Pelé’s #10 not up for grabs as Santos play Série B

As previously announced, no player will wear Pelé's jersey number during the historic, albeit painful, season in Serie B
Josué Seixas
2024-04-22 17:59:22

In late 2023, following the tragic news of Santos’ relegation, which was met with mourning and sorrow by many of the most ardent Peixe fans, the club’s president confirmed that during what is expected to be a short but painful period in Serie B, the club would not tarnish Pelé’s iconic number 10.

Several months later, before embarking on an eventful debut in Serie B, the president of Santos held a private ceremony with the club’s squad, symbolically hanging Pelé’s jersey until the club returns to where it deserves to be: the top tier of Brazilian football.


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Pelé’s number 10 jersey hung in tribute until the return to glory

Before commencing the lengthy season in Serie B, Teixeira appeared in the dressing room to offer words of encouragement to his players and, symbolically, to assign the team’s number 10 jersey to the only one who could wear it in such an extraordinary situation: absolutely no one.

In their locker room, Santos hung a jersey without a name, but with the number “10.” All in memory and out of respect for the greatest footballer in the history of Brazil.

“As we embark on this new adventure tomorrow, today we will put away the number 10 jersey, but we hope it stays in the closet for a very short time and that when the time comes, God willing and when we deserve it, we will be here again, in this sacred place of work, taking out this jersey to wear it once more,” Teixeira assured his players.

Santos debuted without the “10” in honor of Pelé

This Saturday, Santos made their Serie B debut at Vila Belmiro against Paysandu and officially presented a squad with players assigned to jersey numbers 7, 8, 9, and even 11, but the number 10, Pelé’s, was nowhere to be found.

Thanks to goals from Pedrinho (69′) and Guilherme (90′), Santos secured their first three points in an unusual season devoid of the “10”, a trend that will continue until the club achieves the long-awaited promotion back to Brasileirão.

At the time, Marcelo Teixeira, president of Santos, confirmed that this decision had been made from the moment Santos confirmed their relegation and everything would be done in order to respect O Rei’s memory:

“In his memory and in his honor, as we dedicated this year to tributes to Pelé after his passing (on December 29th last year), we will continue with that mission. Until we return (to the top division), Santos Futebol Clube will not use the most glorious shirt in its history, the number 10.”

Zagallo documentary

Sambafoot Series has launched a new documentary about the football legend Zagallo. Known as ‘Velho Lobo’ and as superstitious as it gets, Zagallo helped shape what Brazilian football is nowadays – as a player and as a coach. The first and second episodes is available in Sambafoot’s Youtube channel and the series will receive weekly releases to tell this legend’s life story.