Diego Maradona auction offers fans 'souvenirs' of late star
Diego Maradona’s fans will have a chance to snap up memorabilia from the soccer star in an auction on Sunday, just over a year after his death, which will include his iconic cigars, a pair of BMW cars and a luxury villa that Maradona bought his parents.
The “10 auction,” a reference to his jersey number with Argentina, which he led to World Cup triumph in 1986, is being held by his family to raise funds while legal questions over the distribution of the player’s assets are resolved.
Maradona, widely recognised as one of the greater soccer players of all time, led a colourful and contentious life, which gained him a huge following of ardent fans but also saw him battle drug and alcohol addiction, along with ill health.
“The five children through their lawyers agreed and it was possible to carry out this event in order to raise money. This is only to pay expenses,” Adrian Mercado, head of the auction house, said. “There are many, many things with nostalgic value.”
The online auction will take place on Sunday at 11am local time (7.30pm IST). Maradona died on November 25 last year at the age of 60 due to cardiac arrest, after suffering several health problems and having previously undergone cranial surgery.
Among the most expensive goods to be auctioned is a house from the 1980s that Maradona gave to his parents in the Villa Devoto neighbourhood of Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires. It will have a starting price of $900,000.
There are also a number of luxury cars, including a $225,000 BMW 750, which Maradona once drove onto a soccer pitch. The 87 lots include lower-value items such as hats worn by Maradona, pictures of the star, including one with late Cuban leader Fidel Castro, whom he befriended, soccer shoes and T-shirts, a signed guitar and a box of cigars.
Other items include workout equipment like an exercise bike and a treadmill. There are also bits of his old furniture — including a yellow armchair and footstool — plus art work of him.
Maradona earned over £30million during his career but had just £70,000 to his name when he died. “Big fans of Diego, who I think will be the ones taking part, will be able to take something home as a souvenir, I have no doubt,” said Mercado, who expects a high turnout.
“I estimate that at least 10,000, 15,000, or even 20,000 people will see the event. Probably many more,” he added. “I hope it’s something out of the ordinary, like all the things that Diego showed us in his life.