View full screen - View 1 of Lot 27. Pele 1975 New York Cosmos 'Triumphant Debut' Match Worn Jersey.

Pele 1975 New York Cosmos 'Triumphant Debut' Match Worn Jersey

Lot Closed

April 11, 07:00 PM GMT


100,000 - 200,000 USD

Lot Details



Size Medium


Circa 1975

After three World Cup victories with Brazil and 643 goals across 19 seasons with the Brazilian club Santos FC, football legend Pele left his home country and came to America.  

In 1975, the Brazilian famously signed with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League (NASL) where he spent the final three seasons of his illustrious career. His arrival garnered considerable media attention and led to a significant increase in the sport’s popularity in the United States and paved the way for several other international stars to join the NASL. 

Pele made his highly anticipated debut with the Cosmos on June 15, 1975 in a match against the Dallas Tornado in front of a raucous crowd at Downing Stadium in New York City. The legendary attacker scored a goal and added an assist in an exciting 2-2 draw that served as the perfect introduction of Pele to the American audience. 

A week later, Sports Illustrated memorialized the momentous occasion by featuring Pele on the cover with the headline ‘Pele’s Triumphant Debut’. This marked just the second time that a footballer graced the cover of the world’s most recognizable sports magazine. 

Sotheby’s is proud to present this jersey worn by Pele in his debut match with the New York Cosmos on June 15, 1975. In the second half of the match, Pele scored his first goal in America as a member of the Cosmos. 

The jersey comes from the collection of Tommy Gore, a member of the Dallas Tornado. In addition, the shirt has been photomatched by Resolution Photomatching to images from the match on June 15, 1975. 

Going Deeper | Pele

Often considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, Pele joined Santos FC as a 15-year old youngster in 1956. He quickly developed into one of the league’s most prolific scorers and attracted the attention of the Brazilian national team. By the age of 16, Pele was already a frequent goalscorer at the Brazilian club level. 

He gained national recognition as a prodigious forward on Brazil’s 1958 FIFA World Cup championship squad. In six total matches, Pele scored 6 goals, which tied him for the second most of any player in the tournament. Additionally, he was named to the World Cup All-Star Team as one of the top 11 players at the World Cup. 

Pele went on to help Brazil recapture the Jules Rimet trophy as World Cup champions in both 1962 and 1970. His three World Cup victories are the most of any player in the history of football. 

On the club level with Santos, Pele continued to star for nearly two decades. In 19 seasons, the superstar netted 643 total goals. This mark stood as the most goals scored for a single club for over 40 years until it was finally surpassed by Lionel Messi in 2020. 

Upon joining the New York Cosmos in 1975, Pele brought a new level of popularity to ‘The Beautiful Game’ in the United States. Most notably, he led the Cosmos to the 1977 Soccer Bowl (NASL Championship) in his third and final season with the club. Thanks in large part to Pele, New York Cosmos matches set multiple attendance records including an NASL-record crowd of 77,691 spectators for the Cosmos’ 1977 playoffs match against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.

Pele was named as a joint winner of FIFA Player of the Century alongside Diego Maradona. After retiring, he remained in the public view as a global icon and ambassador of football until his death in 2022.