Freitag, 25. September 2015

Palestine 2



Jaka Ihbeisheh (Rudar Velenje | Slovenia)
Palestine vs. Saudi Arabia (2:3) | WC 2018 Qualifiers
2015 in Saudi Arabia
I owe a HUGE thanks to Mr Jaka Ihbeisheh!
Jaka was so good to keep a shirt of his last trip to the Asian qualifiers for Russia 2018 and send it to me to add it to my collection. As he lives and plays in Slovenia the logistics were quite easy luckily, but still it is very special to me to get such an amazing and rare shirt straight from a player!
Even better he signed that beauty for me to make it just perfect!
Once again: THANK YOU Jaka for this amazing shirt :)

Germany 3



Miroslav Klose (1.FC Kaiserslautern)
Germany vs. Greece (4:2) | WC 2002 qualifiers
2001 in Greece
This shirt beats it all - at least for a German like I am!
It is a Germany shirt in the design of the worst times that I personally experienced with my glory national team. We were absolutely disgusting in the 2000 Euros and could not even beat Latvia in the group stages.
However, after that the huge change came and we went from strength to strength until we lifted the trophy of the World Cup in 2014 finally!
This chance in fact has one name: The best ever World Cup scorer, the best ever goalscorer of the German national team and the guy who could score with every single part of his body - Miroslav Klose!
When Miroslav Klose just started his career for the national team he still played for 1.FC Kaiserslautern and usually was only a substitute. He was thrown in for the first time in a World Cup 2002 qualifier match vs. Albania in which he decided the match with a 89' minute goal in his debut!
4 days later he played as a subsitute again and was thrown in against Greece when the match was still looking to go down as a draw. Minutes after he was brought in he scored the 3:2 and Germany won 4:2 in the end.
And here we are - this is the match this shirt is from! It is a matchworn shirt of exactly that match!
It came as a swap for a Belarus shirt, which is crazy, and is a very historic piece of polyester for me.
I am over the moon with that and will not loose any more words about it as this one speaks for itself.

remark: Even if it should not be worn (you never know 100% for sure) it is amazing as it is an exact copy of the matchworn one then.

Gibraltar



Gibraltar vs. Croatia (0:4)
friendly 2015 in Croatia
 This shirt again has it all - an amazing design, it is matchworn and it comes "for free" and with an odd story!
As I am living "only" a 3h drive away from Luxembourg and took the chance and watched 2 matches of their national team - a qualifier vs. Ukraine and a friendly match vs. Turkey. Surprisingly Luxembourg lost both matches and to be fair - the football wasn't the best on both sides in both matches.
But I could see international football for a tenner and Ukraine and Turkey both brought an amazing away crowd to Luxembourg and made a great atmosphere. Against Luxembourg the Luxembourg "Ultra block" also fired a pyro and was a bit scared of that in the end :D
During one of those matches - I think the one vs. Turkey - I met Max, who is a shirt collector from Luxembourg and also works for the FA.
He asked me to give him a Belarus shirt I had with me by accident and I gave it to him asking him to send me a matchworn Luxembourg in exchange.
Somehow he struggled to get a Luxembourg shirt in my size (which was for some reason important to him, not to me, though) for more than half a year. After putting some less gentle pressure that I want my swap now he just send me that to get me quiet - and of course I was!
This is a Gibraltar matchworn shirt from the match against Croatia that Max swapped with a Croatian FA worker. So it is definitely legit and it is an absolutely beauty of a shirt!
So, after all, I thank Max for this amazing shirt that I absolutely love to add to my collection :)


Macedonia 4



Macedonia FA shirt presentation 2014
Well, not much to say about this plain yellow shirt. It comes from the Macedonian FA directly, which just opened a fan shop. A friend of mine bought it there and just gifted it to me as I helped him with some shirt before. He does not want to be named, though.
The shirt is quite "simple" and straight, but still one of the best shirts the FFM did have for now. Unfortunately I could not find a picture of this one being used in a match. Can you help ?

Canada 2



Nikolas Ledgerwood (SV Wehen Wiesbaden | GER)
Canada vs. Panama (1:1) | Gold Cup 2011 in USA
WHAT A SHIRT! This one is a very special piece in my collection, as this is the first shirt I own that is not only matchworn, but was actually worn in a tournament, not a friendly or qualifier.
The shirt was worn by Nikolas Ledgerwood during the Gold Cup 2011 and came to me from a German collector who does have a couple of contact to German clubs, including MSV Duisburg, where Ledgerwood played later.
This shirt was one of the most expensive I ever bought with 100€, but it worth every single penny indeed. Adding to the amazing history of the shirt I have to say that this is one of the better Canada designs as well. My last Canada shirt was plain ugly, but this one comes in style!
Thanks again Michael for that amazing find!

Sonntag, 20. September 2015

Argentina 3



Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona, Spain)
Argentina vs. Peru (3:1) | 2014 World Cup Qualifiers
2013 in Argentina
This shirt is again a huge oddity. I got this, just like the Northern Ireland shirt of Healy, from a collector in Argentina who claims that he has contacts to several kitsmen within South America.
So he sent me, as a swap, this Argentina shirt stating that it is matchworn by Gonzalo Higuain.
Unfortunately the patches are applied vice-versa! So the qualifier patch is on the left arm, not the right as it has to be according to FIFA regulations. The same is true for the Fair Play patch, which is applied on the right here.
Of course I confronted my Argentinian fellow collector with that oddity and here is his reply:
"I spoke with the kitman. The shirt was used by Erik Lamela, not Gonzalo Higuain , but Erik don´t play this match. He was the 90 min in the bench. and because the substitutes had a jacket, nobody was noticed about the patches. The kitman met some jerseys and shorts in a bag and then he gave them to me . He was shocked when I told him about the patches."

Well, ok. As I am always a sceptical mind I absolutely fail to believe that, especially as the other shirt he sent me wasn't legit as well. So, once again, I was trapped as it seems!

Northern Ireland 2



David Healy (Leeds United, England)
Northern Ireland vs. England | 2006 World Cup Qualifier
2005 in Northern Ireland
 I got this shirt from a very trusted seller from Argentina, who has some excellent connections to several Argentinian kitsmen. Besides that, he swaps quite a lot of his, for him worthless, South American shirts with collectors all around the world and was able to source this one through that.
I again swapped that with a Belarus shirt, because I have more than enough of those ;)
This one was swapped to me as a matchworn shirt. Unfortunately it turned out that it cannot be matchworn as the match detail print on my shirt says "07.09.2015" while match pictures clearly show that they only printed "07.09.05" on it.
I guess the match detailed where just applied at any time later.
Of course I am a bit disappointed, especially as this, in my eyes, ruins the shirt even as a fan shirt, but that is unfortunately what happens all the time...

Ellan Vannin 2



Sean Quaye (St Georges AFC)
Ellan Vannin vs. Panjab (8:1) | 2015 Niamh Challenge Cup in Douglas
I'd like to thank the president of the Manx Independent Football Association (MIFA) Malcolm Blackburn that he brought me this matchworn Ellan Vannin shirt to Debrecen, Hungary, when we met at the 2015 European Football Cup (where Ellan Vannin finished 3rd while Padania won the title).
The shirt comes from the Niamh Challenge Cup 2015, a friendly tournament that acted as a qualifier for the 2016 World Football Cup in Abkhazia and that Ellan Vannin hosted and won.
More importantly the whole tournament was a charity event for the benefit of the charity "Niamh's next step".
All the players had the name "Niamh" printed on their shirt and the shirt was especially design in a way that Niamh, a little girl that died from Neuroblastomia, would probably love it.
The pink colour and the rainbow are the trademark design of Niamh's next step, which was founded by Niamh's parents to fund research on Neuroblastomia.

The shirt is definitely matchworn and was the only one that "went out" of the FA as far as I know. So it is quite a unique one. In the picture above you can see the 2009 player of the year from the Isle of Man, Sean Quaye, wearing this shirt in the semi-final of the tournament vs. Panjab, which was beaten 8:1.
Thanks again Malc for an amazing shirt that gives a totally new colour splash to my collection! I love it!

Dominican Republic



Dominican Republic U15
CFU tournament in Sint Maarten
This Dominican Republic was quite a process to get. A collector from the Dominican Republic contacted me through this blog telling me that his dad was involved in the Dominican Republic FA and that he will get me a shirt as a swap for a Somalia shirt.
I sent him one of my Somalia shirts and the Dominican Republic shirt did not came - for about 1 and a half year. However, Gabriel, the guy from Santo Domingo, kept informing me about the current status.
First the Dominican Republic delayed the sale of national team shirts a couple of times. Then he was not in DR. Then he had problems to post it. And so on.
As I did make some bad experiences, as any collector, I started to doubt that this shirt will ever come to.
It popped up everywhere in online shops and I though about just buying one - but somehow my inner voice told me to delay until my fellow collector from the DR will stop replying (I was sure that this will happen one day).
But suddenly, Gabriel wrote me that he posted the shirt by Express to me! And indeed, it arrived shortly after that, straight from the Dominican Republic.
What followed after 2 days of shipping from Dominican Republic to Germany was 2 weeks of fighting with UPS, which ended in UPS charging me "service fees" of nearly 30€ for nothing. But, finally, I won that case and threatened to report their fraud to the police. They returned all the money to me then and let down all their requests in the end.

So, after all, I got this beauty of a shirt. It was a long fight, but it worked. I am quite happy with it and think that this design is surely one of the nicest in CONCACAF currently. However, it was not used by the A national team yet. So after waiting so long for the shirt I now need to wait on until they finally wear it in any official match. At least the U15 (see above) wore it in the meantime.
Thank you Gabriel and keep on collecting :)

Kosovo



Enis Alushi (1.FC Kaiserslautern)
Kosovo vs. Haiti (0:0), friendly 2014 in Kosovo
I do have that amazing shirt for quite a while now already thanks to my mate Joe from Scotland for a price of about 60€ incl. shipping if I remember correctly.
However, I somehow simply forgot to update this gem. But in fact I absolutely love this shirt for several reasons:
1. Enis Alushi does now play at FC St.Pauli, which is my favorite club, and is absolutelly stunning there. Surely one of the best players this season so far.
2. I do feel some connection to Kosovo. My father, who was a soldier in the German army, went to Kosovo as part of KFOR three times and mainly built a lot of infrastructure there. For that reason (but not only that reason) I wanted to see how Kosovo really is and went there in September 2014. I can only say that it was amazing! I went to Prizren, which is surely one of the nicest cities in the whole Balkans, if not Europe, and to Peja, where I stayed in a remarkable 5 star hotel and had an amazing time.
But what makes Kosovo absolutely outstanding is its stunning nature and mountains and, most of all, the amazing Kosovars. I rarely met that many impressively nice people everywhere. In fact I felt like home in a country I have never been to before! But, I am sure, I will come back!
3. As CONIFA general secretary I am always working for the good of non-FIFA football and of course there is always a little hope that some of the CONIFA members will make a step further one day and will "promote" to the biggest of all stages. Kosovo did not achieve that, yet. However, they advanced from playing only non-FIFA matches with non-professional players to some level of "acceptance" by FIFA. They are know officially allowed to play friendly matches against FIFA members, even though they cannot play in any FIFA tournaments.
The shirt above was worn in the first ever matches of that kind - a 0:0 draw against Haiti.

Thanks again to Joe and the US shop he sourced this shirt from! I love it and Alushi and Kosovo will get a special place in my collection.