Sonntag, 7. Dezember 2014


Alo Bärengrub (Nomme Kalju)
Estonia vs. Jordan (1:0) | friendly 2014 in Tallin
This shirt is absolutely amazing - maybe one of the most amazing in my whole collection. I do not really know where to start about this one, so I will just tell the story of the shirt chronologically.

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!

Portugal 2

This is the other black and white anti-racism shirt I recently bought. It came from a German collector and cost me only 15€ including shipment. It carries the name of an uprising star at this time - C.Ronaldo. He was far away from his status today, but he lost major awards at this time already.
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!

Brazil 2

This shirt was bought on for approximately 15€ including shipping (within the UK).
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.


Norway 2010
Yes, I am the worst photographer ever! I know! But it is winter over here, light is crap and it is not even my camera I use. So please apologize that again! I am working on getting new equipment soon enough hopefully to do more professional pictures and restart the whole blog on wordpress then!

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.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone vs. Cameroon (0:0) | AFCON 2015 qualifier | 2014 in Cameroon
Another shirt I got from Nick is this Sierra Leone one. It is, like my South Sudan shirts, made by the Australia-based supplier AMS that specializes on African teams.

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!


Zimbabwe vs. Tanzania (0:1) | AFCON 2015 qualifiers | 2014 in Tanzania
Thanks a lot again to Nick for selling me this amazing shirt. I also have to apologize to all the readers of my blog as I did lie a little bit to everyone about Zimbabwe. In fact the ones listed here under "Zimbabwe" and "Zimbabwe 2" are not in my collection anymore. As they were identically I swapped away the not matchissued one first. Later I went to the Isle of Man and couchsurfed there. My host was a very nice Zimbabwean-born guy and I somehow felt that I should give him a guest present, which was the story how the matchissued one left me.
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!

Guinea Bissau 2


Guinea Bissau vs. Botswana (0:2) | AFCON 2014 qualifier in Botswana
First of all I need to apologize for those poor quality pics. Unfortunaltey, as a totally bad photographer, I was unable to capture all the beauty of this neon shirt.
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! :)


Paraguay vs. Mexico
I finally bought a Paraguay football shirt from the German ebay pages for only 15€ including shipping costs.
The shirt itself is really of a poor quality and even worse is sized XXXL, which makes impossible for me to ever wear it.
The classic red-white striped design is kind of boring to me, like all the designs that never changed over time (like Germany!).
Nevertheless, another step to the 209 shirts is done by that for a reasonable price, which is all that counts here.

Samstag, 1. November 2014

New Zealand

New Zealand vs. Jordan
It is done! I completed a continental zone! I own a jersey of each of the member nations of the OFC!
My thanks go to Timon Bühler, a guy I came into contact with through a German shirt collector Facebook page and who swapped this great match issued New Zealand U21 shirt with me for an Iceland shirt.
Thanks again for helping me achieving a first mini-step on the way to finish the mission. Only 5 more continental zones left now!

Sonntag, 12. Oktober 2014


Montenegro vs. Sweden (1:1) | Euro 2016 qualifiers | 2014 in Montenegro
Getting this Montenegro shirt was kind of a struggle and in the end costed me 40€ and a whole holiday!
For my summer vacation I went to a 2 weeks roundtrip through the Balkans (Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania) and of course finally wanted to get an official Montenegro shirt. To get that I googled and found out that there is a shop called "Italsport Montenegro" that sells shirts in 2 stores in the center of Montenegro. Both are touristically uninteresting, but Niksic, the second biggest city of the country, was at least on our way.
So I used the first 3 holidays to convince my girlfriend to go into the city center and search for the shop. We did and in the end found out that the shop closed. Feeling how disappointed I obviously was my girlrfriend proposed to just go on to Podgorica before heading to the coastline.
So we entered Podgorica and went to the stadium (we needed nearly an hour to find it as it more looks like a shopping mall) and went to the second shop of Italsport. In fact they sold a couple of Montenegro shirt. Some fakes and this original!
As red/yellow is one of my favorite colour-combinations I absolutely love the shirt and as always Legea did a great job with all details.
Besides that I can only recommend Montenegro as a tourist destination. I shouldn't tell anybody to avoid masses of tourists entering Montenegro, but to be fair it is one of the greatest countries I have ever been to offering all from amazing canyons (Tara Canyon) to historic medieval cities like Kotor to great beaches in Budva or Bar. All this in a size that allows you to cross the whole country in 3 hours in each direction! This little country is purely and seriously gifted!

South Sudan

South Sudan vs. Mozambique (0:5) | AFCON 2015 qualifier, in Mozambique

South Sudan vs. Mozambique (0:0) | AFCON 2015 qualifier in Sudan
Thanks a lot to Nick for this South Sudan shirts. Nick bought the shirt directly from AMS and does stock those shirts in his own online shop now.
AMS Clothing, an Australian brand, is an amazing start-up that concentrates on equipping African "smaller" national teams and makes them easily available for fans worldwide. It was founded by another shirt collector, Luke Westcott, from Melbourne. When Luke struggled to finish his collection (as we all do) he started to print a couple of shirts on his own, which means he bought the same templates and ironed on the badges then. He also sold a couple of those professionally done replicas and thus could allow himself to found a new shirt supplier that currently equips South Sudan and also the Sierra Leone national team.
The shirt itself has a cracking design and has a shirt can have: colours, random "swooshes" and the flag. Just a great combination. The only thing that makes it a look a bit "cheap" is the print-on logo. I hope AMS chooses to iron on or glue their next logo to have an excellent shirt!