Sonntag, 16. Februar 2014

Macedonia

 As many of my regular readers and fellow collectors know I am not only a shirt collector, but also the general secretary of ConIFA, the nowadays biggest umbrella organization for football outside FIFA (www.conifa.org).
Just lately we started a blog to share interesting stories with our fans and followers. Curiously the editor of the blog had the silly idea to start his blog with a story about me and my shirt collection, which you can find here: http://conifa.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/theshirtsofoursecretary/
As always in journalism the story was adapted by other journalists. This lead to the fact that the story about my collection was published in the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, more preciselise in the magazine "off.net.mk": http://off.net.mk/offside/fudbal/kolekcionerot-na-koj-mu-fali-dres-od-makedonija
A main part of the story in Macedonia was that I still miss a Macedonian shirt and the article called his readers to help me on this step of the mission.
Well, things went crazy and the FA directly called the editor of the article and told him that the FA will donate a shirt for me. There is an article about that donation and the editor is pictured with "my" shirt here:
http://off.net.mk/offside/fudbal/ffm-kje-mu-podari-dres-na-kolekcionerot
This shirt was then, of course as a gift, send to me. A really brilliant shirt and surely match issued, as there are still no Macedonian shirts for sale. Nevertheless I was told that they start a webshop soon!

Nearly simultaneously a reader of the article, Darko Najdovski, wrote me on Twitter. He had an old matchworn shirt from a friend, who plays for the national team. He also wanted to donate it to me, but I send him a St.Pauli shirt as a litle thank you.
So, the happy end: I do have now 2 Macedonian shirts and I am very thankful for the amazing donations! Thanks to the friendly helpfullness of the Macedonian people I do have new favorite team in Europe now ;)






Saaremaa

Never heard of Saaremaa ? Shame on you! Saaremaa is an Estonian island with the main city and capital Kuressaare, which team FC Kuressaare plays in the first Estonian League, the Meistri Liga.
Besides that Saaremaa has a national team which regularly plays in the Island Games. More precisely they played in all 6 Island Games between 1999 and 2009, finishing 6th in 2005.
Besides they regularly play friendly matches against the team of Hiiumaa, another Estonian island. Just recently they even played on a ferry between those islands!
Saaremaa traditionally is the better of the islands, but unfortunately both do not have "real" national team shirts. Instead Saaremaa wears the shirts of FC Kuressaare as you can see in the picture above.
My shirt was sent to me from Martti Pukk, who played for Hiiumaa and Saaremaa national teams before and was signed by the FC Kuressaare player and Saaremaa captain Märt Kluge.
I am pretty happy to have another very unknown non-FIFA shirt, which makes my collection in non-FIFA even bigger.




Benin



What a shirt! I really love the pretty different designs of Airness, an African brand founded by a former boxer, and this one is particularly beatiful in my eyes. The shirt, again, came from Gregorio from Belgium. Thanks a lot for sorting that one out! He bought it directly from Airness, which made the shirt not cheap, but it was the first ever chance for me to get it, so I took it!
In fact there are only 2 players from Benin I have ever heard of: Razak Omotoyossi and Mickael Poté. The latter one is probably the best striker of the German second division side Dynamo Dresden, which is good enough for such a small country like Benin.
The other fact I early learned about the Benin national team is there martial nickname: "Les Ecureuils", which means "The squirrels". I am sure this nickname gives them the maximal respect inside Africa and the world. I can imagine that the indomptable lions of Cameroon must be in fear of the little cute squirrels...

Sonntag, 22. Dezember 2013

Guinea

Guinea and especially Pascal Feinduono are the main reason why I fell in love with African football!
In the 2004 African Cup in Tunisia he scored 2 goals and thanks to him and Titi Camara they made it to the Quarter Finals, just losing 1:2 to Mali.
This was the first Africa Cup I ever saw and since then I guess I just missed a handful matches on TV. The guy who most impressed me in all those years was without a doubt Pascal Feinduono, followed by Aubameyang and of course the amazing Rigoberto Song.
Unfortunately Feinduono does not play for Guinea anymore and without him they do not regularly qualify anymore. But I still hope for a second Feinduono to be born in Guinea one day!

The shirt itself obviously is fantastic! Just as all Guinea shirts it has a deep red and a deep yellow, which both are amazing! Besides it is made by the African brand Airness, who usually do great shirts! All in all I have to thank Gregorio again for this absolutely amazing shirt! Thank you!

Argentina

 This shirt also came for the mission "make the world a greener place" from Gregorio. So thanks again!
The design is the same boring design that Argentina wears since 2000 B.C.. Well, boring or classic! I guess any other design would cause a huge riot inside Argentina.

Nevertheless this 2006 shirt is something special for every German. In the 2006 World Cup the whole German media was sure that we are chanceless to get far and that Argentina is the huge favorite to win the title. In the end we not even beat them by penalties (because of the amazing "analysis paper" of Oliver Kahn), but Lukas Podolski was chosen to be the best young player of the tournament just beating Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Definetely the whole country's spirit changed when we beat Argentina and everybody felt what is possible. Unfortunately, and the only time I ever cried in public during football, not the best team won the trophy... There was some other, blue shirted, team that just was better in diving, simulating, crying and protesting...

Gabon 3

All my thanks go to Pablo Aro Geraldes for this amazing Gabon shirt!
Especially since Patrick Emerick Aubameyang is nowadays showing the Bundesliga in Dortmund how good African players are technically and scoring I fell in love with Gabon. During their home African Cup of Nations in 2012 Aubameyang got something like a superstar in his hom country and was the hero with a couple of goals for the team!
Unfortunately their amazing campaign ended when they lost in the Quarter Finals, but I will personally never forget this remarkable tournament when Aubameyang replace Daniel Cousin as the national hero.
I really hope that we will see this technically fine and very enthusiastic team in a World Cup one day.

The shirt itself is much older than the success of Gabon in football. It is somewhere off the 90s and made by Kappa. Quite a cool design I think and very different to the others I do have already.

Ghana

 This finally is a shirt of one of my favorite teams overall, the Black Stars of Ghana. Unlucky as they are they need to play against Germany in group stage whenever they make it to the World Cup. But they got runners-up in 2010 and then even made it to the Quarter Finals.
Unfortunately they then got robbed a goal by Luis Suarez, which stole them the first African Semi Final display in history. As their Semi Final opponent would have been the Netherlands it seems certain they would have make it to the Final then (who except for Uruguay minus Suarez would ever loose against the Netherlands ;) ).
The shirt is quite nice, too. It is the typical 2010 Puma design with the "look-through" shoulder and their symbol (the black star) on that part.
Hopefully we will see them in the next WC final in Brazil against their group stage opponent Germany this time!

I nearly forgot: All thanks go to Gregorio again!