Rio de Janeiro, March 11 (IANS/EFE) Pele, the “King of Soccer,” announced on Thursday that he would auction off his medals and trophies and even a crown he received for scoring his 1,000th career goal.
The collection includes nearly 2,000 items, among them the gold medals the sporting legend received as a member of three Brazilian World Cup-winning squads in 1958, 1962 and 1970, a replica of the Jules Rimet Trophy and the cleats he used in the 1981 film “Victory.”
Proceeds from the auction, to be held from June 7-9 in London through Los Angeles-based Julien’s Auctions, will be paid into a fund established to provide future financial assistance to relatives of the 75-year-old Pele, the former soccer great’s personal adviser, Jose Fornos Rodrigues, told EFE.
A small portion of the funds raised will be donated to the Pequeno Principe children’s hospital in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba, Julien’s Auctions said in a statement.
“I have 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,” Pele was quoted as saying.
The crown jewel of the collection is Pele’s Jules Rimet Trophy, which FIFA awarded to the World Cup champions until 1970 and could fetch between $400,000 and $600,000, according to the auction house.
That trophy, which the Brazilian national team was allowed to keep in perpetuity after winning its third title, was stolen in 1983 and never recovered.
Julien’s Auctions also said the ball that Pele used to score his 1,000th career goal could be sold for between $40,000 and $60,000. He scored that goal in a game between Santos, the Brazilian-league club where he played for most of his career, and Vasco da Gama.
The World Cup medals could fetch between $100,000 and $200,000, while his Athlete of the Century Award has an estimate of $30,000 and the jerseys he used in Santos and New York Cosmos matches could sell for between $8,000 and $10,000, according to the auction house.