Brazilian football legend Pele was held at gunpoint by a band of youths who robbed his gold necklace, mobile phone and a watch, it emerged today.
The robbery - which took place on June 13 but was not made public until now - occurred near the city of Santos in southern Sao Paulo state.
Pele was riding in the passenger seat of a car when it was stopped near a slum by at least 10 young men armed with pistols and knives.
Robbed: Pele had a gold necklace, mobile phone and watch stolen, but didn't report it to police
But Pele did not report the crime to police.
His spokesman said the 67-year-old star told friends about the robbery while attending last week's soccer match between Brazil and Argentina.
Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, helped Brazil win three of its five World Cup titles.
He was legally declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government and in 1999 was voted Athlete of the Century by the world's national Olympic committees.
When the assailants approached his car, Pele rolled down the window and told them who he was, but they robbed him anyway, it was reported.
Legend: Pele, seen celebrating with Jarzinho after scoring the first goal against Italy in the 1970 World Cup final, was honoured as a Brazilian National Treasure in 1999
The Estado de S. Paulo newspaper claimed the robbers gave back some of the items after learning their target's identity.
The robbery took place when Pele was en route to his beach house on the coast near Santos, where he played professional soccer for nearly 20 years.
Armed gangs often set up makeshift road blocks on Brazilian roads, halting traffic and robbing motorists.
The robberies usually occur near slums, where the thieves can easily escape and hide from police.
Soccer legend Pele is robbed in car at gunpoint by youths in Brazilian slum | Mail Online