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Pele's Cup shirt nets record sum

Christie's described the shirt as
Christie's described the shirt as "one of the most important pieces of football memorabilia" it had offered  

LONDON, England -- The shirt worn by Brazilian soccer legend Pele in the 1970 World Cup final has been sold at auction for a record 157,750 ($225,000).

The figure was more than three times what it was thought the shirt would fetch and almost 70,000 ($100,000) more than the previous record set in September 2000 when Sir Geoff Hurst's 1966 England World Cup final shirt sold for 91,750 ($130,000).

Pele's number 10 shirt had been expected to fetch between 30,000 and 50,000 ($43,000 and $71,000) in the sale on Wednesday at Christie's in London. The buyer was an anonymous telephone bidder.

The shirt was put up for sale by Italian international Roberto Rosato, who swapped shirts with Pele after the final whistle. Pele scored the first goal in Brazil's 4-1 triumph, which was watched by 107,000 fans in Mexico City.

Christie's spokesman Rik Pike told the Press Association: "This has broken the world record for a shirt by a long way and we are delighted.

"Pele is a globally recognised name, universally recognised as the greatest footballer of the 20th century, and this shows the developing strength of the football memorabilia market."

Also sold at the auction was a medal presented to Ray Wilson after England's 1966 victory over West Germany.

The World Cup final medal sold for 80,750 ($115,000) to an anonymous telephone bidder.

Wilson, regarded in his heyday as one of the best defenders in the world, said before the sale that he had decided to sell the medal to provide financially for his family.

Pele acknowledged as the most popular player ever in world's most popular sport
Pele acknowledged as the most popular player ever in world's most popular sport  

He said: "Although it is painful to part with my World Cup winners medal, an object full of personal and national nostalgia, I have decided to sell in order to financially provide for my family.

"It has taken me a good few years to come to this decision but I believe it is for the best and I hope my medal finds a worthy home."

Former Brazil national coach Mario Zagallo has cast doubt on the authenticity of the jersey. He told the O Globo newspaper he had the jersey Pele wore during the first half of the final. Zagallo said team fitness trainer Admilo Chirol had the shirt worn by Pele during the second half.

Christie's said it was aware of the Brazilian report but was satisfied with the authenticity of the shirt.


• Pele's World Cup shirt up for sale
February 5, 2002

• Christie's

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