Auction house nets FIFA hat trick with medals awarded to soccer superstar

Julien’s sells trio of World Cup medals, Jules Rimet Trophy earned by Pelé
By , Coin World
Published : 07/01/16
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In soccer, a player makes a hat trick by scoring three goals.

Julien’s Auctions’ July 7 to 9 auction of memorabilia from soccer star Edson Arantes do Nascimento (better known by the one-word moniker Pelé) featured a hat trick of its own — the firm sold three FIFA World Cup gold medals earned by the player dubbed the Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee.

Andy Warhol is said to have modified his famous theory for Pelé, saying, “Instead of 15 minutes of fame, he will have 15 centuries.”

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One of the stars of the London auction was the 1970 World Cup medal, the event in which Pelé became the first (and so far only) soccer (“football”) player in history to win the World Cup three times, a record that still stands today.

The .750 fine gold medal realized £346,000 ($498,240 in U.S. funds), including the buyer’s fee.

The buyer’s fee is 25 percent on the first £200,000 and 20 percent on amounts above that figure.

1970 World Cup

The 1970 FIFA World Cup was the ninth staging of the FIFA World Cup, and was held from May 31 to June 21, 1970, in the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. 

The 1970 Brazil national football team is widely regarded as one of the greatest teams ever assembled, according to Juliens.

Pelé scored the opening goal in the 18th minute of the World Cup final versus Italy, leading the way to Brazil’s 4–1 victory and to the team’s third World Cup title. In winning the 1970 World Cup, Pelé was awarded the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. 

All three of the FIFA World Cup medals bear the same design, with the only difference being the inscriptions recounting the event for which the medal was awarded.

The face of the medal features a winged figure representing Nike, the ancient Greek goddess of victory, below the letters F.I.F.A., an acronym for “Fédération Internationale de Football Association” (International Federation of Association Football). 

The back of the medal features a low relief laurel wreath. 

Brazil also won the 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh FIFA World Cup. The 1962 event was held from May 30 to June 17 in Chile. 

Heading into the 1962 World Cup, Pelé was rated as the best player in the world. 

He started the tournament by scoring a goal in the 73rd minute of Brazil’s opening match versus Mexico at the Estadio Sausalito in Viña del Mar, Chile. However, Pelé suffered an injury in Brazil’s match versus Czechoslovakia, the second match of the tournament. 

Brazil would go on to win the 1962 FIFA World Cup, becoming the second country to win “back-to-back” championships. 

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