Pele Sues Samsung for $30 Million Over Advertising Lookalike

That is no gooooooooooooooal!

Most people who love soccer brag about Lionel Messi. And next to Cristiano Rolando, there is arguably no one more regaled in the sport.

Before they were kicking each other off Mount Rushmore to see whose face would be ensconced first in the mountain, there was Edson Arantes do Nascimento. Thankfully, Brazilians are known largely for shortening their name in this international sport.

You may know him by his sport nom de plumb, Pelé.


From the World Cup for his native Brazil to becoming an ambassador for the North American Soccer League (MLS’ predecessor), Pele is known around the world as the greatest soccer player ever.

And not just because of this fancy bicycle kick. But now, he’s looking to kick something other than a ball. He wants a piece of Samsung’s behind.

Pele, 75, was reading a newspaper and then he saw someone that looked really familiar — himself.

Well, at least, someone that really resembled him.

The dopplegangër was on a Samsung advertisement that made the iconic footballer pretty mad. So much so, that he called his attorney and almost immediately filed the $30 million suit.

Pele’s lawyer, Frederick Sperling, said: “The goal is to obtain fair compensation for the unauthorised use of Pele’s identity and to prevent future unauthorised uses.”

Another kick Pele was famous for doing was the “scissors kick,” which looks a little like this… from someone else.

pele ad

Yeah, that is not Pele –that’s a white guy in the picture doing the scissor kick and the ringer in the picture… well, nice try Samsung.

That photo serves as a backdrop for “a superimposed photograph of a Samsung television, which depicts a soccer match in which one of the players is seen making a modified bicycle or scissors-kick, perfected and famously used by Pele.”

Is this imagery worth $30 million?

The lawsuit, filed March 16 in Chicago, states the majority of Pele’s income “is now derived from (his) ability to license his name and persona to commercial sponsors who wish to capitalize on Pele’s fame. As a business, the licensing of Pele’s identity is just as important to him now as his professional soccer playing career once was.”

In other words, when you haven’t played soccer in 40 years, brother needs to score a 401K.