After Lionel Messi scored his 644th goal for Barcelona to break Pele’s record for most goals with a single club, he decided to donate the boots he wore when he achieved the milestone.
Messi netted the goal to help his side grab a sweeping 0-3 away victory over Real Valladolid in La Liga in late December 2020.
Four months later, the boots that helped Messi break a record that was in tact for nearly 46 years are set to score another goal when they are sold at Christie's online auction running until April 30 in London for an initial bidding price of 45,000 pounds sterling ($62,760).
Christie’s auction house is aiming to break another record with Messi’s cleats by going over the highest bidding price of soccer boots, after Paul Pogba’s boots that were auctioned for 37,000 euros ($44,800) in Paris in 2019.
The French midfielder was wearing those boots when he scored one of the goals in the 4-2 win against Croatia that secured France’s second FIFA World Cup title in 2018 in Russia.
After his historic goal, Messi donated his Adidas cleats to the National Art Museum of Catalonia, which agreed to put them up for auction and donate the benefits to the Art and Health program, an initiative carried out by the museum together with the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and the Catalan Health Institute in 2018.
The initiative uses art as a therapeutic and preventive tool to improve the physical and emotional health of children and their families.
“The most important thing is to give something back to kids fighting for their health,” Messi said in a statement, adding he is convinced the auction will help raise awareness.
The boots are monogrammed with Messi’s wife’s and children’s names, as well as their birthdates.
“It means a huge amount to us. We have the privilege of handling wonderful objects every day but it is rare to coincide with a pair of boots of such importance belonging to an individual who is still such a hero,” the auction house’s director Zita Gibson tells Efe.
Gibson underlines the biggest challenge was putting a price on the boots, which represent a key moment in the history of soccer that is “unlikely to be broken again in a generation.” EFE