Matchworn Fernando Varela 11.10.14 MOZ 🇲🇿 : CPV 🇨🇻 2-0 19.11.14 ZAM 🇿🇲 : CPV 🇨🇻 1-0
Source: Steaua Bukarest coach
Despite being the fourth smallest member of the CAF, the “Tubarões Azuis” (Blue sharks), as Cape Verde’s national team is nicknamed, have attained some more than respectable achievements in African football. The small Portuguese-speaking island archipelago off the coast of Senegal has just over half a million inhabitants, thus making it difficult to assemble a competitive squad to hold against Africa’s big players. Yet, Cape Verde managed to qualify for the African Cup three times and advanced from the group stages twice: in 2014 they progressed to the quarter finals where they lost 2-0 to the “black stars” of Ghana and, more recently, in 2021 (well, 2022) they lost 2-0 to eventual champion Senegal in the Round of 16.
Currently ranked 72th (as of December 2022) in the FIFA rankings, the team miraculously climbed to the 27th place in 2014.
I’m a sucker for rare jerseys – in the sense of “rarely used” in a match. This shirt by Danish manufacturer “Hummel” is such a shirt. A throwback to the iconic 1986 Denmark design, it comes in a dark blue with silver details and an embroidered badge. The Cape Verdean national team only ever used this shirt in two matches in 2014 before they switched to Portuguese brand “Lacatoni”. It was worn by defender Fernando Varela, who played for Romanian club Steaua Bukarest at the time and later gave it to one of the coaches of his team.