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Could Pelé’s magic rub off on you? Star’s match-worn Brazil shirt up for auction

Posted on 12/02/2019 in Press Coverage

A Brazil shirt worn by Pelé, one of the greatest footballers of all time, is coming up for auction.

The number 10 shirt, which dates back to 1971 and is signed by the player, has three stars indicating three World Cup wins. Brazil won the World Cup for the third time in 1970.

The rare item will be sold at Derbyshire’s Hansons Auctioneers on February 21 and has an estimate of £1,500-£2,000.

According to a letter of authenticity with the shirt, Pelé wore it in a match and gave it to fellow Brazilian footballer Joao Leithard Neto, known as Kita, in 1971. The signature on the shirt says, ‘Do amigo (friend), Edson Pelé’.

The letter of authenticity states: “I, Carmen Octilia Burlamaqui Leithard, widow of Joao Leithard Neto (Brazilian, ex-player, Brazil National Olympic Team 1984, Flamengo Internacional, Inter de Limereira, Gremio, Atletico-PR and other teams) declare that this Brazil jersey is a game-worn jersey used by Pelé and was a gift from Pelé to Kita in 1971’.


Alistair Lofley, sports memorabilia valuer at Hansons, said: “This is something really special for any football fan to own. It has come into our Football in Focus Auction from a private UK collector. Pelé is legendary, one of the greatest footballers of all time. Anyone who loves football would surely like to own his shirt – and hope a bit of his magic rubs off on them.”

In 1999, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS). He was also one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award. That same year, he was elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee.

According to the IFFHS, Pelé, who is now 78, is the most successful domestic league goal-scorer in football history scoring 650 goals in 694 league matches and, in total, 1,281 goals in 1,363 games, including unofficial friendlies. This is a Guinness World Record.

Sadly, Kita, Pelé’s friend, died in 2015, aged only 57, due to an infection aggravated by liver cancer.

The Pelé shirt will be sold in a Football in Focus and Sports Memorabilia Auction on February 21 at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6SL. To find out more, or to organise a free valuation of sporting memorabilia, email [email protected] or call 01283 733988.