THE Hand of God ball that Diego Maradona punched into the net, helping to knock England out of the 1986 World Cup has ‘sold’ for a staggering £2million.
Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal sent England out of the 1986 World Cup in MexicoCredit: Getty
Ref Ali Bin Nasser kept hold of the ball after the controversial World Cup quarter-final gameCredit: Darren Fletcher
The ball now is partially deflated after so many yearsCredit: AFP
He also scored his “goal of the century” winner in the match, weaving past five England players and Shilton.
Tunisian Bin Nasser, 78, has previously insisted his view of the infamous handled goal was blocked so he followed FIFA rules by checking with his linesman before allowing it.
Before the sale, auctioneers Graham Budd estimated the ball – the only one used for the entire 90 minutes of the match – would fetch £2.5m to £3m.
However, because the bid of £2m didn’t meet the reserve price, negotiations are now taking place.
A spokesman for the auctioneers said after the sale: “It was sold for £2million, but that did not meet the reserve price.
“There are now negotiations taking place between the bidder and seller to see if that sale price is acceptable.”
The ball is formed of 32 pentagonal panels with a black and white design inspired by the architecture and murals of the Aztec civilisation that flourished in central Mexico through the 14th to 16th centuries.
The auctioneers’ notes stated: “After 36 years the ball is partially-deflated. Buyers should seek professional conservation advice before attempting to re-inflate the ball.”
Meanwhile, the one penny coin used by the referee for the 1966 World Cup final toss was sold for £9,000 – more than four times the auctioneer’s anticipated final sale price of between £1,000 and £2,000.
Dienst kept hold of the copper alloy penny until it was acquired from him by British football memorabilia collector Bryan Horsnell, who put it up for sale.
It bears Queen Elizabeth II’s profile on one side and Britannia on the other.
Meanwhile, former England goalscoring hero Sir Geoff Hurst‘s white 1970 World Cup shirt, when England went out to Germany in the quarter-final in Mexico, fell well short of the dizzying figures of his 1966 Wembley winning top, which in 2000 sold for £91,750.
England’s less successful fortunes saw the later No. 10 Umbro, Airtex, short-sleeved jersey with the three lions badge go for £8,500 – still well over the auctioneer’s pre-sale best estimate of £3,000.
Maradona, centre, scored twice in the qualter-final game against EnglandCredit: AFP