MADRID (AP) — The jersey Diego Maradona wore in the 1986 World Cup final was back in Argentine hands Thursday thanks to German great Lothar Matthäus.
Matthäus, who swapped jerseys with Maradona at halftime of the final won by Argentina in México, returned the historic apparel at a ceremony at the Argentina Embassy in Madrid.
The shirt will be displayed at a new soccer museum in the Spanish capital.
“It was always a great honor to play against him,” Matthäus said of the late Maradona, through a translator. “As a player and a person, he was always someone very important to me. He will always be in our hearts.”
Matthäus said he also exchanged jerseys with Maradona after the 1990 World Cup final won by the Germans in Italy. He said that shirt was in a museum in Germany.
The jersey Maradona wore against England in the quarterfinals of the 1986 World Cup, when he scored the controversial “Hand of God” goal, was sold for more than $9 million in an online auction by Sotheby’s in May, the highest price ever paid at auction for a piece of sports memorabilia.
Matthäus was given a plaque at the Argentina Embassy in recognition of his soccer career and contribution of sporting values.