There are many historical costumes, but none can be compared to Pelé's 1970 World Cup jersey.
For fans and collectors alike, this kit was a milestone in Brazil and in world history. In spite of its beauty, its design did not influence as much as the good game of Pelé and ten other geniuses who accompanied him in that edition of the World Cup.
The 1970 World Cup would not only mark Pelé's career: it would also immortalize the equipment of one of the most talented eleven in the history of football.
But what are the secrets behind Pelé's 1970 jersey? What's his story? What are the honours behind it? Did he really surpass 150,000 euros in a London auction? Find the answer in the following lines!
Pelé's 1970 jersey, the most iconic outfit in Canarinha's history
O Rei Pelé, that's how he's known in Brazil. And it's not as presumptuous a nickname as it may seem. Not many players surpassed the 1280 goals, nor did they play more than 1300 matches, nor did they win 3 World Cups.
In a way, part of his magic, part of his natural talent has been imprinted on the fabric of Pelé's 1970 World Cup jersey. It was not in vain that she was dressed up as the Best Footballer of the 20th Century by FIFA and the Best Sportsman of the 20th Century by the International Olympic Committee.
Pelé and the rest of the Canarinha players wore a very traditional outfit, with the immortal colours of the Brazilian national team: green and blue with yellow as the dominant tone.
However, Pelé's 1970 shirt had a series of small (and big) details that made it unmistakable. First of all, the round neck and the green sleeves contrasted with the yellow of the T-shirt, where no adornment or detail can be seen.
In the shorts, of intense blue color, there was a white line in the flanks and some white cords (that Pelé always kept hidden, unlike Rivelino and others of his companions). The socks, on the other hand, were completely white.
Why Pelé's 1970 World Cup shirt marked an era
Even without Pelé in the equation, historians agree that the 1970 World Cup was the best World Cup in living memory.
Each World Cup has its own star, and that edition could not be other than Edson Arantes do Nascimento. Better known as Pele, the young Brazilian led not only the best Brazil of all time, but also the most lethal team in living memory.
Pelé's shirt at the 1970 World Cup was the centre of attention, as the beautiful jogo of its bearer deserved the world title, not forgetting Jairzinho, Marco Antônio, Gérson, Edu, Zé Maria and other phenomena of the Canarinha.
Pele's Brazil legend began in the group stage when they contested the first of their 'finals'. The English took it as such, as analysts considered that both teams were candidates for the title, as it was.
Brazil would beat England by a goal difference, and although West Germany would eventually eliminate the English side, that match left one of the most memorable images: Bobby Moore and Pele exchanging their shirts with a gesture of mutual admiration.
This first duel would be followed by many others, but less dramatic for Brazil. After defeating Peru 4-2 and Uruguay 3-1, La Canarinha met Italy and their feared catenaccio in the final.
Against all odds, Pele's 1970 jersey flew through the Italian side, opening the scoring with a header, followed by three of his team-mates. Italy would be defeated 4-1 at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
One of the best defenders of the time, Tarcisio Burgnich, would explain about Pelé: "We jumped together, but when I was on earth, he was still in the air. I had thought to encourage myself: Pelé is flesh and blood, like me. But I was wrong."
As an anecdote, we will mention that the boots of the mythical ten of Brazil released a ball for the memory: the Telstar. It was designed by Adidas and consisted of 20 white hexagons and 12 black pentagons. Because of his influence, Pelé can be said to have kicked the ball of future generations.
Just sentimental value? Pelé's shirt from the 1970 World Cup reached 181,000 euros
That Pelé's shirt from the 1970 World Cup has great sentimental value is indisputable. But how much would a private collector be willing to pay for it?
Christie's, a popular London auction house, got the answer in 2002, when they auctioned off the original jersey that the mythical Brazilian 10 wore in the World Cup final. The last bid reached a record £157,750 (about €181,000, no less).
Christie's expert appraisers estimated its value to be around 30,000 pounds, at most 50,000 at times. But they never imagined it would exceed 150,000. Quite a record for this auction house and for the T-shirt buying and selling sector.
O Rei Pelé, as he was nicknamed by the prestigious magazine 'France Football', is one of the greatest figures in this sport, together with Maradona, Cruyff and Beckenbauer.
In addition to the World Cup held in Mexico, Pelé participated in the conquest of two other world titles: those of 1958 and 1962. As well as being the only player to achieve such a feat, he boasts that he was the youngest player to score in this competition at just 17 years of age.
It can be said that Pelé and his mythical 1970 team scored an unforgettable goal in the history of the sport and king.