Do you want to wear a Pele-signed Brazil jersey? Dan Carter’s signature on an All Blacks shirt? Derek Jeter’s autograph on a photo of the New York Yankees? AC Milan shirt worn by David Beckham?
Those items, as well as those from Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe, are among 229 that will be auctioned off next month to benefit Pele’s foundation, which he established in 2018 to help underprivileged children.
All funds raised will aid Brazil’s fight against and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Brazilian, who is the only player to win three World Cup winner’s medals and is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time.
COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 575,000 people in Brazil, the world’s second highest death toll after the United States.
“Pele is such a legend, he’s an icon and other sports stars look up to Pele,” Martin Nolan, Executive Director and CFO of Beverly Hills-based Julien’s Auctions, told Reuters.
“Because he was at home in his bubble he had the time to focus on this project.”
For the Sept. 22 auction, Pele has provided some of his own items, but he has also enlisted the help of friends in the sports and entertainment worlds.
Pele has autographed jerseys and photos for Brazil, Santos, and the New York Cosmos, as well as those signed by ex-Brazil teammates Rivellino, Jairzinho, and Clodoaldo.
Mario Zagallo, the legendary coach of Brazil’s 1970 World Cup-winning team, who turned 90 earlier this month, as well as Neymar, Roberto Baggio, and Roger Milla, all contributed.
There are several photographs signed by World Cup winner Franz Beckenbauer from his time with the New York Cosmos and West Germany, as well as a match ball from the 2015 Champions League final, and shirts and equipment from basketball, American football, field hockey, and water polo.
A gold-plated bronze cast of Pele’s foot created by celebrity sculptor Dante Mortet is one of the items expected to fetch a high price.
Outside of soccer, items were donated by Justin Timberlake, Maria Sharapova, Mark Wahlberg, and the NBA.
“Anything from Pele people will want, but you mention Ronaldo, you mention Mbappe, those icons will be sought after,” said Nolan of the Portugal and France forwards.
“But because it is a charity auction people always show up, they are always extremely generous and they pay more than in a normal auction because they know it is going to a good cause.”
Pele is not the first person to organize an auction. He raised 3.6 million pounds ($4.90 million) in 2016 by auctioning more than 1600 items from a collection he amassed over six decades in the spotlight.
This auction will take place at the Mall Galleries in London, and online bidders will be able to participate.