Hublot will be the title sponsor of Pelé — The Collection Auction, a sale of more than 2,000 pieces from the soccer star’s personal collection that will go on the block this month at Julien’s Auctions at the Mall Galleries in London.
The auction, which is being billed as the largest in sports history, will celebrate the history of the athlete and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity.
“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,” Pelé said. “I hope people treasure these artifacts 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 pediatric hospital in Brazil. Children are the hope, the talents and the athletes of tomorrow.”
The auction will be held June 7 to 9 but for six days prior, the collection will be on display in Mall Galleries, one of central London’s largest exhibition spaces, less than a mile from Buckingham Palace.
The pieces represent all stages of his career and include medals, trophies, signed soccer balls and jerseys from historic victories. Highlights include Pelé’s Jules Rimet Trophy (estimated at $400,000 to $600,000); his 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cup winners’ medals ($100,000 to $200,000); the ball with which he scored his 1,000th goal ($40,000 to $60,000); his New York Cosmos NASL Championship ring from 1977, his last season as a professional ($30,000 to $40,000), and the L’Equipe Athlete of the Century Award ($20,000 to $30,000).
Pelé, who was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely seen as the greatest soccer player to ever play the game. Although he retired 39 years ago, he still holds a number of records including being the only player to win three World Cups, being the youngest player to have participated in and scored a goal in a World Cup final (17 years and 249 days), and having scored more goals that any player in history with 1,279 in 1,363 games.
Pelé has been an ambassador for Hublot since 2013.
Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot’s chief executive officer, said: “It’s an incredible honor to work with Pelé, a great footballer, a great legend, and a great man. Since we started collaborating with him in the runup to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, he has demonstrated incredible grace and charm, and we are proud to call him our friend. We are also delighted to be sponsoring the ‘Pelé — The Collection’ auction and look forward to hosting an event that will be followed by both Pelé and Hublot fans all over the world.”