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SOCCER

What is Pelé’s net worth?

Brazilian soccer legend Pelé has died at the age of 82, leaving behind a fortune made from being the most popular ambassador of “the beautiful game.”

Update:
Brazilian soccer legend Pelé has died at the age of 82, leaving behind a fortune made from being the most popular ambassador of “the beautiful game."
EDUARDO MUNOZREUTERS

The world of sports is mourning the death of one of the most important players in the history of soccer: Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé. Throughout his life, the three-time world champion was able to amass a great fortune that allowed him to live comfortably.

During his golden age, O Rei was the highest-paid athlete on the planet. The charismatic Brazilian after all is listed by the Guinness World Records as the player who has scored the most career goals, and he remains the only footballer who has won the World Cup three times.

He didn’t hail from a time when soccer players signed contracts in the hundreds of millions of dollars, but he still managed to do well for himself. How much is the fortune that Pelé left upon his death?

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Pelé's net worth

Pelé’s net worth is approximately $100 million, according to the portal Celebrity Net Worth. Not all of his fortune comes directly from football. The King knew how to continue generating income even after he left the playing field, thanks to his multiple endorsement deals.

I didn’t get rich from football like today’s players do. I earned money from advertising, when I stopped playing, but none from tobacco, alcohol, politics or religion,” the Brazilian said on more than one occasion.

Pele: Highest-paid athlete

Pelé was paid $2.8 million a year during his three-season stint with New York Cosmos from 1975-1977, a pittance compared to today’s mega-contracts for footballers, but still the highest salary received by an athlete in that era.

Despite retiring from the sport 45 years ago, he was still sought-after as an endorser. In 2015, Forbes recorded his income for the year as $15 million, and ranked him 10th in their list of highest-paid retired athletes. He had contracts with large companies such as Puma, Procter & Gamble, Volkswagen, Subway, and Emirates Airlines.

A pension in Brazil

Despite having a fortune to his name, Pelé collected a pension in his native country since 2014, as published a while ago in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. The former player received a monthly pension of almost 3,000 reais, which amounts to about $567.

In an interview years ago for the Brazilian magazine Veja, he said he would enjoy all the benefits of a pension which were his by right.

“After the 2014 World Cup, I will be a pensioner,” said the soccer icon, so he said he would only pay half in the cinema, and would not need to pay for public transportation.