Brazil captain Neymar has revealed why he initially did not want to wear the Selecao’s iconic No. 10 shirt, but is now running out in Pele’s famous number.
The 26-year-old surpassed Pele’s 92 appearances for the South American giants this week. The 1-0 Superclasico de las Americas win over Argentina was his 94th game for Brazil, while he has also been involved in 100 goals for his national team, scoring 59 himself and assisting another 41 strikes.
Neymar is still 18 goals short of Pele’s goals tally for the Selecao, but many expect him to overtake Brazil’s famous No. 10 in due time, and the Paris Saint-Germain superstar has now explained how he came to wear Pele’s old number, despite preferring two others before.
“Robinho was always my biggest idol and therefore, at Santos, I wanted to play with the NO. 7 and started using it,” he told UOL Esporte, as cited by Marca.
“Then Robinho came back and I had to respect him, so I took 11, which was the second option I liked the most.
“Before the 2017 Confederations Cup, (former Brazil coach Luiz Felipe) Scolari was distributing the numbers and I told him that I liked 7 and 11.
“Dani Alves, however, looked at me and said: ‘You are the 10, put it on. You have to use it’.”