Matchworn Vesa Tauriainen (game unknown)
Finns are said to be calm and reserved – just like their football shirts, apparently. Plain white with the obligatory three Adidas stripes has basically been the design for the Finnish national team for decades, mirroring the countries uneventful footballing history.
Just last year, Nike finally revealed a really nicely designed pair of shirts for the 2021 European Championship. Taking part in said tournament marked the biggest footballing achievement for the country that rather likes watching men chasing a rubber disc on an ice skating rink.
Finland almost managed to advance to the Round of 16 after defeating Denmark in a game that almost took a tragic turn...
I’ve been after a shirt from the year I was born for quite some time now. Unfortunately, 1986 national team shirts aren’t particularly exciting. It was only in the late 80’s to early 90’s when football shirt manufacturers started making their shirts primarily out of polyester rather than cotton and with that, more flashy designs started appearing.
Besides being plain, 80’s football shirts are also pretty expensive, so, when I found this Finland shirt for a decent price, I had to pull the trigger.
Worn in various matches by Vesa Tauriainen, it follows the aforementioned guidelines for Finland shirts: plain and simple. The shirt features a monumental blue collar and a mostly cotton-based fabric with a nice chequerboard pattern, as well as a sewed-on federation badge. It still comes with the classic Adidas trefoil logo, which was eventually replaced in 1990. As is right and proper for a white matchworn jersey, it has quite a few dirt stains, making it probably the oldest dirt I have in my apartment.
While Maradona’s record-breaking 1986 World Cup jersey would have certainly been a more spectacular addition to my collection, I’m quite happy to finally have a shirt in my collection that has managed to survive the last three and a half decades and that is also starting to show first signs of decay – just like my thirty-five-year-old body!