Macedonia had something of an identity crisis since its independence in 1991, causing the country to change its name rather frequently. A longstanding dispute with Greece over the name “Macedonia” forced the country to eventually change its name to “North Macedonia”.
This change of name prompts a few questions:
Since there is a North and South Korea, a North and a South Dakota, a North and a South pole and a North and a South America, where is South Macedonia? In Northern Greece?
As the country was known as the “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, can we now refer to it as “the former former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”?
The question of (North) Macedonia’s biggest footballing achievement, however, can be answered very easily:
After beating Georgia in the 202(1) EURO play-offs, thanks to a goal from Macedonian legend Goran Pandev, the country was able to qualify for a major tournament for the first time in their history.
This is a true gem, in the literal sense of the word! Made by Italian manufacturer GEMS, it is again proof that Italian manufacturers were the masters of making football shirts in the 90s and 2000s.
Kept in the national colors, the shirt features an old-school badge with the country’s former coat of arms, depicting two sheaves of wheat, tobacco and opium poppy fruits (!) as well as the Lake Ohrid, one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes.
Despite their awesome jerseys and having two Bundesliga players in their ranks, namely Darko Pančev and Toni Micevski, the team wasn’t able to qualify for the 1996 EURO.