What price would you pay to lift the football World Cup? How about $600,000?
Brazil soccer legend Pele is auctioning off several items from his glittering career, including his replica of the famous Jules Rimet trophy.
More than 60 years after first signing as a professional footballer, Pele has put everything up for sale, from his World Cup winner’s medals to the football boots he wore during the movie Escape to Victory, which also starred Sylvester Stallone and English football hero Sir Bobby Moore.
“It was a difficult decision to make but it takes a lot to properly care for these artefacts,” said Pele, who was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento.
“I felt I could do much more good by sharing these items with the world, as well as helping the causes that are important to me.”
The most valuable item up for sale is Pele’s replica of the Jules Rimet trophy, which was presented to him after winning a third World Cup with Brazil in 1970.
Julien’s Auction House in London has been charged with selling the items over the course of three days and values the trophy at $600,000, while each of Pele’s winner’s medals are expected to sell for $200,000 each.
Additional highlights include worn shirts from Pele’s time with Santos and the New York Cosmos ($10,000 each), a New York Cosmos NASL championship ring ($40,000) and the boots worn in 1981 World War Two film Escape to Victory ($8,000).
Over 2,000 items are to be sold with a conservative estimate on the entire collection set at $5.1 million.
“Having donated a significant portion of my collection to the City of Santos, I have decided to allow fans and collectors to own a piece of my history as well,” added Pele, who holds the Guinness World Record of 1,283 for total career goals scored.
“I hope they treasure these artefacts and share my story with their children and generations to come.
“I will also be donating a portion of the proceeds from the auction to Pequeno Principe (Little Prince), the largest paediatric hospital in Brazil.”
Now 75, Pele has himself spent much of the last year in hospital, undergoing prostate, back and hip surgery.
The auction runs from June 7-9 and will be live online, allowing prospective buyers from all over the world to participate.