Maradona’s family sue French auctioneers to get ‘Golden Ball’ trophy back

May 24 – Diego Maradona’s heirs have taken legal action in France to block the controversial sale of the Argentine legend’s ‘Golden Ball’ trophy from the 1986 World Cup.

The trophy, awarded to the tournament’s best player, had been missing for decades before being found by an antique dealer in the French capital. It is due to be sold by Aguttes auction house in Neuilly-sur-Seine, close to Paris, on June 6.

Maradona, who died in 2020 aged 60, captained Argentina to a 3-2 win over West Germany in the 1986 final in Mexico City. In the quarterfinal win over England he scored both the infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal and the ‘Goal of the Century’.

According to the Maradona family, the trophy, which they want back, was stolen during a bank robbery in Naples and only discovered a few weeks ago.

“The family aims to recover this ball, the Argentine people want to recover this ball,” lawyer Lola Chunet told a court in Nanterre, outside Paris.

The auction house’s argument is that the person who bought the trophy years ago was not aware it had been stolen. Aguttes said it expects the trophy “to fetch millions due to its uniqueness.”

Arthur Gaulier, representing Aguttes, argued: “Attempting 35 years after an alleged theft, to claim property without ever having filed a complaint, is an opportunistic approach that justice cannot condone.”

The court will decide on May 30 whether the sale can take place.

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