Lionel Messi's 2022 World Cup jerseys to go up for auction

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Six of the shirts Lionel Messi wore during Argentina's historic 2022 World Cup campaign, including one from their victory over France in the final, will be put up for auction.

New York auction house Sotheby's confirmed on Monday the six match-worn first-half jerseys will be available to purchase as a collection between Nov. 30. and Dec. 14, with a portion of the final purchase price going to charity.

Sotheby's said the collection is worth more than $10 million, which -- if realised -- could see it become the most valuable collection of sports memorabilia ever to go to auction.

Messi captained Argentina to the triumph in December, beating France on penalties in the final after a thrilling 3-3 draw.

The collection includes shirts worn by Messi in two of the three group stage matches, their 2-1 win over Australia in the round of 16, their quarterfinal penalty shootout win over the Netherlands, the 3-0 triumph over Croatia in the semifinals and the victory over France.

Messi confirmed the auction on his Instagram account, with a post which read: "Six World Cup shirts. One auction. Today, my friends at @acmomento are announcing an auction at @sothebys for six shirts I wore during the World Cup in Qatar, including my shirt from the Final.

"Place your bids online at Sotheby's from 30 November - 14 December. A portion of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to UNICAS Project, led by Sant Joan de Déu (SJD) Barcelona Children's Hospital to meet the needs of children suffering from rare diseases."

The public will also be able to view the shirts for free at Sotheby's in New York while they're up for action.

"The 2022 FIFA World Cup stands as one of the greatest events in sports history, intrinsically connected to Messi's valiant journey and firmly establishing his status as the greatest player of all time," Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's head of modern collectables, said.

"The sale of these six shirts stands as a monumental occasion in auction history, offering fans and collectors a connection to Messi's crowning achievement. It is an honor for Sotheby's to present and exhibit these invaluable collectables to the public, which encapsulate the sheer brilliance of a player who has redefined the boundaries of football excellence."

The highest price paid for a game-worn jersey at auction is currently the $10.091m spent on Michael Jordan's 1998 NBA Finals Game 1 jersey back in September 2022. That just edged the $9.28m which Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" Argentina jersey was sold for in May 2022.