The football that was at the feet — and hand — of Diego Maradona as he shocked the world with acts of both brazen gamesmanship and breathtaking skill in Mexico 36 years ago has been put up for auction and is expected to sell for at least $2.8 million.
The ball in question is from the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal between Argentina and England, in which Maradona scored six minutes into the second half by sneakily punching the ball over England goalkeeper Peter Shilton into the net, a goal he said afterwards had been helped by the "Hand of God."
Just four minutes later he dribbled from his own half past a number of England players to score a sublime second that regularly tops polls as the greatest goal in World Cup history.
The ball is being sold by Tunisian referee Ali Bin Nasser, who officiated the match.
"This ball is part of international football history — it feels like the right time to be sharing it with the world," Bin Nasser said. "I hope the buyer is in a position to put it on display or share it with the public in some other way."
The auction will be conducted by auctioneers Graham Budd and will take place on Nov. 16, with bidders able to register and bid online from Oct. 28. The shirt worn by Maradona in the same match was sold for $8.93 million earlier this year.
Maradona, regarded as one of the world's best ever footballers, died in November, 2020 aged 60.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra)