Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt sold for record £7.1m… but is it real?

Dalma, one of Maradona’s two daughters with his ex-wife Claudia Villafañe, made the claims on her Argentine radio show and said her father had changed shirts at half-time because of the high temperatures in the stadium.

Sotheby’s rejected the claims, however, adding it had hired an expert outside firm to photomatch the shirt being auctioned, which had found “multiple conclusive matches” to the one Maradona was wearing when he scored his two second-half goals.

A spokeswoman said: “There was indeed a different shirt worn by Maradona in the first half but there are clear differences between that and what was worn during the goals.”

Maradona’s controversial “Hand of God” goal in the 51st minute was followed by a second four minutes later which is widely considered to be the greatest ever in which he dribbled past several England players before slotting the ball past Peter Shilton.

The shirt Maradona wore was not an official one, but a knock-off bought at the last minute on a Mexican backstreet, as Argentina manager Carlos Bilardo was desperate to replace strips his players found too heavy for the Mexican summer heat.

Maradona had the last word choosing the strips which only had numbers and badges sewn on the day before the England game, after which the Argentine forward swapped his shirt with midfielder Steve Hodge.

Hodge, who for the past 20 years has loaned the shirt to England’s National Football Museum in Manchester, has said of the moment he acquired Maradona’s iconic shirt: “I was walking down the tunnel and Maradona was coming in the opposite direction. I just tugged my shirt and we swapped there and then.”

According to Guinness World Records, Pele’s Brazil shirt from the 1970 World Cup final was previously the most expensive football shirt sold at auction.

It fetched £157,750 in 2002, more than three times the expected price.