Matchworn (player unknown) 20.05.10 ARU 🇦🇼 : VEN 🇻🇪 0-3
Aruba already broke away from the Netherlands Antilles, which were dissolved in 2010, in 1986, making it the first country in the archipelago to become part of FIFA. For an island that is part of the Dutch kingdom, has just under 100,000 inhabitants and regularly loses its best players to the Netherlands, the sporting success is limited. This is also reflected in its position in the FIFA world rankings, where Aruba is currently ranked 193rd. In 2015, they climbed to a respectable 112th place by beating the British Virgin Islands 7-0, among others.
However, Aruba's greatest success remains winning the ABCS (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao and Suriname) tournament in 2012, where they defeated Suriname in the final.
Striking in color, the jersey offers only the minimum that a football jersey can offer. Bright yellow, a red collar and light blue stripes on the sleeves and sides certainly won't win any design awards. Even the manufacturer's logo is nowhere to be found – not even on the inside of the shirt, where there is only a small label with the letter "L". A somewhat "frayed" looking number is emblazoned on the front and back and, like the federation logo and the thick "Aruba" lettering, is sublimated into the shirt.
Nevertheless, the jersey with its naive simplicity is something special, as it shows that not every football nation takes to the pitch in fancy designer gear with built-in "fans" to realize the big dream of participating in the World Cup.
My jersey was worn in 2010 during a friendly match against Venezuela, in which Aruba lost 0-3. Unfortunately, it was not possible to find out exactly which player was wearing the shirt, except that it must have been one of the five substitutes who took the field during the match.
The Aruban national team wore this design, as well as an almost identical jersey, for almost five years from 2008 to 2012, until it was finally replaced by a new model, also without the manufacturer's logo.