Sonntag, 7. Dezember 2014
I was approached by a museum in Germany that invited me to talk about a way to present my collection. The idea is that my collection will be exhibited permanently, but are only a loan and remain mine.
Somehow I felt that it would be great if I could have a few more matchworn shirts for this exhibition as those are the real pieces of footballing history. So I wrote messages to a couple of footballers that played a match a few days after and asked them for help.
One of only 3 or 4 players that even only reacted to my mails was Alo Bärengrub from Estonia. I started to talk to him and learned a lot about football in Estonia, their league and the national team. He is definitely - together with the Central African Kelly Youga - one of the nices international footballers I ever spoke to and it is always a pleasure to chat with him about this or that.
He was not able - and probably not in the mood - to get me a shirt from their match vs. San Marino, but was more lucky in the match vs. Jordan they had shortly after. He saved the shirt he wore in the first half for me and send it to me a week later.
I really appreciate your help Alo and if you ever read it be sure this piece will have a very special place in my collection and hopefully soon in the museum!
Besides that you really fascinated me for Estonian football and I am really convinced to go to Tallin for an Estonian national team match next year! I would love to see you on the pitch!
The shirt itself is absolutely amazing. I love the nearly too big number on the back and the amazing design of the number and name print. I could not find out what the little animal on the backside wants to tell me, but it looks cool and makes the shirt a bit more special.
Thanks Alo and see you soon!
But obviously 2006 Lukas Podolski was just a bit too good for him and thus won the World Cup "Best Young Player" trophy against Ronaldo (and Messi). You can still see how superior Podolski is in a direct comparison to Ronaldo or Messi today. Well, at least he won more World Cups than both of them combined.
Anyways, back to topic! I bought the shirt as a part of my mini-subcollection "anti racism shirts". Now the next one must be the Netherlands and it finally gives me a reason to get a shirt of my neighbor country!
It is part of Nike's "Stand up Speak up!" campaign against racism, which took place 2005. During that campaign Arsenal, Brazil, Russia, Portugal, the Netherlands and some other clubs wear this black and white deisgn for only a single match.
The reason I bought that shirt is simple: I love the campaign (even though it might be merchandising first of all) and I think that my whole collection can be seen as a statement against racism as to me every single country counts the same! So I somehow felt that this anti-racism shirt should be part of my collection.
But let me speak about the shirt. As I said I am not the biggest fan of those plain as hell Umbro design. Besides that I think you cannot be more boring than just using your flag instead or as the FA logo.
So this shirt, in my opinion, shines mainly through the abscence of all creativity. It is the plainest and most unspectacular shirt out there and even worse all Norway home shirts from the last 200 years all look like that!
But there is a lot of positive about this shirt, too. It is squad signed for example. Including Tom Hogli, the great former captain of the Sapmi national team. Besides that it came for a very fair price of 28€ including shipment from an Austrian collector.
Last but not least such a signed shirt is surely a good way to tick off another team from the list of missing shirts. So after all I am more than happy to call that one my own now.
In general the shirt is great and I love the little ethno design stripes a lot. So again the designers of AMS did a proper job. But it also raises 2 questions:
1. Why does the new Sierra Leone logo have 5 stars ? What do they stand for ? I could only find out that they won the Amilcar Cabral Cup 2 times. But what do the other ones symbolize ? Surely it is not the number of World Cups won or even African Cups.
2. Dear AMS: Why do you print through the blue stripe in the middle of the shirt on the replicas ? That devaluates the shirt a lot to me as the design is not 100% as the players shirts (where the stripe is broken for the number). Besides that it is probably even more expensive for you to print more of the material, isn't it ?
So, please, for your next shirts, just do the replica as the original shirts.
Nevertheless Luke, the owner of AMS, is doing well with his approach to help the smaller African FAs and I really hope that he can continue that glorious way!
So now I can finally sleep good enough as "ticking off" Zimbabwe is finally justified again!
The design of the shirt is a typical one for Umbro. I am not the biggest fan to be fair as it is a bit too plain for me. But the colours and the logo especially are amazing.
So to sum up - I am absolutely happy with that shirt and Nick's amazing job - like always - to source it!
For the shirt itself I need to thank Nick and Adrian who somehow where able to source those shirts from Roly, the manufacturer, after some weeks of teamwork.
Thanks to those beauties I now do have 3 different Guinea Bissau shirts and one of them even came with a shorts, so all I am missing to start for one of the lower ranked teams in Africa is the right passport.
The "Djurtos" might not be the best national team and indeed the never qualified, but they are getting better every year through great cooperations with the Portuguese football clubs so it would not be the biggest surprise would they qualify at least for an African Cup soon.
The shirt itself is fantastic! There are just way too less neon shirts around. I always regret a bit that I did gave Joe the only one I ever really had - a Tajikistan shirt - and did keep a boring design myself. But now I can finally call a luminous and overly great neon shirt my own! :)