Lionel Messi captained Argentina to a third World Cup victory in Qatar last year. AFP

A set of six Argentina jerseys worn by Lionel Messi during the 2022 World Cup final just sold at auction for $7.8 million, making it one of the most expensive pieces of sports memorabilia ever sold at auction.

Messi, 36, now plays for Inter Miami but wore the jersey when Argentina defeated France in penalties during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final in Qatar. During the match, Messi netted twice, once in the first half and another during the penalty shootouts, and also cemented his claim for the Golden Ball trophy for being the best player during the torment.

The shirts were auctioned by Sotheby's, one of the oldest luxury auction houses. According to the company, part of the proceeds will be donated to the UNICAS Project, which will help children suffering from rare diseases.

"These historic shirts are not only a tangible reminder of one of the most important moments in the history of sports, but are principally connected to the pinnacle moment in the career of the most decorated football player in history," Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's head of modern collectibles, said in a statement.

Despite the hefty fee, Messi's game-worn shirt is the third most expensive jersey ever sold. Below are the five most expensive jerseys to sell in an auction.

Michael Jordan's game-worn jersey
Michael Jordan's game-worn 1998 NBA Finals 'The Last Dance' jersey, which broke a record for the most valuable game-worn sports memorabilia ever sold. ANGELA WEISS/AFP

Michael Jordan's 1998 NBA Finals jersey - $10.1 million

Earlier this year, a jersey worn by Michael Jordan in game one of the 1998 NBA Finals sold at auction for $10.1 million. During that game, Jordan scored 33 points and went on to win the NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls in what is known as his "Last Dance" season.

Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" jersey - $9.3 million

In 2022, a shirt worn by the late Diego Maradona sold for $9.3 million. The shirt was worn by Maradona when he scored the controversial "Hand of God" goal and knocked England out of the 1986 World Cup.

Babe Ruth's Yankees jersey - $5.6 million

Babe Ruth is one of the most well-known baseball players and has scored 714 home runs. In 2019, one of his jerseys from his playing time with the New York Yankees from 1928 to 1930 sold for $5.6 million in an auction.

Wayne Gretzky's final game jersey - $1.4 million

Wayne Gretzky is a former ice hockey player, and in 2022, one of his jerseys fetched $1.4 million in auction. The jersey was worn during his final games with the Edmonton Oilers, where he played for nine years and won four Stanley Cups.

Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey - $1.4 million

Earlier this year, a jersey worn by Tom Brady in his last NFL game sold at auction for $1.4 million. Brady played three seasons with the Buccaneers and 20 seasons with the New England Patriots. He has seven Super Bowl wins.

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