Our next instalment of the SoccerBible's Kit Vault takes us to South America, and features a club that truly hold a legendary status in world football! Our Kit Vault door opens to reveal this nineties version of the Santos away jersey manufactured by Umbro, and along with an interesting design, featuring the number '10' made world famous by Pele!
It was at Brazilian club Santos that the world's greatest footballer Pele netted no less than 730 goals! Simply known as "O Rei" (The King), between the period of 1956-74 Pele put Santos on the map of global football, and since this time the club has gone on to develop some of the most talented footballers to grace the game, such as; Pele, Gilmar, Carlos Alberto, Clodoaldo, Pepe, Coutinho, Elano, Alex, Diego, Robinho and now the highly-rated pair of Ganso and Neymar!
The 1998-99 Santos Away shirt features an eccentric design typical of Umbro shirts during the nineties. The striped design is famous on the Santos away kit, but as you can see Umbro have put their own take on the stripes! It has to be said that Umbro were responsible for some of the more interesting kits to adorn the likes of England, Scotland and Wales along with club sides Manchester United, Chelsea and Nottingham Forest during the nineties.
It was on April 14th, 1912, the same day Titanic struck an iceberg, Raimundo Marques, Mário Ferraz de Campos and Argemiro de Souza Júnior, three footballers from a team called Americanos, formed a new club. Having first considered naming the outfit Africa Futebol Clube, Associaçao Esportiva Brasil, and Concordia Futebol Clube, the trio finally christened their baby Santos after the coastal town south of Sao Paulo where they were so proud to live.
Between Pele's debut as a callow 15 year old in 1956 and his first retirement in 1974, Santos came to dominate Brazilian football. Apart from annexing six national titles (five in succession during the early sixties) and eleven Paulistas (the state championship), the club were twice crowned champions of South America.
Both those triumphs were followed by historic victories over Europe's best, Benfica and AC Milan, in the InterContinental Cup, the then world club championship. Nearly half a century after Pele’s arrival, Robinho another teenage wunderkind ended decades of frustration when he inspired a new generation to win the Campeonato Brasileiro in 2002 and 2004.
To this day Umbro still manufacture the Santos football kits, which is quite a coup in world football. But this 1998-99 Santos shirt remains a nostalgic look back to a period when Umbro were producing some let's say more interesting designs!
Stay tuned to the SoccerBible as we reveal even more retro soccer shirts from the Kit Vault, showcasing the best retro and classic kits and bringing them back to life!