Pele's copy of World Cup trophy sells for £394,000


A replica World Cup trophy belonging to footballing legend Pele has sold at auction in London for £394,000.

The three-time World Cup winner and Fifa Player of the Century sold off his entire collection of awards and memorabilia including the Jules Rimet Trophy and even his old passports.

More than 2,000 items were sold in total, with buyers shelling out just over £3.6 million to own a piece of history.

The auction, held by Beverly Hills-based Julien's Auctions, "shattered" the conservative estimate of £1.5 million to £3 million.

Martin Nolan, executive director at Julien's Auctions, said: "Everything sold, it was a fantastic auction and an historic event.

"There was something there for everyone, from some of the smaller items right up to the Jules Rimet trophy itself.

"Items were being sold to museums, investors, collectors and, of course, fans.

"Pele was known for scoring goals, being a magnificent football player on the pitch, and I think this auction did him justice."

The lots covered the years from when Pele turned professional at the age of 15 with Santos in Brazil in 1956 to being named as the club's lifetime global ambassador in 2014.

The biggest selling item was the World Cup trophy replica, which Pele originally received after becoming the only player to win the tournament on three occasions, an honour he described as "really memorable".

Pele's expired passports also received a lot of interest, with his 1970-1972 document selling for £9,500 - more than four times the initial estimate.

His 1970 World Cup winner's medal went for £346,000, while the smaller lots - such as medals and pennants - went for as little as £250.

Explaining the reason for the sale, Mr Nolan said: "He's 75 now and this is his legacy, and he wants to see these items all over the world, in museums and in the hands of people who are going to cherish them and love them and appreciate them for many, many years to come."

Pele said: "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.

"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, the largest paediatric hospital in Brazil."