ANDORRA

Did you know that Andorra is the only team whose (co-)head of state has the same name as their kit supplier?

Nestled high in the Pyrenees, the tiny Catalan-speaking nation can’t really be considered a football powerhouse, but despite their less than 80,000 inhabitants, Andorra has always managed to team up a squad that could put up a fight even against way bigger opponents.

The team has only three competitive victories to their credit (against Macedonia, Hungary and Moldova - as well as three wins in friendly matches), but despite a 8-1 and 7-0 loss against the Czech Republic and Croatia, respectively, they have never rolled over, achieving respectable result against teams like France or England.

Andorra has actually one of the youngest national teams in the UEFA, with the Andorran Football Federation being formed in 1994. Two years later, the country fielded their first squad in a 1-6 defeat against Estonia - a country that would face Andorra twelve times over the years. 

 

Whilst the team predominantly consists of amateurs, playing in the domestic league, there is indeed a world record holder in their ranks! Team captain Ildefons Lima Solà is not only the countries’ top scorer with eleven goals – which is quite remarkable for a centre-back – but with 127 played matches also their most-capped player. Gaining his first outing in 1997 during Andorra’s second ever match, Lima has consecutively played a whopping 23 years for his country, making him the longest-serving player of any national team and gaining him an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. Along with Finland’s legend Jari Litmanen, Ildefons Lima is the only player, whose international career spanned four decades!

But the best part is: Ildefons is a shirt collector with an incredible collection of matchworn shirts!

 

As a supporter of small national teams, I was always rooting for the Faroe Islands and Andorra. Having seen Andorra’s fantastic shirt designs over the years, I decided to collect all the Andorra shirts I can find. 

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