The ball used by Pele to score his 1,000th goal was auctioned for $22,400, local media said on Wednesday. The ball was auctioned on Tuesday in Sao Paulo by the Brazilian Association of Parents of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, which received the ball as a donation from Pele in 1972.
Pele, who scored 1,281 goals in his career, netted the 1,000th goal with a 77th-minute penalty kick in Santos’ 2-1 win against Vasco on November 19, 1969 at Maracana stadium.
The 40-year-old scored a league-leading 19 goals in his first USL season. Romario, whose travels include stops with FC Barcelona, Valencia, PSV Eindhoven and Vasco de Gama, has 983 career goals.
‘The 1,000 goals are not an obsession for me, but I’m very close,’ he said. ‘I don’t know if I’m going to get there but all my friends and family are keeping count.’
When Romario joined Miami FC — who play in the U.S. Soccer League rather than the more prestigious Major League Soccer (MLS) — from Brazil’s Vasco da Gama in March, his tally was reported to be 964.
Brazilian media have long questioned Romario’s total, however, saying it includes goals from youth team matches and training games.
Earlier this year, Vasco da Gama declared some pre-season practice games as official friendlies to give Romario a better chance of pushing his total towards 1,000 goals.