Samstag, 28. März 2015

Egypt 2

Hossam Hassan (Al-Ahli)
Egypt vs. Algeria (1-0), WC 1990 qualifier
1989 in Egypt

This is the other rare and old vintage shirt I got from the German collector whos dad worked in Egypt 20 years ago. This absolutely brilliant shirt is not matchworn obviously as it lacks a number. Still it is probably "match issued" as they were no "fan shirts" in those times.
This shirt was used in the 1990 World Cup qualifier campaign, especially in the amazing match vs. Algeria where Hossam Hassan, one of the biggest stars in international football, scored his first ever international goal! The match ended in a 1:0 for Egypt and brought them to the World Cup in 1994. The "fights" between the Algerian and the Egypt team also started in this historic match.
Even better the shirt is signed by all the players from the 1989 squad. I could decipher a very few of the signatures, including the one of Hossam Hassan, but as I am not fluid in Arabic I struggle to find out who all the players are.
However, I absolutely love this historic piece of polyester and want to thank Rene, the seller, a lot again!

Bahrain 2

To be honest, it is hard for me to find words about this shirt. It is a probably matchworn vintage Bahrain shirt that I got from a German collector combined with the Egypt shirt from 1989 for 150€.
The German collector found those shirts in the stuff of his dad, who worked for the development of football in the Arabic world, mainly in Egypt. He again got this shirt from a befriended player about 20 years ago.
I do not know yet from which season this brilliant shirt is, but the Bahrain FA already confirmed that it is original and promised to help me finding a match picture of it and giving me more info about the season it was used in.
With quite a huge spending I "lost the track" a little bit, but those 2 shirts are definitely totally worth it in my eyes as they are very unique collectibles.

Belarus 2

Pavel Plaskonny (Dinamo Minsk)
Belarus vs. Spain (0:4), World Cup 2014 qualifiers
2012 in Belarus
I got this matchworn Belarus shirt from a contact in Minsk for a pretty affordable price. He again got the shirt directly from a contact within the Belarus FA.
The shirt itself is quite plain, but the fact it is matchworn, maybe even from the match vs. Spain, of course makes it very special and interesting. So I really love that shirt!
Even more interesting the shirts of the "star players" like Putsila or Hleb were long gone so the only matchworns they can still offer are those of "less known" players like Pavel Plaskonny. In fact I even much prefer those and of course it makes me learning a bit about the less-known Belarussian players.
So I really thank Hadjimurat, my friend in Minsk, for his amazing help!


This absolutely cracking shirt from Palau is unfortunately only a draft and will never been worn by the team. But of course you deserve the full story!
ConIFA was looking to get teams from all 6 continental zones to their next World Football Cup in 2016 and thus Chris Heise, a German football enthusiast (and shirt collector!) from Berlin, as the new Oceanian Director. His main aim was to work together with any Oceanian team to get them to the World Cup in 2016. His first try was Palau, who were keen to go the way together for us. As one of the many puzzle steps in financing Chris sorted out a deal for them with AMS including free shirts and apparel for the team and a split on any revenue made by sales. This is the reason this sample was created!
Unfortunately ultimately Palau declined to make the deal with AMS (and to continue to work with ConIFA to come to a 2016 World Football Cup). No real reasons were given, so I cannot say why they declined in the end.
However, the design work of Luke and AMS is again absolutely amazing and I would just hope that Palau ever uses this absolutely awesome shirt!
I also thank Chris Heise for sharing one of the 3 samples he got with me. Thanks mate!

Ukraine 2

Andriy Shevchenko (Dinamo Kyiv)
Ukraine vs. Sweden (2:1), Euro 2012 in Ukraine
All my thanks for that absolutely amazing design Ukraine shirt go to Chris, my only German fellow collector! Chris got this amazing shirt in a local shop in his hometown Frankfurt highly discounted for 20€ and sold it on to me for the same price. An absolutely amazing design and much better than my older Ukraine shirt.
Unfortunately, despite the win vs. Sweden and 2 goals of senior player Shevchenko Ukraine went out in group stage in their home Euros and will probably not have another major tournament at home anytime soon...
 Thanks again Chris for this brilliant shirt for a bargain price!

Freitag, 13. März 2015

Switzerland 2

Stéphane Chapuisat (Borussia Dortmund | Germany)
Switzerland vs. Netherlands (0:2) | Euro 1996 in England
This is the second shirt I got as a swap from a German collector for the Uzbek club shirt I sent him. I absolutely love the design and besides that it is always good to remember 1996, which was until recently the only tournament I saw Germany lifting a trophy.
Unfortunately Switzerland was not that successful in that tournament with only winning a single point vs. Scotland.

I quite like the match picture above from the match vs. Netherlands. I really cannot believe that it would still be feasible to play on one ground against each other in those inverse colored shirts. Absolutely amazing idea.

Sierra Leone 2

Sierra Leone vs. Ivory Coast (1:2)
AFCON 2015 qualifiers | 2014 in Ivory Coast
Again a shirt I bought just because I had to take the chance.
I did not get it from AMS directly or Nick this time, but grabbed it from a German collector who sold it for 30€ including shipment as it did not fit him well.
This design surely is even the better one, even though the logo is still just only printed.
Unfortunately it could also not help Sierra Leone to qualify for the AFCON 2015.

Unfortunately I have no idea which player is shown above. The source says it is "Traore Lacina", but there is no one named like that in the Sierra Leone squad. Instead Lacina Traore is another Ivorian player.

Serbia 2

Aleksandar Kolarov (Lazio Rome | Italy)
Serbia vs. Germany (1:0) | WC 2010 in South Africa
I just bought that great shirt as a good chance popped up here. I was offered this matchworn U21 shirt by a Serbian collector and only had to pay about 30€ buying it in a bigger bundle.
The design is quite nice and loads better than the plain white one of my old Serbia shirt.
Nevertheless the shirt still reminds me of a very horrible moment in German footballing history - the loss vs. Serbia in the World Cup 2010. This match put loads of pressure on our team that we luckily could withstand leaving the group with Ghana and kicking Serbia out ultimately.
Thanks again "Dresovi" for that great shirt!

Scotland 2

Darren Fletcher (Manchester United | England)
Scotland vs Sweden (0:3) | Euro 2012 qualifier | 2010 in Sweden
As one of my best shirt-mates, Joe, is a Scot I can never enough shirts of "his" team. Besides that Scotland of course always has cracking designs.
This one is the 2010 away version and I got it as a swap from a German collector (together with an old Swiss shirt) for an Uzbek club shirt. So in the end I invested about 30€ for it.
I absolutely love the design as yellow always has been one of my favorite colours and of course the imprinted logo makes it look even great.
I cannot find a good hook to a fun fact about Scotland I learned today, so I will just splash it out. The official national animal of Scotland is... take a seat... the UNICORN. Great! I love the crazy Scots

Saaremaa 2

Martti Pukk (FC Kuressaare)
Saaremaa | Island Games 2007 in Rhodes
All my thanks go again to the Saaremaa legend Martti Pukk for this brilliant shirt! It is the second Saaremaa shirt I have and of course also the second one which is matchworn.
Again they just used the last seasons shirt of the local Estonian pro club FC Kuressaare to play in the Island Games. In this year, 2007, they not even bothered to change the print, but just stitched a yellow bar over the original name print as you can see clearly on the pic.
The shirt again came for a very fair 35€ including shipping to me. Thanks Martti!

Republic of Ireland

Liam Miller (Sunderland AFC | England)
Ireland vs Wales (2:2) | Euro 2008 qualifiers | 2007 in Ireland

FINALLY I could add Ireland to my collection. I am waiting for a proper Ireland shirt for ages now.
Until today I always had a huge problem to buy an Ireland shirt as in my eyes one of the big benefits of international football is that it is about passion, love and pride for your country and not the big money. This is usually reflected in the fact that shirts are generally unsponsored and sponsoring is even forbidden on national team shirts in matches.
However, the Republic of Ireland decided to not follow the worldwide strategy to be "non-commercial", but is instead trying to advert their main sponsor on all of their sold shirts for ages now. Even shirts from the 90s are sponsored!
Of course this does not make the shirt any cheaper for the fans. It just makes the FA a bit richer probably, because thousands of people are carrying around a logo of the sponsor for free.
All that led to the fact that I had to get a matchworn or at least issued shirt to cover Ireland and not to support their sponsoring strategy.
So this one is matchworn by the Irish U21 and was bought on eBay for around 50€ including shipment straight from Ireland.

Now back to the team: I absolutely love the Irish team and especially their fans and highly favorited them during their time with Trappatoni. You have to love a limited team that meets an anti-football loving coach. The combination often leads to glory and also did so for Ireland qualifiying for the Euros 2012 after felt ages without any major tournament. Unfortunately they did not well too good in a tough group and went out winless.
However, the spirit and the amazing fans have been absolutely fantastic!

Donnerstag, 5. März 2015

Oman 2

Mohammed Al-Siyabi (Al-Shabab)
Oman vs. UAE (0:0) | Gulf Cup 2014 in Saudi Arabia
During November 2014 I finally got into contact with the Omani FA, to more precise I got in touch with their media officer. He was very helpful and absolutely keen to get me some shirts for myself and other collectors around. So I ordered 8 of those brand new 2014 Kappa shirts and another 3 of the 2013 Taj shirts with their absolutely cracking design!
Unfortunately something went wrong and the Taj shirts got lost somewhere on the way and never made it to me. But at least I got this great Kappa shirt already. Besides that the good news are that the Omani FA media officer told me that they will re-send the Taj shirts to me so that all collectors will be served.
Thank you a lot dear Omani FA media officer! I really appreciate your help!

Northern Cyprus

Finally! Finally I got a Northern Cyprus shirt! Even though it is pretty plain I absolutely love that shirt, basically because I am hunting this one for 3 years now and finally Orcun, their FA general secretary, handed it over to me when I met him for the first time in person in Skopje. Thanks loads Orcun!
Northern Cyprus is better known to many as Turkish Cyprus and is de-facto independent for more than 20 years now. They also do have an own FA and a running league for nearly the same time and still were never accepted by FIFA, mainly because they are politically only recognized by Turkey.
I really hope that one day Northern Cyprus will be allowed, just as Palestine was, to join FIFA regardless of their political recognition.