Matchworn Maksim Valadzko 10.10.17 FRA 🇫🇷 : BLR 🇧🇾 1-2
I was lucky to visit the beautiful city of Minsk in 2019, as with the recent developments in Belarus and the ongoing pandemic, it has become almost impossible to enter the country as a tourist.
While my primary reasons to fly to Belarus was to visit its capital, see the sights, eat the food, drink the beers and meet the people - of course - I had to hunt for a Belarus as well.
I originally intended to buy both 2016/18 Adidas models, but since the team already made the switch to Macron, these were nowhere to be found.
Back home, my target became to find a matchworn version of both Adidas shirts. A year later, I was able to add the black away jersey to my collection, and I also found a replica of the home shirt, but I wasn’t satisfied…
Luckily, a fellow collector agreed on a swap and I was finally able to acquire this beauty!
For the smaller European football nations that were supplied by Adidas, the years from 2016 to 2018 were awful when it came to their football jerseys. Being responsible for the UEFA “Kit Assistance Scheme”, Adidas decided to give the same basic template to each of the participating countries.
While countries like San Marino or Andorra settled for wearing plain 20€ shirts, someone at the Belarusian football federation had a great idea: customizing the shirts with traditional Belarusian decorative pattern and turn a boring piece of polyester into a unique design. Embellished with a gorgeously embroidered badge (that’s also the country’s coat of arms), it quickly became one the most sought-after designs of any European national team shirt.
My shirt was worn by defender Maksim Valadzko (sometimes spelled “Maksim Volodjko”) in a World Cup qualifier against France, where Belarus managed to achieve a respectable 2-1 defeat. As you can see on the picture below, Valadzko seems to be focused on not getting the shirt dirty.