Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ ball expected to fetch £2.5m-£3m at auction

Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ ball expected to fetch £2.5m-£3m at auction

The ball Diego Maradona used to score his “Hand of God” goal against England at the 1986 World Cup is to go to auction next month with an estimate of £2.5m-£3m.

The Argentinian punched the ball past Peter Shilton to open the scoring in the quarter-final at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. He followed that up by claiming a superb solo second.

The referee, Ali Bin Nasser, who failed to spot the handball, is the owner of the ball. It will be sold by Graham Budd Auctions on 16 November. The Tunisian said he felt it was the right time to share the item with the world and expressed hope the buyer would put it on public display.

On the handball goal, he said: “I couldn’t see the incident clearly. The two players, Shilton and Maradona, were facing me from behind. As per Fifa’s instructions issued before the tournament, I looked to my linesman for confirmation of the validity of the goal – he made his way back to the halfway line indicating he was satisfied that the goal should stand.

“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.’”

Maradona, who died in November 2020, claimed the goal was scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”.

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

Maradona’s shirt from the quarter-final sold in May for £7.1m, a world record for a piece of sporting memorabilia. Bin Nasser’s shirt from the match, in addition to a signed shirt he received from Maradona, will also be available at next month’s auction.