Netherlands. Bottom, half against Croatia and the final won on penalties and at the end of the suspense against Kylian Mbappé’s France.

With seven goals and the final victory, the captain of the “Albiceleste”, 35 years old at the time, had conquered the supreme title that was missing from his record, taking revenge on his failures during the four previous editions and opening the path to an eighth Ballon d’Or, won on October 30.