The war behind the auction of the Ballon d’Or that Maradona won in the 86 World Cup: a complaint and 15 million euros in dance

The war behind the auction of the Ballon d’Or that Maradona won in the 86 World Cup: a complaint and 15 million euros in dance
The war behind the auction of the Ballon d’Or that Maradona won in the 86 World Cup: a complaint and 15 million euros in dance

Diego Maradona receiving the 1986 Ballon d’Or

Diego Armando Maradona He left an indelible mark on world football with iconic performances that will remain in the minds of the public and, especially, Argentines. The consecration in World Cup 1986 It was the first step of a perpetual idyll with outstanding levels, which led him to win the Golden Ball of that contest. An award that, some time later, was stolen and, it was believed, its metal melted, although that version was discarded after learning that on June 6 it will be auctioned in France.

They assured that the article was found by a French-Algerian named Abdelhamid B, a former gallerist who is a fan of auctions and, from May 21 until the indicated date, will be exhibited. Buyers must make a deposit of 150,000 euros (USD 161,000) to participate in the bidding, but this situation could be prevented by a claim from the family of the Fluff.

According to the firm’s lawyer Paradox Lawyers, Gilles Moreu (represents two daughters of Maradona), The Associated Pressthe heirs will file an urgent lawsuit to the president of the judicial court of Nanterre, near Paris, to try to stop the sale of the historic trophy, because they allege that it belongs to them, and the current owner cannot have the right to make a financial profit. The lawyer will request the judicial seizure of the statuette and present a complaint for robbery and concealed theft: “It doesn’t seem like the seller contacted Diego, which wasn’t that complicated.” In this sense, the agency AP He added: “The two daughters discussed the matter with the other heirs, who approved the legal action.”.

Accordingly, Paradox Lawyers issued a statement to the cited source: “If the owner of an object can claim ownership under French law, it is with the obvious condition that his good faith cannot be questioned. “This cannot be the case of the owner of a trophy that was stolen from Diego Maradona and whose heirs can legally claim ownership.”

Diego Maradona won the Ballon d’Or for best player in the 1986 World Cup

On the other hand, the development director of the entity that will carry out the auction, Maximilien Aguttes, distanced himself from the accusations. He stated that he carried out “all necessary investigations and verified the databases, as well as with the French and Italian authorities. “The result is that, to date, there is no evidence that questions the good faith and ownership of our seller“, responded one of the company’s workers bluntly.

The fortunate possessor of such a treasure, Abdelhamid Bprovided details about how he found it in a conversation with the French newspaper L’Equipe. He did it on Rue d’Oran, at an event in which vendors place many boxes on the ground. He bought one of them, which had 150 prizes: “I bought it all for a few hundred euros”. And when he did a thorough investigation of that product, he came to the truth: “I started researching. And I realized that, in football, there had been other Ballon d’Or awards in addition to the traditional one. I thought I was getting closer to the truth. But that was the beginning of seven years of being a mythomaniac”. In fact, the argument of Aguttes It’s just that this person didn’t know it had been stolen.

It was the first of the two Ballon d’Ors that Diego Maradona would win for his great career, although the last one had a sad ending. It was awarded honorably by the magazine France Football (In his time only European players could win it). That award became part of the remains of a fire that occurred in the house located in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Villa Devoto where Don Diego, his father, lived. On the other hand, the award for best player of the 1986 World Cup had a destiny that seemed clear until the last few weeks, in which the official version became a nebula.

The cinematic theft of this relic dates back to the afternoon of Thursday, October 26, 1989, when eight members of the clan of Giuseppe Missostrategist of the robberies of The camorrathey entered the Bank of the Province of Naples with masks of Disney and carnival characters. “I am sad for the jewels, but also for the Ballon d’Or. Diego is very shocked and upset, I hope the police manage to recover it“, he expressed Claudia Villafañe before the media after reporting the stolen objects to the police station, among which he specified that there were necklaces, earrings, bracelets and diamonds belonging to his daughters Dalma and Gianinna, a Rolex watch with diamonds, a Cartier watch and six other watches, plus a tiara of Guillermo Cóppola, representative of the Ten.

Maradona’s signature after winning the 1986 Ballon d’Or

Maradona did not sit idly by. He contacted three men linked to criminal organizations. One of them, Lo Russodeclared before the Departmental Anti-Mafia Directorate in 2011: “I became good friends with Diego. For his Ballon d’Or he tried to pay 15 million lire (7,700 euros). But they refunded the amount because they had already melted it into ingots.”.

This was supported by another of the thieves, Miguel Ángel Mazzain 2022 for the newspaper Domani from Italy: “We realized that it was an impractical item to transport (it weighs 2.5 kilos) and we immediately melted it”. The story was also supported by Cóppola: “They gave us everything back except the Ballon d’Or, which they melted down and sold”.


As revealed L’Equipetwo defects in the trophy confirmed that it was the award that Maradona won in 1986. Last March, photographic comparisons were carried out just as Sotheby’s had done before auctioning the shirt that Diego had worn for almost 9 million euros. in the quarterfinals of the 86 Mexico World Cup against England.

The visual pairing was done by the company dTwin, which produced an ultra-definition digitization of the golden ball. This was confirmed by Bruno Rougier, founder, president and director of this mission. An image was taken as a reference in which Maradona posed with two children wearing the France shirt at the ceremony held at the Lido de Paris, a renowned venue located on the Champs-Elysées, where international shows are held. in November 1986. The negative was scanned in high resolution to maximize the definition and compare it with that of the object that Abdelhamid presented.

They concluded that there were two clear similarities: a discrepancy between the Aztec motifs on the segments (they are aligned except in one specific place, a manufacturing defect impossible to copy) and a blister with a millimeter-thick black border that It’s not straight.

“There is no price limit when we mention Maradona”said Rougier, who often immerses himself in the world of auctions. Meanwhile, the hitherto owner of the recovered Ballon d’Or estimated a price of between 12 and 15 million euros.

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