It's June 22, 1986. The Azteca Stadium is bursting to experience one of the matches that will mark the history of football. Argentina and England meet in the quarterfinals of the World Cup before the eyes of millions of viewers and 114,580 lucky people who will experience it from the stands.
After a goalless first half, from 51 to 55, Diego Armando Maradona made history. Just four minutes to get a goal that is an icon, The Hand of God, and the greatest work of art made on a football field, the so-called Goal of the Century, which even after this is still considered the best of all.
Diego just beat the English. In all the photos of the time, he appears with the complete blue shirt, darker than the usual light blue, but in the dressing room, it did not end up in his bag. His shirt was for Steve Hodge. In La Nación, he remembered how the exchange was. “It happened by chance. He gave it to me in the tunnel after the game. I had the shirt in one hand and when I entered there were a lot of people: physios, media, Robson challenged some players. The last thing they would think about was whether he had the shirt or not. Nobody told me anything, I put it in my bag and took it with me, “he says.
From 86 to 2002 he remained among the memories of the English international's career at his home.. Thanks to an auction for a Pelé shirt that exceeded a hundred thousand euros, Hodge's light came on and he tried to secure the shirt. Nobody dared and finally, he ended up donating it to the National Museum of English Football. “I went to the old headquarters, which was in Preston, and they were able to secure it,” he acknowledges in an interview with the Argentine newspaper.
Thanks to the former footballer's donation, the world's most famous soccer jersey rests today in Manchester, the new location of the National Football Museum. The Le Coq Sportif jersey has the AFA crest sewn on, still without stars, and with the number 10 already worn on the back. If you want to see it, you will have to travel to England where it is exhibited along with other historical objects from the World Cups. According to Hodge, he delivered it unwashed but the museum's website does not offer more details. If you travel to Manchester, you can view the relic for a payment of eleven pounds. Well worth that treasure of the ill-fated “world football genius.”