Santos FC, one of the most famous clubs in Brazil and the world, will refrain from using the number 10 jersey of its greatest idol, Pele, while competing in the second division of the Brazilian Championship.
Last Wednesday, in a shocking turn of events, they were relegated for the first time in their 111-year history. The decision of not using 10 was announced by Marcelo Teixeira after being elected as the new president of the team.
“In the Campeonato Paulista, we can play normally with the number 10 jersey, but in the Brazilian Championship, until we return to the top tier, a level worthy of Pele, we will not play with the number 10 jersey.”
Teixeira was elected to help Santos FC navigate through the greatest crisis in its history and, according to his words, the second division is not befitting of the number 10 immortalized by Pele.
Who will wear number 10 with Santos FC?
The number 10 jersey was being worn by Venezuelan star, Yeferson Soteldo, one of the few players who has been forgiven by fans amid the club’s humiliating relegation. However, Teixeira won’t change his decision remembering Pele.
“In his memory and in his honor, as this year is dedicated to tributes to Pele after his death, we will continue with that mission. Until we return to the top division, Santos FC will not use the most glorious jersey in its history, the number 10.”
When was the first time Santos FC were relegated in Brazil?
Last Wednesday, Santos FC suffered their first ever relegation in the Brasileirao after losing the final home match 2-1 against Fortaleza. The defeat led to disturbances among their fans and the burning of vehicles around the stadium.
With the disappointment of its first relegation in history, Santos’ supporters stormed the field, but the police force managed to contain the crowd. However, the violence extended to the surroundings of Vila Belmiro Stadium and enraged fans vandalized some commercial establishments. Additionally, at least two buses and several private cars were set on fire.
Which Brazilian teams have never been relegated?
Santos FC were part of a very exclusive group of clubs which have never been relegated in the Brazilian league. Now the list is only of two teams: Flamengo and Sao Paulo.
Cuiaba could also be considered, but they just joined the top tier in 2021. In the last seven years, many giants of Brazil have fallen to relegation for the first time in their glorious history: Internacional, Cruzeiro and Santos FC.