Away 2018 (Rejected design)
Let’s start with something fun: math!
China has a population of 1,4 billion people! With a world population of about 7,8 billion people, that means that more than every 5th human is Chinese. If you take a look at your own family, there are probably 2-3 family members that are Chinese!
Iceland, the smallest country (by population) to ever participate in the FIFA World Cup, only has 360,000 inhabitants.
Just to put that into perspective:
China has 3,900 times the population of Iceland (check if you have any Icelanders in your family – I bet you don’t!).
Yet, both countries have one thing in common: they both have qualified for the World Cup a single time.
Even their massive population, an enormous investment in football infrastructure and the fact, that there are rather easy opponents in the AFC, haven’t helped to transform the Chinese national team into a serious threat.
So, what’s the secret weapon to become a better nation, even though you don’t have (m)any talented players that can compete on the highest level (I’m not claiming there aren’t talented Chinese players!)? Naturalization!
With Nico Yennaris, Tyias Browning and Elkeson (the son of Elke?), the Chinese squad now has some not-so-Chinese-sounding names in their ranks.
This shirt is a thing of beauty, no doubt about it!
Unfortunately, it has never seen the light of a football pitch. Despite being presented and even sold for a very short time (apparently only a couple hours), the Chinese Football Association rejected the shirt last minute, for no particular reason. There have been rumors that this decision had to do with the use of the color black or the style of the dragon resembling tattoo art, which wouldn’t be conform with the strict anti-tattoo policy the Chinese FA has. Regardless of the reason, the fact that China has deprived the football world of ever seeing this magnificent shirt being worn on a football pitch, is yet one of many human right violations the country has committed.
All the more happy am I, that this handsome piece of polyester has found its way into my wardrobe, so I can marvel at its stylish design, while the rest of the football world has to put up with looking at China’s much more boring yellow away shirt, that was chosen instead.
My dragon shirt even received a little sister in the form of the women’s away jersey, which features a bunch of phoenixes (is there even a plural form?) and was deemed more appropriate by the Chinese federation.
WATCH OUT! There are tons of pretty convincing fakes of this shirt around!
One of the giveaways is the lighter color of the dragon pattern and the different shades of yellow of the dragon and the strip in the neck.