Donnerstag, 23. April 2015

Morocco 2





Morocco vs. DR Congo (1-0)
African Cup of Nations 2000 in Nigeria
This shirt seem to look unspectacular to most of you, but indeed it is a very special one to me!
I agree that the shirt is not the most amazing design ever produced and that Morocco is not exactly the Holy Grail of shirt collection. However I quite like this particular shirt as "older" African shirts are nearly impossible to get as 2000 still was a time where African football was not much professionalised. This is also reflected in the shirt of the African Cup of Nations 2000, which seems to still be the most professional of this shirt in action!
But what makes the shirt special to me is that it comes from a non-collector, which is rare as hell. A collegue of mine in university - Timo - once had a step-father who played for the Moroccan national team. So one of his few shirts (except for some Cologne shirts) he owns is a Moroccan matchworn shirt from the late 80s or early 90s. He promised me to give me that as a gift a year ago, but somehow cannot find it anymore and is a bit afraid that he left it at his ex-girlfriends home - well, that's life.
However, when I visited Timo last time I thought about the shirt and he instantly got out all his shirts to see if he can find his treasure. He could not, but he could find this one, which was also a gift of his former step-dad.

For some reason gifts from non-collectors, like that one, mean a lot to me as it somehow is a sign to me that also non-freaks take this weird hobby serious, are fascinated or at least appreciate it.
So - THANK YOU TIMO! Great one!

Mittwoch, 22. April 2015

Philippines




 WOW WOW WOW!
It is hard to begin that text to me. I am absolutely over the moon with that shirt for a number of reasons:

1. It fills another gap, which is getting rare nowadays. This makes it only 2 (!) missing in Asia: Kuwait and North Korea. This shirt in fact is probably the last huge step to take towards finally finishing the Asian continent as the first REAL task. The Azkals did and do some merchandising on their homepage - however their web shop never worked and their support mail never replied to me unfortunately.

2. I absolutely love the Azkals for some reason. Maybe because a lot of "Germans" play for them (like Manuel Ott or arguably the best Philippine football Stephan Schröck). Maybe just because the team never had any huge successes in football, but the people and fans seem to be crazy for football. Or maybe just because I am just fascinated by the country itself, which seems to be so diverse in many aspects and probably one of the most amazing on planet earth.

3. I got it from the player itself as a donation for the collection. Approximately one year after I first wrote Rob Gier on Facebook he suddenly came back to me telling that he rarely uses Facebook and just read my mail. He continued saying that he would happily help me. Of course he stood to his word and send me this beauty of a shirt, which will of course get a very special place within my collection. There is really nothing more valuable and more appreciated to me than getting help by a player or FA worker. Not because the shirt is matchworn (which is nice, too), but because it somehow is the reason I fell so much in love with this hobby. It is without any doubts the communication with people from all over the world and the stories it brings. Both got true here.

4. It is not by just ANY player. It just came from Rob Gier, who is not only the captain of the Azkals, but probably also the only non-league player who leads a national team representing nearly 100 million people! Isn't that truely amazing! I can juss guess how bizarre it must be to play for his club Ascot United in front of a few hundreds of fans in the 9th English tier, catch a plane, and then play in front of millions of people on TV for your country. If you ask me, Rob Gier is what football is all about. Even though he is not a pro and "only" plays in a non-league club he is working hard like Ronaldo or Messi to stay in shape and represent 100 million people properly. And in fact he does! Not by accident he became captain, is bossing the Azkals defence and got more than 60 calls for the Philippines national team.

This post is getting much too long, so I will only close with a huge THANK YOU to Rob Gier! I wish you and the Azkals all the best for the future and will keep fingers crossed that you can finally qualify for an Asian Cup. If you ask me, the qualifying group seems quite reasonable with only Uzbekistan being a very top team in Asia in your group. I am confident you can lead the Azkals to the second place in that group and hopefully to the Asian Cup (at least). Keep going!

New Caledonia 2





New Caledonia vs. Vanuatu (0:6)
U17 OFC Cup 2015 in American Samoa
Ramon Djamali (AS Mont-Dore)
New Caledonia vs. Vanuatu (7:6) | 2015 OFC Beach Soccer Cup in New Caledonia
As I already "finished" the OFC I can only add doubles here. However, my first New Caledonian shirt is a bit odd as it seems that it was never worn by the A team. This one now is finally the "real deal" coming straight from the New Caledonian FA through Joe.
I absolutely love and appreciate the work Joe put into that again and the brilliant shirt I received here.
However, it is again a very odd shirt. The first thought I received from someone I showed that shirt was "did they not understand what a template is all about?" and indeed it seems they did not.
They simply dare to be different and put their badge NOT in the white chevron that Nike thought they will put in. No - they tricked everyone by putting it above, right on the shoulder.
Even worse this is not made at all shirts. As you can see in the first picture - from the U17 - some players have it inside the chevron and some above. At least the beach soccer guys in the lower pic seem to agree on the odd positioning.

No matter where you put the badge in the end, this shirt is still one of the best within OFC. Yes, it is only a template, but still a much better one than all those pretty boring Lotto templates.
Anyways, enough said, THANKS Joe, again!

Dienstag, 21. April 2015

Uruguay




 And another shirt I somehow forget to add. Again no idea why. Maybe because I absolutely dislike the Uruguay national team, even though I am pretty fascinated of the country and very keen to visit it.
However, the team itself is for me the total role model for anti-football. Different to all other South American team the Uruguayan team seems to hate playing football and prefers kicking and tackling the shit out of everyone else and - if not even that helps - bite or handle the ball on the line. As a huge fan of African football and the Ghana Black Stars of 2010 I will never be able to forgive them that they cheated Ghana and stole their well-deserved semi-final.
All my thanks for this plain, but beautiful, shirt go to Chris, my fellow German national team collector.
It is always a pleasure to tick off another box and so I really appreciate your help with that one!

Uzbekistan





Unknown player
Uzbekistan vs. Jordan (2:0), friendly 2014 in Uzbekistan
Somehow I was able to forget to add this shirt to the blog. Don't ask me why, because I absolutely am in love with it.
I got that shirt quite a while ago from the official Joma shop in Tashkent, which has an own Facebook page selling the shirts. The seller was really friendly and helped me to sort out a bulk order for this Uzbekistan shirt. Even though it was not cheap with 65€ I was more than happy to get at all hold of that beauty.
Even better he decided to give me a free name and number print on 2 shirts (Joe got the other one), because I ordered 10 shirts all together.
Of course I ordered the print of Server Djeparov who is not only the best Uzbek player, probably of all times, but also one of the best Asian players of his time. In fact he even got the trophy as best Asian player in 2008 and in 2011 and is thus something like the Messi or Ronaldo of Asia.
However, he never los Asia and even just missed a trial with Chelsea, because he prioritized the league matches with his Uzbek team Bunyodkor at that time. My full respect for that.
Being 32 years old today he probably played his last Asian Cup in January 2015, but who knows... he just signed with Ulsan Hyundai in South Korea and scored in each of his 2 matches for them, so he does not seem to get much worse in age.
Again thanks to Damir of Joma Uzbekistan for the friendly contact and the amazing shirt!
I will always stick to Uzbekistan when it comes to Asian Cups and hope that they will soon make it to a World Cup finally.

Montag, 20. April 2015

Thailand 3





Pichitphong Choeichiu (Muangthong United)
Thailand vs Singapore (1:3), AFF Suzuki Cup 2012
And this is the third new shirt I got from Simon. Thanks again for this mate. It is the amazing design of the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup and I am pretty happy to add that to the collection. I was indeed very lucky as I "ordered" that shirt and paid it for 20€ before I got the opposite deisng in red from Mark as a gift.
Until it arrived I just couldn't remember if I bought the red or the blue one.
But, as always in life, luck is with the stupid and here I am having both designs of that year now.
If you ask me Grand Sport did again an amazing job here and proved the world that they can do much much better than the plain boring designs they often do, like the Kyrgyz shirt I own.

Israel 2





Itay Shechter (Swansea City, England)
Israel vs. Germany (0:2), friendly 2012 in Germany
That is another shirt I got from my Austrian friend Simon. The 2012 Israel shirt is as simple and plain as all the shirts Israel ever wore. However, it is a nice contrast to my other, very vintage, Israel shirt. That and again the price of 20€ makes this shirt another excellent addition to the blog.
Thanks Simon!