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Pele robbed at gunpoint in Brazil

June 23, 2008 17:13 IST

Football legend Pele was robbed at gunpoint by a gang of youths, who stripped him of his gold necklace, mobile phone and wrist watch.

The 67-year-old was being driven to his beach house in Brazil on June 13 when he was ambushed near Santos by ten men armed with pistols and knives, a news report in the Brazilian magazine Veja said.

When the assailants approached his car, Pele rolled down the window and told them who he was, but they robbed him anyway, according to the report.

Another Brazilian newspaper, the Estado de S. Paulo, however, said that the robbers returned some of the items after learning their target's identity.

But, the football star has not reported the incident to the police, it said.

Both the newspapers quoted an unidentified Pele spokesman as saying the 67-year-old star told friends about the robbery only while attending a football match between Brazil and Argentina last week.

Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, helped Brazil win three of its five World Cup titles. He was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government and in 1999 was voted Athlete of the Century by the world's national Olympic committees.

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