LOS ANGELES, March 10 – Brazilian legend Pele is to auction off more than 2,000 items of memorabilia charting his dazzling football career including his three World Cup medals and the ball used when he scored his 1,000th goal, it was announced Thursday.
Beverly Hills-based auction house Julien’s said in a statement the 75-year-old icon, widely regarded as the greatest player in the history of the sport would donate a portion of the proceeds to a children’s hospital in Brazil.
The collection will go under the hammer during a three-day auction in London from June 7-9, Julien’s said, and will include items spanning the entirety of Pele’s 21-year playing career.
“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,” Pele said in a statement.
“I hope they treasure these artifacts and share my story with their children and generations to come.”
The auction could raise around $1 million (Sh101.6m) if the upper estimates of the most prized lots are reached.
Among the highlights are a copy of the Jules Rimet Trophy which is expected to fetch between $400,000 (Sh40.6m) and $600,000 (Sh60.9m) and Pele’s winner’s medals from the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cup finals which are estimated at between $100,000 (Sh10.1m) and $200,000 (Sh20.3m).
Other lots include the ball used when Pele scored his 1,000th goal in November 1969 during a match between Santos and Vasco da Gama at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The ball could fetch between $40,000 (Sh4.06m) and $50,000 (Sh5.07m).
Items also include memorabilia from Pele’s stint with the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, including a championship ring and a jersey.
The lots also extend to items from Pele’s post-football career, including the boots he wore during filming of the prisoner of war sports drama “Escape to Victory” in which he starred alongside Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone.