Pele brings sports stars together for charity auction

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These items, along with others by Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe, are among 229 that will go on sale next month at an auction hosted by Pelé for the foundation he created in 2018 to help people underprivileged children.

The Brazilian, the only player to win three World Cup winner medals and a man often called the greatest footballer of all time, said all funds raised will help Brazil fight and recover from the pandemic of COVID-19.

So far, 575,000 people have died in Brazil from COVID-19, the second highest death toll in the world after the United States.

“Pelé is such a legend, he is an icon and other sports stars admire Pelé,” Martin Nolan, executive director and chief financial officer of Beverly Hills-based Julien’s Auctions, told Reuters.

“Because he was at home in his bubble, he had time to focus on this project.”

Pelé provided some of his own items for the September 22 auction, but he also asked for favors from friends in sports and entertainment.

There are jerseys and photos from Brazil, Santos and New York Cosmos autographed by Pelé, 80, and others signed by former Brazil teammates such as Rivellino, Jairzinho and Clodoaldo.

Mario Zagallo, the coach of the revered Brazilian 1970 World Cup winning team, who turned 90 earlier this month, also contributed, as did Neymar, Roberto Baggio and Roger Milla.

Pelé’s foot

World Cup winner Franz Beckenbauer has signed a number of photographs from his days in New York Cosmos and West Germany; there is a 2015 Champions League final match ball; and jerseys and equipment used for basketball, American football, field hockey and water polo are also up for grabs.

One of the objects believed to fetch a hefty price tag is a gold-plated bronze cast of Pelé’s foot made by the famous sculptor Dante Mortet.

Outside of football, Justin Timberlake, Maria Sharapova, Mark Wahlberg and the NBA have all donated items.

“Whatever people want from Pelé, but you mention Ronaldo, you mention Mbappe, those icons will be sought after,” said Nolan of forwards Portugal and France.

“But because it’s a charity auction, people always show up, they’re always extremely generous and they pay more than in a normal auction because they know it’s going to a good cause.”

This is not the first auction organized by Pelé. In 2016, he auctioned more than 1,600 items from a collection he accumulated over six decades in the spotlight and raised 3.6 million pounds ($ 4.90 million).

This latest auction will take place at the Mall Galleries in London and is also open to online bidders.

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