Pele's copy of World Cup trophy has sold 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 is selling off his entire collection of awards and memorabilia including the Jules Rimet Trophy and even his old passports.

More than 2,000 items were expected to be sold.

The items auctioned cover 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.

Pele's copy of trophy
(Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

The copy of the Jules Rimet Trophy, the original World Cup, went for £394,000.

He was given the copy of the trophy after becoming the only player to win the World Cup 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.

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

Martin Nolan, executive director at Julien's Auctions, expects the estimate to be easily surpassed and called the sale "historic".

"It is going absolutely fantastic. Everything is selling, everyone is buying. Online, over the phone, in the room."

The auction has attracted bids from around the world, including Europe and South America as well as the Middle East, the US and the Far East.

Explaining the reason for the sale, 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 waving on the pitch
(Nigel French/PA)

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."