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Aldyr Schlee: Creator of Brazil's distinctive yellow jersey dies, aged 83

If the likes of Garrincha, Pele, Socrates, Zico, Romario, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Neymar have come ...

Posted: Nov. 18, 2018 12:29 PM
Updated: Nov. 18, 2018 12:29 PM

If the likes of Garrincha, Pele, Socrates, Zico, Romario, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Neymar have come to define the distinctive style of Brazil's international football side over the years so too did Aldyr Schlee, the man who created the team's distinctive yellow shirt and who has died at the age of 83.

"It's our unit, our business card for the world," said the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) in its obituary for Schlee, who passed away on Thursday.

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"We lost the idealizer of 'Amarelinha,' as it was affectionately known by the Brazilian fans," added the CBF statement. "At the age of 83, Aldyr Schlee left us, but his most famous creation will always be part of the Brazilian people."

READ: The unbelievable plot to eliminate Brazil

On Friday, Brazil beat Uruguay 1-0 in an international friendly at the Emirates Stadium in London and Schlee was honored with a minute's silence before the game started.

Until 1954, Brazil had played in white shirts with a blue detail, but after losing the 1950 World Cup final to Uruguay, the CBF organized a competition to choose a new kit.

Schlee was still a teenager when his entry -- a yellow shirt with green collar and cuffs -- was chosen as the winner ahead of hundreds of other entrants.

In an interview with writer Alex Bellos for the Independent newspaper in 2014, Schlee said he was "I'm tired of talking about it (the shirt design).

"And it all comes a bit late. They are taking notice of me for something I did 60 years ago. After this World Cup I'm never going to talk about it again."

A journalist, university professor and novelist, Schlee grew up on the Brazil-Uruguay border and was in fact a supporter of the Uruguay national team.

"I am well-known in Uruguay," Schlee told Bellos. "I am considered a Uruguayan writer."

Schlee's design debuted in a 1954 World Cup qualifier with Brazil beating Chile 2-0 in Santiago. The legendary shirt was off to a winning start.

"Since then, Amarelinha has accompanied the Brazilian national team in endless glory," said the CBF statement.

"Four of the five world titles came with Brazil in yellow, as well as Olympic gold and so many South American achievements.

"The yellow shirt is part of the imagination of the Brazilian people and we owe it to Aldyr Schlee."

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