Diego Maradona’s Golden Ball trophy to be auctioned against wishes of his heirs | World News

Diego Maradona’s Golden Ball trophy will be sold at auction, despite his heirs claiming the current owner has no right to sell it.

A French court ruled the auction go ahead, despite the opposition from his heirs, their lawyer said on Thursday.

The trophy was awarded to the late Maradona after he was named the best player of the 1986 World Cup.

But it went missing for decades and only recently resurfaced.

The footballer’s heirs tried to stop the auction of the trophy by starting an urgent judicial procedure.

Their lawyer Gilles Moreu said the court’s ruling “was not favourable to the heirs of Diego Maradona”.

The trophy is set to go under the hammer at the Aguttes auction house in Paris next Thursday – and is expected to sell for millions.

Gilles Moreu, left, and Lola Chunet, lawyers for Maradona's daughters Dalma and Gianinna, discuss before a court hearing, Thursday, May 23, 2024 in Nanterre, outside Paris. Diego Maradona's heirs filed a lawsuit to try to stop the auction of a trophy he was awarded after the 1986 World Cup won by Argentina. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Gilles Moreu, left, and Lola Chunet, lawyers for Maradona’s daughters. File pic: AP

Maradona’s heirs say the trophy was stolen and claimed the current owner is not entitled to sell it.

However, the auction house said the trophy reappeared in 2016, among other lots acquired from a private collection in Paris.

Mr Moreu said the court believed the trophy’s current owner – identified as Mr Benchaieb – was “acting in good faith”.

Mr Benchaieb claimed that when he bought the trophy years ago he was not aware it had been stolen.

Maradona received the award in 1986 at a ceremony at the Lido Cabaret on Paris’ famous Champs-Elysees. It subsequently disappeared.

Some say it was lost during a poker game or sold to pay off debts.

FILE - In this June 22, 1986 file photo, Argentina's Diego Maradona, left, beats England's goalkeeper Peter Shilton to a high ball and scores his first of two goals at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match in Mexico City. On this day: This was the day of the "Hand of God," when Maradona used his left fist to knock a ball past England's Shilton. (El Grafico via AP, File)
Maradona scores his infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal in 1986. Pic: El Grafico via AP

Others say Maradona stored it in a safe in a Naples bank that was robbed by local gangsters in 1989 when he played for the Italian side, Napoli. Maradona’s heirs believe it was stolen from the bank.

Mr Moreu said he and his clients were “both surprised and saddened” by the ruling.

“We intend to use all available means of recourse between now and 6 June,” he said.

Read more from Sky News:
Hong Kong court finds 14 pro-democracy activists guilty of subversion

Millie Bobby Brown and Jake Bongiovi wedding details revealed
Black men sue after being ‘ordered off plane over body odour complaints’

Maradona, who died in 2020 at the age of 60, captained Argentina in their 3-2 win over West Germany in the 1986 World Cup final in Mexico City.

In a quarter-final win over England, he scored his infamous “Hand of God” goal and then “Goal of the Century”.

The “Hand of God” goal came when Maradona inconspicuously punched the ball into England’s net while tricking the referee into believing he had used his head.

Four minutes later, in a dazzling display of skill and poise, he weaved through England’s midfield and defence before taking the ball around England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and passing it into the net.

FIFA later declared it the greatest goal in World Cup history.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

Aguttes said it expects the trophy “to fetch millions due to its uniqueness”.

Bidders will be asked to make a deposit of 150,000 euros (£127,500) to participate in the auction.

Source link