Doha, Dec 16 (UiTV/IANS) – A gold-plated replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy along with 55 other football related items including shirts worn by late Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi has gone under the hammer at an online auction which began at the start of this month and one which ends on December 22.
With the FIFA World Cup final between Argentina and France a few days away, a new champion to be spotted on Sunday as the organisers have tried to catch on to the football fever and give away a replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy.
“Taking advantage of the World Cup fever, we are auctioning off an exact replica of the gold-plated World Cup trophy ($9,000) and many national team jerseys,” said Yael Rodriguez, one of the three partners of the Matchday the Argentine company behind the auction, while talking to IANS in a Zoom interview.
With the football world fully immersed in the game’s biggest showpiece event and surrendering to the magic of Lionel Messi in Qatar some lucky ones will have the chance to feel the Argentinian super star from close quarters.
The organisers have called it as GOATS auction, since it involves the two greats of the game, Maradona and Messi, and the ones who have inspired hundreds of people over the period of time and a large number of shirts worn by them have been put up for auction.
“Among all the items are six Lionel Messi shirts, including one from the National Team signed by all the players who are currently playing in the World Cup in Qatar. The Argentina shirt was given to president of AFA, Claudio Tapia, for a charitable purpose. All the proceeds from that auction will be used for works at the Fernandez Hospital. This item will be featured in a special way within the auction and has a starting price of $5,500,” said Rodriguez.
What started as a hobby has since turned out to be a full time business venture for Yael and his two partners Emiliano Abreu and Juan Manuel Pineiro.
The event’s organising company was created in the midst of a pandemic by the trio, with the aim of auctioning off unique objects and collectibles from world football, highly coveted by collectors. To carry it out, they have a rigorous investigation process, which compares the real object with photos, videos and files from the time to authenticate the product. Even witness testimonies are used to confirm it.
“We specialise in game-worn jerseys, which in slang are called Match Worn, but we also offer jerseys and apparel that were prepared by the props for the game, but not worn, called Match Issue. We currently have more than 150 shirts of which only 15 per cent are in the auction stage.
“The most valuable is one from Boca Juniors used by Diego Maradona in the 1981 National tournament, the year in which the Ribera team became champion and Maradona’s was the star. There is also a Maradona Napoli shirt used against Juventus, Messi shirts at Barcelona and several more props prepared for Messi that he finally used on the field,” he added.
Regarding Maradona’s shirts, the most fanatics of Pelusa will be able to bid for one from Boca, which he used in the 1981 Nacional, and another from Napoli and from a very special season: the 1986/87 season, when the team Italian became champion for the first time in its history.
Besides Messi and Maradona jerseys, fans can also get memorabilia from other world figures such as Ronaldinho and Neymar (both from his time at Barcelona), Javier Zanetti (Banfield), Zico (Flamengo), Carlos Tevez (Seleccion) and Juan Carlos Lallana (River of 1967).
Some of the other items that will be auctioned are Luis Surez boots, which will have a base value of $650, a medal from Boca, champion of the Libertadores in 2001 ($350) and an album from the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay ($750).
The auctions are conducted online, through their website www.matchdayauctions.com.
“It is a format that we find agile, dynamic, transparent and easily accessible to anyone. Those interested only have to register following the simple steps and thus they are ready to participate in any of the auctions. The site also has a news button where we upload information and news of interest to collectors. The other platforms that we use to communicate daily with our audience are Instagram, as the main network, Facebook to interact in the Marketplace with groups of collectors, Twitter and YouTube where all the material will be available,” said Rodriguez.