Brazil legend Pele suing Samsung for $30m over newspaper advert

Brazil legend Pele is suing Samsung for $30 million over a lookalike the company used in an advertisement in the New York Times.

Pele, 75, is seen as the greatest footballer to ever play the game and won the World Cup three times. He also played for the New York Cosmos in the NASL at the end of his career in the 1970s.

The former Brazil forward's photo was not used in Samsung's advert for high-definition TVs in October, but the complaint claims they opted to show a player which "very closely resembles" him, performing a "modified bicycle or scissors-kick, perfected and famously used by Pele."

The lawsuit, dated March 16, states that Pele relies on endorsements for income and that the advert infringed his rights and confused consumers into thinking he was backing a Samsung product.

"The goal is to obtain fair compensation for the unauthorized use of Pele's identity, and to prevent future unauthorised uses," Pele's lawyer Frederick Sperling, who has also represented former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan, told Reuters.

Samsung spokeswoman Danielle Meister Cohen declined to comment.