Journalist owns rare autographed ball

The official World Cup soccer ball is pictured during a news conference of the Colombian team in...

The official World Cup soccer ball is pictured during a news conference of the Colombian team in Belo Horizonte, June 13, 2014. (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:17 PM ET

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Jesus Ferro is walking around with an extraordinary World Cup ball.

He has it in a plastic bag and handles it like it’s made of gold.

He does it for good reason because it’s probably worth more than its weight in gold.

Ferro is an Argentine-born journalist who now lives in Spain.

The ball may be one of the most unique balls in the world.

“I’m a little bit crazy for bringing it here,” he said, pulling it out and handling as if it’s a live grenade. “But I don’t think there is anything else like it in the world.”

The ball has 40 autographs on it. That alone doesn’t make it special. What makes it precious are the players who have signed the ball for Ferro.

The signatures come from the most legendary players, past and present, in the game of soccer.

It begins with Leo Messi, then there’s Pele, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Ronaldo, not Cristiano but El Gordo (The Big One), the Brazilian legend. Then there’s Paolo Rossi, the Italian hero of the 1982 World Cup, Brazilian ace Zico and Rivellino and Portugal’s Eusebio, one of the greatest players ever.

The autographs go back even further with Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano and Just Fontaine, the French forward who has the record for most goals in a World Cup -- 13 in 1958.

It is a remarkable collection of names.

Ferro also has pictures of many of the players signing the ball for him.

When he’s home in Spain, Ferro says he keeps the ball in a locked, hard-plastic box in a bank.

“What do you think, that it isn’t worth money?” he laughed.

When asked how much he thought it was worth, he said he really had no idea.

“In order to know how much something is worth, you have to have something to compare it to,” Ferro said. “But in this case, there is nothing like it.”


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