Superstars’ sporting memorabilia goes under the hammer in LA

From Beckham to Babe Ruth, Messi to Muhammad Ali – the Sports Legends auction is a sure winner for collectors

Clockwise from top left: a 1936 Berlin Olympic Games gold medal, estimated at $10,000-$20,000. Muhammad Ali’s 1960 Olympic Games relay torch, estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Lionel Messi’s Adidas boots, estimated at $6,000-$10,000, from his 500th goal match in 2017
Clockwise from top left: a 1936 Berlin Olympic Games gold medal, estimated at $10,000-$20,000. Muhammad Ali’s 1960 Olympic Games relay torch, estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Lionel Messi’s Adidas boots, estimated at $6,000-$10,000, from his 500th goal match in 2017

Sports memorabilia collectors – and football fans in particular – can score some unbelievable finds on April 25, when a wealth of rare items goes under the hammer at Beverly Hills-based Julien’s Auctions. The Sports Legends sale, which enthusiasts can access online as well as live, features among its many attractions some highly covetable football boots worn by the world’s best. 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s boots, estimated at $5,000-$7,000, worn for his Real Madrid debut in August 2009
Cristiano Ronaldo’s boots, estimated at $5,000-$7,000, worn for his Real Madrid debut in August 2009

David Beckham’s match-worn boots from 2009 (estimated at $3,000-$4,500), embroidered with his children’s names, will appear alongside Lionel Messi’s Adidas pair (estimated at $6,000-$10,000), signed and worn for his 500th goal in a La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona in 2017 (and featuring his signature next to the Argentinian flag and embroidery that nods to his family’s names).

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Joining the line-up of winning kicks will be the signed boots (estimated at $5,000-$7,000) worn by Cristiano Ronaldo for his Real Madrid debut against Deportivo La Coruña in August 2009. The black Nike Mercurial pair featured prominently in the game, where Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot for a 3-2 win. They are adorned with the player’s initials, embroidered in yellow, as well as his sweeping signature in gold. Kylian Mbappé’s Nike boots (estimated at $6,000-$10,000) from a 2017 France international are also up for grabs, along with other football-related curiosities such as the legendary Pele’s Brazilian passport (estimated at $3,000-$4,000) from his personal collection.

Willie Mays’ 1959 San Francisco Giants baseball uniform, estimated at $40,000-$50,000
Willie Mays’ 1959 San Francisco Giants baseball uniform, estimated at $40,000-$50,000

For those with a penchant for US sports memorabilia, there’s also plenty to excite, with Willie Mays’ 1959 San Francisco Giants baseball uniform (estimated at $40,000-$50,000) and a Babe Ruth-signed magazine clipping (estimated at $5,000-$7,000) among the more unusual lots. 

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Medals are another standout category of this sale, with Alfonso Zamora’s 1972 Munich Olympics silver medal (estimated at $7,000-$9,000) among the more coveted pieces. Olympic collectors will also find two relay torches carried – and signed – by none other than Muhammad Ali at the 1960 and 1996 Olympic Games (estimated at $4,000-$6,000 and $10,000-$12,000 respectively) within their grasp… but they may have a fight on their hands.  

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