11 Mar 2016

Pele to sell off his football memorabilia

1:23 pm on 11 March 2016

Football legend Pele is putting around 2,000 items up for auction, including his three World Cup medals and a one of a kind Jules Rimet trophy that could fetch up to a million dollars.

Brazilian football legend Pele

Brazilian football legend Pele Photo: Photosport

The Brazilian regarded by many as the greatest football player of all time is also selling off his 1,000th goal ball and crown, and jerseys he wore while playing for Brazilian club Santos FC and the New York Cosmos in what marks his first ever public offering of career memorabilia, Julien's Auctions said.

"Pele is like the Marilyn Monroe of the sports world. He is such an icon and a great ambassador for soccer," Martin Nolan, executive director of Beverly Hills-based Julien's Auctions, told Reuters.

The three-day auction will take place in London in June and will be preceded by a public exhibition.

Pele, whose given name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, became in 1958 at age 17 the youngest ever person to play in, and score in a World Cup final.

He went on to help Brazil to World Cup victories in 1962 and 1970, and holds the Guinness World Record for most goals in a career with 1,283.

Now 75 years old, and after recent replacement hip and prostate surgery, Pele said that having donated much of his collection to the city of Santos, he had "decided to allow fans and collectors to own a piece of my history as well.

"I hope they treasure these artifacts and share my story with their children and generations to come," he said.

Pele said a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Pequeno Principe children's hospital in the Brazilian city of Curitiba.

The top item for auction is a Jules Rimet trophy that was created especially for Pele by FIFA and the Mexican government after he led Brazil to the nation's third World Cup victory in 1970. It is inscribed with his three wins for Brazil.

Julien's has placed an estimated price of 600 thousand to 900 thousand dollars on the trophy but says it could sell for much more.

"It is such a unique item. We think that is a very conservative estimate. This is possibly something that could sell for up to one million dollars," said Nolan.

Pele's three World Cup medals are expected to fetch up to 300 thousand dollars, while the ball with which he scored his 1,000th goal is expected to sell for 60-90 thousand dollars.