‘Soccer Emperor’ Pele, right, during his time at Santos, shakes hands with England’s Bobby Moore before a soccer match in Mexico in 1970. AP
Pele’s header for Santos’ No. 10. This is during a friendly match against Yugoslavia in Rio de Janeiro in 1971.
[Sports Seoul | Kyungmoo Kim Special Correspondent]
“Don’t wear Pele’s number 10 until you get promoted to the top flight!”
These are the words of Santos, who were relegated from the Brazilian professional soccer first division
(Campeonato Brasileiro Série A) to the second division for the first time in 111 years.
Marcelo Teixeira, the newly elected president of Santos on Dec. 9 (local time),
said he made the decision as a tribute to the club’s biggest star,
Pele, who died of colon cancer on Dec. 29 last year at the age of 81.
Pele during his time at Santos. Source|ESPN
He added: “Until Santos return to Serie A, we will not play with the number 10 on our backs.
This year, the Brazilian league is named after ‘King Pele’.
We will continue this mission and get back to the top division.
Until then, we will not wear our most glorious shirt.”
Teixeira, a businessman, was elected as the new president with 53% of the vote, beating out four rivals.
A few years ago, he suggested that the club should retire Pele’s
“No. 10” for good, but Pele, who led Brazil to three World Cup titles in the past (1958, 1962, and 1970), had previously said he hoped that would not happen. 온라인카지노
The name and shirt number of soccer great Pele, who died late last year, is displayed at the Villa Belmiro stadium in Santos, Brazil, January 2. Reuters
It’s been a tough week for Santos,
who were relegated to the second tier after a 1-2 home loss to Fortaleza on Wednesday, which left them 17th out of 20 teams in the Serie A table.
Fans burned cars and buses that night, stormed the Villa Belmiro stadium the next day,
and broke out into brawls at the club in the early hours of Saturday while a presidential vote was being held.
According to the Associated Press, Santos is now in debt, politically divided, looking for a new hero, and depressed about its future as it runs out of money in the second division.
When Pele started playing for Santos, the number 10 shirt was just one of many with no particular meaning.
After he began to shine for the club and the Brazilian national team, the number is known to have been chosen by some of the best players in the world, including Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, and Lionel Messi.