The No23 shirt officially appeared for the first time at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™, when teams were permitted to name 23 players in their squads.

Before that, however, at the 1962 tournament, the number made its unofficial debut when it was worn by Uruguay’s Guillermo Escalada; the No13 having been omitted from the Celeste squad for superstitious reasons.

In 1998, the No23 made another unscheduled appearance on the back of Simon Gopane, a reserve goalkeeper for South Africa's reserve goalkeeper who had replaced the injured No22, Paul Evans.