Soccer fans notice everything about a player’s kit or soccer cleats when they step on the field so it is not so surprising that fans of Brazilian fourth-tier side Fluminense de Feira were puzzled when their team took the field for a recent game.
The player jerseys had numbers like 5.98, 10.98, and 20.38. The primary digits were normal size with the .98 and .38 in small digits to the right. To make matters even more confusing the players had product names – Shampoo, Pizza, Shaving Cream – at the top of the jersey rather than their own names.
After some digging fans found out the numbers were actually the price of goods at a local supermarket who found an interesting sponsorship avenue with the club.
“Football is very ungrateful to small teams on this sponsorship issue. You cannot put together a good team without conditions and having a good team requires resources,” executive with Brazilian side Fluminense de Feira, Xiko Melo, explained.
El Fluminense de Feira, de la Serie D brasileña, utiliza los números de las camisetas para publicitar ofertas de un supermercado. pic.twitter.com/jHlcIAtCKb
— David Acebal (@dacebal) April 6, 2017
He probably could not explain the team’s performance. Fluminense de Feira lost in the new look jerseys 6-0 to rivals Vitoria de Bahia.
This is not the first time soccer players have pulled on interesting or superstitious numbers. There is a long history of it that includes 3 digit numbers, adding it up to a favorite number, or picking the number of hero.