Matchworn by Pambos Pittas 18.08.1999 CYP 🇨🇾 : ROM 🇷🇴 2-2
The Republic of Cyprus is a weird hodgepodge of borders, claims, territories, zones, and agreements, with the Greek part of Cyprus, the Turkish, Brits and also the UN all contributing to this political mess. I go into detail about the country’s history in my article about Northern Cyprus, but with a spectacular shirt like this, I don’t want to bore you with political facts.
Sitting right in the middle of the FIFA table, the Cyprus national team certainly had its ups and downs, especially from 2010 to 2014, when the team dropped a whopping 100 places, from their highest position (43rd) to the 142nd place.
During the 2016 EURO qualifiers, Cyprus had a realistic chance to qualify for the play-offs, but due to a narrow loss against Bosnia, they finished their group in fifth place.
Picking the best Cyprus shirt is a straightforward decision: among loads of simple blue or white shirts, there’s one stand out design: Erreà’s 1996 effort ticks all the boxes of a great 90’s football shirt! It features a huge print of the federation badge across the whole shirt, a neat collar and it comes in the size of a tent.
The pattern on the shirt looks like a giant QR-code and was most certainly the inspiration for said technology (or maybe not). Scanning it with my smartphone revealed that I’ve won a lifetime supply of halloumi cheese (or maybe not).
It was worn in a friendly match against Romania by defender Pambos Pittas, which sounds like “pompous pittas” and makes me want to visit my favorite Greek diner.
Despite its age, the shirt is basically in mint condition, aside from a few dirt spots on the front number. And now excuse me, I’m gonna get me some gyros…