Pele makes jersey number 10 iconic, but by chance



Perhaps the most iconic shirt in football today is the jersey number 10 which famous footballers have put on – Pele, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho, Michel Platini among others.


 But it was Pele, who died on Thursday that really made the number very special. Yet, according to FIFA, Pele got the number by chance.

On the occasion to mark the 80th birthday of the Greatest of all time footballer, FIFA reveals:

“Pele immortalised the No10 jersey across the globe, but only by chance. Brazil forgot to submit their squad numbers to FIFA for Sweden 1958, so they got chosen randomly.

“Virtually all made no positional sense – goalkeeper Gilmar and centre-back Zozimo were allocated the No.3 and No.9 respectively – but Pele, who began as a reserve, somehow got the number he duly made the most famous in football.”

The legend then began a chain of records.

  • Pele is the youngest scorer, youngest hat-trick scorer, youngest Final player

and youngest Final scorer in World Cup history.

  • Gunnar Gren, who competed against Brazil in the 1958 decider, made his Sweden debut before Pele was born. Never has such an age gap – 20 years – existed between opponents in a World Cup Final.
  • Before Portugal’s Ronaldo scored his penalty kick goal against Ghana at Qatar 2022 to take his scoring spree to five World Cup editions, Uwe Seeler, Pele, Miroslav Klose and Cristiano Ronaldo were the only men to score in four World Cups. The West German pipped the Brazilian to become the first to do so by less than three minutes in 1970.
  • Before Mbappe scored his now famous hattrick at the Qatar 2022 World Cup final,Vava, Pele, Paul Breitner and Zinedine Zidane were the only players to have scored in two World Cup Finals.
  • Pele registered six assists at Mexico 1970 – a record for one World Cup. Four players managed five: Robert Gadocha at Germany 1974, Pierre Littbarski at Spain 1982, Diego Maradona at Mexico 1986 and Thomas Hassler at USA 1994. Pele also recorded an unprecedented three assist in deciders: one against Sweden in 1958 and two against Italy in ’70.


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