The cleats worn by Lionel Messi when he broke one of soccer’s greatest records are being auctioned for charity.
On December 22, Messi set the mark for most goals scored when playing for a single club when he netted his 644th for FC Barcelona in their game against Real Valladolid. The goal broke the record of fellow icon Pelé. The famous Brazilian scored 643 goals in 665 competitive games for Santos, with Messi achieving his incredible feat in 749 appearances.
Messi, who had equaled the record in his previous match, collected a pass in the 65th minute and calmly slotted the ball past the Real Valladolid goalkeeper, before pointing to the sky in celebration, a familiar sight for football fans across the globe.
The Argentinean joined FC Barcelona as a 13-year-old before making his first professional appearance for the senior side in 2004, when he was 17. Messi has won 10 La Liga titles with the Catalan side as well as six Copa Del Rey trophies and four Champions League crowns. On an individual level, Messi has won the famous Ballon d’Or on six occasions, a record in its own right for a single player.
Messi signed both shoes, which were originally displayed at the National Art Museum of Catalonia in Barcelona. They’re now going to be offered to the highest bidder to raise for the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital’s Art and Health program.
“Achieving the record of 644 goals for the same club made me very happy, but the most important thing is being able to give something back to all the kids fighting for their health,” Messi stated.
Messi’s rookie cards have become more popular since last year but history making match-worn items don’t often come to auction.
The cleats are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity and are expected to sell for between $70,000 and $100,000 U.S., although that’s a modest estimate in an effort to attract as much attention as possible. The auction house says it expects to set a record for any pair of soccer cleats.
The online auction will take place at Christies from April 19-30.