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Competition winner to sell Qatar World Cup final ball at auction

The football that helped to cement Lionel Messi’s reputation in the sporting history books is due to go under the hammer in June for an estimated £160,000-200,000. The official match ball was used in the final of the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup, where, after six spectacular goals, Argentina finally won the championship for the third time following a memorable penalty shoot-out.

Regularly cited as one of the best in World Cup history, this ball was part of a tournament with moments such as Messi going head-to-head with French footballing sensation Kylian Mbappé, to score the first World Cup final hat-trick since Sir Geoff Hurst in 1966.

The ball was won by an overseas football fan in the “Win The Match Ball” competition run by Adidas. The winner has since decided to sell it at a sports memorabilia auction, which will be run by Graham Budd Auctions on the 6th and 7th June. The sale, which will take place online and at the Northampton auction house, is already attracting interest from prospective buyers around the world.

The overseas vendor, who wishes to remain anonymous, had to pinch himself when he received the email from Adidas informing him that he has won the 2022 FIFA World Cup final official match ball. He said: “I entered the competition without really thinking about it, but when I heard I’d won, I honestly thought it was a scam. I still thought it couldn’t be legit even when the ball arrived. It’s an incredible story to be a part of, and the money it’ll hopefully make will honestly be life-changing.”

The auction will feature over 1,500 lots and include a section dedicated to arguably the greatest footballer of all time, Pelé, featuring trophies, awards and match worn shirts.

Other sale highlights include the international cap and shirt presented to Neil Webb, who became the 1000th player to be selected to play for England (estimated £10,000-15,000) and a selection of memorabilia awarded to Huddersfield Town legend, Tommy Wilson, including his three-in-a-row League Champions medals, F.A. Cup winners and runners-up medals from the 1920s collection (estimated £70,000-90,000).

David Convery, head of sporting memorabilia at Graham Budd Auctions, said:

"This Adidas football is a fascinating and important piece of recent football history, especially when you consider the controversy around the tournament itself, alongside what it did for the reputation of players like Messi and Mbappé."
“Importantly, from a collector’s perspective, it's got the best possible paper trail. The ball is fully authenticated, and we can trace every part of its journey to date. That’s one of the reasons why we feel confident it’ll reach, or even go beyond, its estimated price.”

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