Auction News

Liverpool v Madrid Champions League ball could auction for £30,000


A football used at kick-off in the 2022 Champions League final
Image courtesy of Graham Budd.

The ball used at kick-off in the UEFA Champions League between Liverpool and Real Madrid is being auctioned carrying a top estimate of £30,000. 

The ball, an Adidas, was used to get the game going at the Stade de France on the evening of May 28, 2022. 

Real Madrid won the final 1 – 0.  

The match did not begin on time. Congestion outside the ground and its policing caused a delay to the game start that has been the subject of controversy ever since. 

When the match did get going it was with this ball. When it first went out of play, the ball boy handed it to the match director who immediately signed a certificate of authenticity. 

The ball references the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began in February 2022. 

The final had been due to take place in St Petersburg until Russia’s illegal invasion. 

The ball has the Cyrillic – both Russian and Ukrainian use variations of this alphabet – word “МИР” meaning “peace” on one of its panels. 

Adidas took custody of the ball at the game. 

The ball is being auctioned as part of a sale of over 1,000 lots. Alongside it are FA Cup winner’s and loser’s medals, a world cup runner-up medal, boxing championship belts and more. 

Footballs are not commonly sold items of memorabilia. It’s only recently that they’ve moved out of the realm of items of practical sports equipment. 

The lengths to which Adidas went to turn this ball into a piece of saleable memorabilia illustrate some of the problems. No fewer than 12 balls were used in play during this game – it’s likely that many were held on to by players or officials, and unlikely that any went through the process of authentication that this one did. 

The ball is silver, black, and white and is also imprinted with the date and location of the tie and the two teams

Among the most expensive comparable items sold at auction are the American football with which Tom Brady threw his final touchdown pass.

Brady tossed this pigskin 21 yards to Terry Glenn on October 14, 2001 and a buyer paid $420,000 for it in 2022.

Football shirts are far more easily sold and are the most expensive items of football memorabilia. 

The knowledge of their value now means they often stay in the hands of the players who wear them. 

Most professional players now change shirts at half-time. When Lionel Messi sold a set of six Argentina shirts from their victorious world cup campaign in Qatar in 2022 they were all first-half shirts. 

Those shirts raised $7.8 million; not beating the £7 million paid for Diego Maradona’s “hand of God” shirt from the 1986 World Cup – that shirt was sold by England player Steve Hodge, who collected it at the end of the game.  

This ball will be attractive to football fans and collectors, but most of all to Real Madrid supporters, few Liverpool followers will want a memento of that night. Player signatures would undoubtedly add to its value and may be a part of its future.

The sale takes place on March 5 and March 6.   

Just Collecting