Matchprepared Michalis Siimitras 08.09.1999 ESP 🇪🇸 : CYP 🇨🇾 8-0
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.
In the 90’s, goalkeeper shirts were blank canvases for mad shirt designers, waiting to be painted with the most wonderous and bizarre shapes and patterns imaginable.
When one of Erreà’s shirt designers’ eyes fell on his son’s cornflakes box, one morning, inspiration struck. A kids pen maze on a football shirt? Would that look good? By law, no goalkeeper shirt design idea could be rejected by a manufacturer, so the designer went to work and created a football shirt maze fever dream, that would keep opponent strikers asking “How the hell can I get to the Erreà logo in the center of this maze?”, thus robbing them of valuable seconds to score while approaching the goalkeeper.
Looking at the result of Cyprus’ EURO qualifier against Spain in 1999, this thesis could be disputed, though. Despite wearing this a-maze-ing shirt, the Spanish players apparently did not aim for the center of the intricate labyrinth, but rather put the ball well beyond that, scoring eight goals in total.
My shirt was prepared for substitute goalkeeper Michalis Siimitras, who never played in this shirt, unfortunately, but therefore it is still in impeccable condition.
And now excuse me, I have to find the way to the Erreà logo…