Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ ball expected to fetch £2.5m at auction

The “Hand of God” football will go up for auction on Nov. 16 in the United Kingdom for an estimated £2.5 million. The ball could reach an estimated price of £2.5m to £3m ($2.7 – $3.3m).

The ball is owned by Tunisian referee Ali Bin Nasser, who officiated the controversial quarterfinal between England and Argentina at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Argentina won that game 2-1 with Bin Nasser allowing the Albiceleste‘s opener, which saw Diego Maradona punch the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

The goal became known as the “Hand of God” with Argentina legend Maradona later claiming that it was scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.”

“This ball is part of international football history — it feels like the right time to be sharing it with the world,” Bin Nasser said. As for Maradona’s first goal I couldn’t see the incident clearly, the two players Shilton and Maradona were facing me from behind … At the end of the match the England head coach Bobby Robson said to me “You did a good job but the linesman was irresponsible.”

Diego Maradona’s goal has down in football history. Allsport/Getty Images

The famous ball will be on display at Wembley stadium next month ahead of being auctioned by Graham Budd Auction House, with bidders able to register and bid online in advance.

“The timing of the match, the history between the two teams stretching back to 1951 (the first quarterfinal between the two teams in 1966 was also controversial for the sending off of the Argentinian captain Antonio Rattan), and the famous handball have all led to this match going down as one of the most famous and emotive matches in football history,” Graham Budd, chairman of Graham Budd Auctions said.

“With the history surrounding the ball, we are expecting this lot to be hugely popular when it comes up for auction.”

Other World Cup items will also be auctioned that day.

Earlier this year, the shirt worn by Maradona during that game was sold for $9.3m, a then-world record for any piece of sporting memorabilia. Three months later, a new world record was set with Mickey Mantle baseball card sold for $12.6m in August. In September, Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA finals jersey went for $10.1m, which was a new world record for any ‘game worn’ sporting memorabilia, beating Maradona’s shirt.

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