2023 February Finest Auction

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Born into extreme poverty in Brazil’s southern state of Minas Gerais, Edson Arantes do Nascimento was able to turn his life around (and that of his family) through his sensational ability on the pitch from a very young age. The football legend known only as Pelé signed his first professional contract in 1956 at the age of 15 with prestigious Brazilian club, Santos FC. The following year, he made his first appearance with the Brazil National Team at age 16. During his prolific international career, Pelé won three FIFA World Cup titles (1958, 1962 and 1970) – the only player ever to do so for his country. He retired as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 91 caps, and his unfathomable 1,283 career goals in all competitions will never be topped. His death on Dec. 29, 2022, at age 82 was a sad day felt deeply throughout the world. Pelé is and forever will be soccer’s greatest of all time.

Presented here is a spectacular Brazil National Team jersey worn by the legendary footballer in an international match against West Germany on June 6, 1965, at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Pelé scored the second of his team’s two goals, sealing the 2-0 shutout victory for the Seleção. The yellow cotton shirt has the iconic CBD (Confederação Brasileira de Desportos or Brazil Sports Confederation) crest embroidered patch on the left chest, with Pelé's famous No. 10 on the back in blue. Size M/L tagging inside the collar is from Moreira Leite Esportes of Rio. Just inside the shirttail is a tiny “Pele” marked in black pen (presumably by an equipment manager). The V-neck collar and ribbed sleeve ends both in green give this shirt a classic 60s style reminiscent of Pelé peak run with the national team. The shirt exhibits heavy evidence of game use with pilling, sweating, soiling and perhaps even some blood staining on the front.

What makes this Pelé gamer even more special is that he has added his autograph and inscription along with the signatures of his ten Brazil teammates including the great Garrincha, Rinaldo, Rildo, Djalma Santos, Orlando Peçanha, Dudu Caerense, Ademir de Guia, Hideraldo Bellini, Flávio Minuano and Valdir de Moraes. The autographs are done in black marker averaging 8/10 in strength and eye appeal. According to PSA/DNA, the long Portuguese inscription, “Para o amigo Maufred esta lembrança dos jogadores do Brasil” (For my friend Maufred this memory of the Brazilian players) on the right shoulder is entirely in Pelé’s hand. The score of the game is notated in German (“Brasilien – Deutschland, 2:0”) near the left shoulder in an unknown hand.

This is one of the finest Pelé Brazil match jerseys from his prime to ever surface in the hobby, and perhaps the only known team signed exemplar with such emphatic wear and personal touch from the G.O.A.T. to boot. Comes with a full LOA from MEARS graded A10 and a full LOA from PSA/DNA for the autographs. Also includes a COA from Sportmuseum Kötz in Germany.

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