With the imminent 2013 NASL season beginning to crown on the horizon, New York Cosmos are gearing up for their first competitive match since they were pulped in 1984, with the club seeking to mark their resurrection with a ceremony commemorating their star-studded 1970s halcyon days by formally retiring the numbers of two of their finest former players: Giorgio Chinaglia (No. 9) and Pele (10).
There was, however, one small yet significant hitch in their efforts to pay tribute to Pele when it subsequently came to light the Cosmos already retired the legendary Brazilian striker's jersey when he played his final game for the club back in October 1977 -- almost 37 years ago!
Indeed, it was announced to the crowd during the exhibition game against Santos at the packed Meadowlands that "no one would wear Pele’s Cosmos number ever again" as the New York team ceremonially retired the No. 10 jersey at half-time, before Pele took off the Cosmos kit for the final time and pulled on the Santos strip in order to play the second 45 minutes for his beloved Brazilian club.
Just to make it all that little bit more awkward, the whole thing is rather well-documented over on the timeline feature in the "heritage" section of Cosmos’ official website.
Oops. Still though, it’s definitely the thought that counts when it comes to this kind of thing!