Pele shows off career souvenirs for auction
The sale, expected to fetch some £3 million (3.9 million euros, $4.3 million), includes a replica of the Jules Rimet trophy given to Pele to mark his World Cup success. The copy is estimated to fetch up to £410,000.
Pele is the only player to win three World Cup winner’s medals, which are also up for sale and expected to net up to £140,000 each.
Another highlight is the ball Pele used to score the 1,000th goal of his career, which auctioneers say could sell for up to £42,000.
A host of more offbeat items are also up for grabs, including the pair of boots the star wore in the 1981 film “Escape To Victory”, his old passports and a lurid sombrero hat.
Those with less deep pockets can even snap up his credential for entry to the 2012 London Olympics for up to £490, or a ceramic beer mug bearing his name for up to £560.
The auction takes place in London on June 7, 8 and 9 and is being conducted by Los Angeles-based Julien’s Auctions.
– Charity sale –
Pele was walking with a cane following a recent hip operation as he arrived to speak to journalists in London about the auction but insisted he was recovering well.
“I am not yet prepared for training, for running, but I am OK,” he told AFP.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale will go to help the largest children’s hospital in Brazil, Pequeno Principe, a cause which Pele said was close to his heart.
“I have a lot of conversation with my family, with my friends, the people who have the idea to help the hospital in Brazil… how to make something good for the poor people,” he said.
“If you could help people help the children, it would be good. That is the reason I decided to do this”.
He told reporters that “in my heart, all those items will stay with me” even when he sells them off.
“I could stay at my (home) with a lot of memorabilia but that don’t help anybody,” he added.
Now aged 75, Pele is widely regarded as the greatest footballer in history.
Pele — born Edson Arantes do Nascimento — was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999.
He scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 matches, appeared 91 times for Brazil between 1957 and 1971 and played for Brazil’s FC Santos as well as the New York Cosmos.
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