London:Football legend Pele has been robbed at gunpoint during a terrifying car hold-up 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, where he played for nearly 20 years, by ten men armed with pistols and knives, 'The Daily Telegraph' quoted a news report in the Brazilian magazine 'Veja' as saying.
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 Veja report.
Another Brazilian newspaper, the 'Estado de S. Paulo', however, reported 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 Veja and the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper 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.