New York Cosmos Try To Retire Pele’s Shirt Number, Only To Find They’d Already Retired It…36 Years Ago!

Chris Wright

15th, July 2013


By Chris Wright


With the club currently gearing up for their first competitive match since 1984 when the NASL season begins on 4th August, New York Cosmos had designs on commemorating the occasion by putting together a ceremony to honour two of their best ever players, with the intention being to formally retire their number 9 and 10 shirts in tribute to Giorgio Chinaglia and Pele respectively.

The was, however, one small hitch when it later came to light that the Cosmos had already retired Pele’s No.10 jersey when the legendary Brazilian striker played his final game for the club in October of 1977, a good 36 years ago!

Indeed, it was announced to the crowd after Pele’s last game for the Cosmos – an exhibition game against Santos at Giants Stadium in which Pele played the first 45 minutes for NY and the second 45 for the Brazilian side – that “no one would wear Pele’s Cosmos number ever again”, with the club officially retiring the number at half-time just to make doubly sure.

It’s also fairly well documented on the “heritage” section of the Cosmos’ official website…


Still, it’s the thought that counts!

(Tip o’ the hat goes to KCKRS)

Posted in FAIL, Funnies, Kits & fashion, MLS, Newsnow

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  1. Murray says:

    Technically, with the new New York Cosmos merely claiming lineage from a franchise that ceased operations nearly 30 years ago, it makes some sense for a completely new franchise using the same name to have to re-retire Pele’s number to honor the old club’s heritage.

  2.' Unak78 says:

    Not really, since technically they’re the same corporate entity and that can be proven by any sort of legal analysis. It’s only soccer fans using subjective criteria that say that they’re a different team.

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