Lionel Messi’s Cleats Are Being Auctioned for $100,000
(Bloomberg) -- The soccer cleats Lionel Messi wore when he set a record for most goals scored for a single club are coming to auction at Christie’s.
The Adidas Nemeziz Messi 19.1s, which were monogrammed with Messi’s wife’s and children’s names, have a high estimate of £70,000 ($96,500), with bids running from April 19-30.
“We put an estimate on them which we hope will attract as much interest as possible,” says Dominic Thurlow-Wood, the head of the sale at Christie’s. “We’re expecting a record price for a pair of football boots and hopeful that’s the case. All the proceeds will go to charity.”
The Argentine Messi wore the cleats on Dec. 22, 2020, when he scored his 644th goal for his club, FC Barcelona, in a game against Real Valladolid. When he rocketed the ball into the goal, making the score 3-0, he surpassed the previous world record, set by soccer deity Pelé. Messi subsequently signed the cleats and allowed them to be displayed in Barcelona’s Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, where they sat on a pedestal inside a vitrine surrounded by low stanchions.
The names of Messi’s family were stuck on with individual lettering; at this point, some of the letters have peeled off, “and some of the letters remain, but you can see that the letters were there, which adds to the charm,” Thurlow-Wood says.
The auction will benefit Barcelona’s Vall d'Hebron University Hospital’s art and health program.
“Achieving the record of 644 goals for the same club made me very happy, but the most important thing is being able to give something back to all the kids fighting for their health,” Messi said in a statement. “We hope this auction serves to really raise awareness about this great initiative, and I would like to thank all for supporting a cause so important to me.”
The auction comes at a time when the sports memorabilia market is on a seemingly endless hot streak.
In May 2020 a pair of Michael Jordan’s game-worn sneakers set a record when they sold for $560,000 at Sotheby’s, a distinction that lasted only three months until another pair of Jordan’s shoes sold at Christie’s for $615,000. Earlier this month a Tom Brady rookie card sold for $2.25 million at Lelands sports auction house, almost doubling the previous record set for a football card.
“We really believe that the soccer world and other sports are going to follow on the success we’ve seen with basketball,” Thurlow-Wood says. He cites a Messi rookie card that sold for $117,000 and an armband that Cristiano Ronaldo wore that sold for $75,000 at a charity auction. “We feel that the soccer world is really about to blossom.”
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