In the history of football there have been great milestones, goals, legendary plays that turned a moment into a historical legacy. A legacy for which today there are people willing to pay millions of euros. This is the case of Mario Gotze’s left boot, with which he scored the goal that gave Germany the World Cup in 2014 against Argentina. The shoe was sold at a charity auction for around two million euros, making it the most expensive football item ever bought.
The German’s boot is one of the many objects that have been sold throughout history. In this article we are going to review the seven most expensive football objects in history, a classification where the figure of O’Rei Pelé is the most represented:
- Mario Gotze’s left shoe: The boot that gave the German national team its fourth World Cup in the 113th minute in Brazil against Leo Messi’s Argentina. The shoe is on display in a museum in Germany after Gotze auctioned it off for charity. It was sold for more than two million euros.
- Sheffield Rules of Football: One of the oldest existing football texts in Europe. It still contains the most important rules of the game. A real relic and collector’s item that sold for more thanone million euros.
- The first FA CUP trophy: The oldest football competition in the world should have a place on this list. The English cup dates back to 1871 and the trophy that was auctioned for around 900,000 euros was the one awarded to the winners between 1896 and 1910. It was bought by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, owner and owner of Manchester City and is on display in the club’s museum.
- Toni Kroos shirt from the Uefa Champions League 2017 final. Real Madrid’s twelfth league title, won by Juventus in that 4-1 win, also occupies one of the honorary places in the table. Like Gotze, the German player auctioned the shirt for charity through his foundation and it sold for 642,000 euros.
- The replica of the Jules Rimet trophy (The cup awarded to the world champion before the new design and format of the FIFA World Cup): Pele’s first appearance on the list. The Brazilian player received a replica of this trophy from FIFA after winning the 1970 World Cup for being the only player in the history of football to win three World Cups with his national team. “O Rei” auctioned this trophy a few years ago and the bidding reached half a million euros.
- Pele’s gold medal from the 1970 FIFA World Cup. The Brazilian also put this trophy up for sale at the same auction. The medal of a World Cup where we saw one of the best teams in the history of football: Brazil in the 70s. The Brazil of the five tens and the pinnacle of the Pele era with the Canarinha. This medal was sold for 441.000 euros.
- Pele’s 1958 FIFA World Cup? gold medal: Brazil’s first world title. His first participation in the World Cup. His first great appearance before the football world and that mythical goal at the age of 17 in the final against Sweden. That’s what the 1958 World Cup was all about. A World Cup where ‘O Rei’ Pele was the second top scorer at youth level, behind only Just Fontaine’s unattainable tally. This medal was sold for 239,196 euros.
This list does not include such interesting items as that Manchester United shirt with the legendary number 11 of George Best in the six-goal match against Northampton Town in the FA CUP and the history of David Beckham, his missed penalty at Euro 2004 and the ball auctioned on Ebay.
Introduction to memorabilia
All these objects have one thing in common: they are pieces with history in the world of football. They are important objects that over time have become fragments of legend. They have transcended history, have become a legacy and therefore have increased their market value today. They are memorabilia, butwhat is memorabilia? A concept adapted from English that has recently arrived in Spain and that still does not have a meaning in the RAE.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines memorabilia as: “objects that are collected because they are connected with a person or event that is thought to be very interesting“.
The concept of memorabilia comes from the Latin memorabilis, a term that refers to “memorable, remarkable and unforgettable things”.
Therefore, if we join the two terms in a single concept, we can conclude that memorabilia would be: those collectible objects that are connected to a person, a context or a memorable, historical and unforgettable event and that, therefore, have a social, cultural and economic value.