World News

The day Matthaus ignored a bag full of cash & why he wouldn’t sell his Maradona shirt for 7m

Lothar Matthaus has admitted that he never considered selling the shirt he swapped with Diego Maradona after the 1986 World Cup final.

WHAT HAPPENED? Steve Hodge made headlines in May as he sold the shirt worn by the Argentine superstar in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final for £7 million ($8m). Matthaus got his hands on the one that Maradona wore in the final of the tournament, after West Germany were beaten 3-2 in Mexico City.

WHAT HE SAID: In an interview the Daily Mail, he explained: “In 36 years, I was never thinking: ‘I want money for this shirt’. It was a pleasure for me to give it back to the people of Argentina.

“Diego is a god in Argentina, that is why it was special to give them the jersey.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Maradona always maintained that Matthaus was the toughest player he had ever faced. Such was his respect for his German counterpart that he wanted the Napoli hierarchy to bring him to Italy.

“It was after the World Cup in 1986, and Diego sent a group of men from Naples,” added Matthaus. “He said to them: ‘Hey, you have to bring me Matthaus in my team’. There was also a one million Deutsche mark signing-on fee (£440,000), and that was sitting next to me on the floor, in a black bag.