Football shirts don’t get much more iconic than Brazil’s number 10.
Worn by some of the greatest players the world has seen over the last half a century, the famous yellow jersey is synonymous with the Selecao’s World Cup successes.
It weighs heavy on whoever is deemed worthy of wearing it, such is the calibre of those who’ve done so in the past.
Neymar is currently entrusted with upholding the values of the sacred shirt, though he was unable to play in Brazil’s 1-0 loss to Argentina on Friday due to injury.
In his absence, AC Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta inherited the honour despite having only ten senior caps for Brazil.
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The decision has angered Rivaldo, one of the many legends who made the shirt what it is today, believes such an inexperienced player shouldn't have been allowed to wear the shirt so soon.
To make matters worse, Paqueta was substituted at halftime
“I watched the match between Brazil v Argentina and was very sad to see what happened with the number 10 shirt,” Rivaldo wrote on Instagram, per Goal.
“They gave the shirt to Paqueta against Argentina. A shirt that is respected worldwide.
“This shirt is not meant to be on the bench, let alone go off at half-time, because it is the shirt the world knows and respects because it was worn and honoured by Pele, Rivelino, Zico, Rivaldo, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Neymar.
“The player is not to blame, but the coaching staff is, because they know the weight of this shirt and also that it could burn the 22-year-old, who can have a great future with the Brazilian team.
“Just as the coach wanted to protect Rodrygo, who is playing very well at Real Madrid, for this match, he could have protected Paqueta from playing with that shirt.
“We all know that Brazil and Argentina will never be a friendly match.”
Rivaldo makes a solid point, though it shouldn’t be taken as a slight on Paqueta’s abilities.
The former Flamengo hotshot has been likened to his playmaking idol Kaka in the way he elegantly slices through midfield.
Paqueta has so far made ten appearances for Milan in what will be his first full season at the San Siro, and there’s little doubt he has a bright future ahead of him.News Now - Sport News