Brazil’s Redemptive Yellow Jersey

In 1914, Brazilian football arrived on the world stage, and faced off against England’s Exeter City. They wore all white and won 2-0. The all-white kits would be their official colors for decades – until one of the most gut-wrenching setbacks in sports history. 

In 1950 Brazil hosted the first World Cup of the post-World War era. They made it to the final, facing Uruguay. 

200,000 people showed up for the game. 

200,000 excited, sweaty, passionate fans. 

Brazil needed a draw to win the tournament (old rules). They managed to lose 1-2. 

At home, in front of 200,000 fans, at the first World Cup since the war ended, Brazil lost in the closing 11 minutes of the game. 

And they never wore white again. The loss went down in history as the “Maracanazo.” 

For the 1954 World Cup, the all-white was labeled unpatriotic and the country held a competition to create a new jersey design. A 19-year-old won with the yellow design (aka Camisa Canarinho) we all know today. 

In 1958, Pele first put the jersey on at age 17 and carried the team to a redemptive victory. In 1970, the World Cup was broadcast in color for the first time and Pele again, carried the team to the championship. The Beautiful Game was officially a thing. 

Sometimes you have to drop the old colors. Sometimes you have to re-organize everything and be who you are. 

RIP Pele. Here’s to whatever new jersey you need to wear when you need to move forward. 

h/t @culturaltutor for this outstanding thread which inspired this post 

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