Football: Lionel Messi's World Cup-winning shirts tipped to become most valuable sports memorabilia collection

LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 18: Lionel Messi of Argentina lifts the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Winner's Trophy  during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Six shirts worn by Lionel Messi during Argentina's triumphant run at the 2022 World Cup are expected to become the "most valuable collection of sports memorabilia", when bidding opens later this month.

The collection includes the shirt he wore during the first half of the final in Qatar.

"The extraordinary collection is estimated in excess of US$10 million, with the sale poised to become the most valuable collection of sports memorabilia at auction," said auction house Sotheby's.

"A portion of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to UNICAS Project, led by Sant Joan de Deu (SJD) Barcelona Children's Hospital, with the support of Leo Messi Foundation, to meet the needs of children suffering from rare diseases."

Sotheby's declined to reveal how much of the proceeds would be donated to charity.

Bidding for the white and sky blue shirts will be open from November 30-December 14, coinciding with a public exhibition to showcase the collection.

Michael Jordan's jersey from the opening game of the 1998 NBA Final holds the record for the highest price paid for a game-worn sports memorabilia item, fetching US$10.1 million last year.