A saxophone may cost a fortune, but a soccer ball (or football) will definitely not. You can get a decent one for less than $50 from a local store or on ebay. Speaking of ebay, even if you buy the Adidas Tango Mundial, the Ball from the European Championship in 1984, worth a staggering $5,871.60, you are still fine. But if you want to get your hands on the most expensive soccer ball ever made, be ready to dole out $2.5 million. How come?
The South African jeweller, Yair Shimansky, wanted to create a soccer ball that nobody would want to kick out of their sight. Shimansky envisioned something that soccer players and fans would lust after and fight over. And he successfully got the crowd’s attention with a simple trick: dazzle everyone.
Footballers and fans gasped as the bejeweled soccer ball was revealed duringthe 19th FIFA World Cup held in South Africa last 2010. Imagine seeing 9,260 white and black diamonds surrounding the 2.2-kilogram football. Isn’t it brilliant? Well, almost.
The diamond soccer ball unfornately fell short of the FIFA Soccer Ball Testing criteria, much to the players’ disappointment. While Shimansky got the circumference, sphericity, shape and size of FIFA-approved soccer balls right, he failed to live up to other crucial requirements such as rebound, water absorption, weight, and loss of pressure. Hence, no one was allowed to play using the ball in the world cup or in any other official soccer game.
Despite that, the precious soccer ball fulfilled its intended purpose: served as a fitting symbol of South Africans love for the game. Football is the country’s (and the world’s) most popular sport so it makes perfect sense to create a record-breaking soccer ball to honor it.
What could be next? A bespoke chess set to mark a historic game? A one-of-a-kind Yu-gi-oh card to commemorate a momentous victory? The most luxurious monopoly set?
Worry not. It’s our job to help you stay in the know about the priciest stuff insanely wealthy people are willing to pay for. Hop along, it’s going to be a fun ride!