A little more than a week ago Pele’s rookie card sold for $1 million, becoming the most expensive soccer card ever sold. This is because he is still considered to be the best to ever play the most popular sport in the world, even though he last played a soccer game 45 years ago. This is still true, even through the 20 year sustained runs of all-time greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
As early as this past Monday, fractional ownership company Rally Rd. finalized the sale of a 1958 Alifabologet #635 rookie card for $1.33 million. Only six Pele rookie cards of this high quality are known to exist. Last November, collectibles giant Goldin made a $900,000 sale on a different Pele rookie card with the same quality, a then-record.
This very same million-dollar Pele rookie was sold at a Goldin auction in November 2020 for $288,000. Now it’s soccer’s first to break a million dollars.
Fractional ownership companies such as Rally Rd., Collectable, Dibbs, and others, which offer shares in items rather than outright sales, have flourished during the COVID19 pandemic and particularly in the sports card and memorabilia world. Typically offerings are kept in-house, but the offer for this Pele card was too good to pass up.
“Soccer has gotten a lot of attention recently and this card has broken the record of ‘most expensive soccer card’ a couple of times,” says Rob Petrozzo, chief product officer and co-founder of Rally Rd. “It was issued during the 1958 World Cup campaign, the true Pele rookie, none graded higher: It’s kind of a holy grail for [soccer] cards.”
Rally first offered their private shares to the public, or initial public offer (IPO), of this Pele card in January 2021 at $315,000, going for $10 a share. Just this past November there was a buyout offer of $800,000, but Rally rejected it. Not long ago the $1.33 million offer was approved by 51% of the cards 464 investors, after a bidding war took place when someone offered $1.1 million.
“It was once such a counterculture, under-the-radar sport compared to football and basketball [in collecting],” Petrozzo said. “For soccer to hit a million dollars, it’s a really important milestone and benchmark for the space.
Article by: Chris Steele, iHearts143Quotes Team member