With the turn of the millennium, a “flood” of Georgian players arrived at the German Bundesliga. Unforgotten are the players that would form SC Freiburg’s “Willi-connection”: Alexander Iashwili, Lewan Kobiashwili, Lewan Tskitishwili and – German player Tobias Willi – who shared the same phonological ending with his Georgian teammates.
As if that weren’t enough, Giorgi Kiknadze, Zaza Zamtaradze also joined the team in 2001 and in the following years, Otar Khizaneishwili, David Targamadze and Lucas Hufnagel followed.
During their successful 2000/01 season (6th place in the Bundesliga) a total of four Georgian players did their bit to secure Freiburg’s participation at the 2001 UEFA-Cup.
However, a couple of seasoned Bundesliga players weren’t enough to secure Georgia’s national team a spot in the 2012 World Cup. While the team was able to win three of their eight qualification games (two times against Lithuania and one victory over Hungary), they ended up in third place, behind Italy and Romania.
I’m incredibly happy to finally be able to incorporate this “georgeous” shirt into my collection.
In my blog post about my matchworn Georgia shirt, I already mentioned that searching for a Georgia jersey within the anglophone Internet is a tedious chore.
To my delight, a fellow collector messaged me and told me, that he found this belter of a shirt on eBay, just waiting for me to release it from its lonely existence. Surprisingly, the seller stopped the auction just after my initial bid, making me the winner of said auction!
The shirt, with its colors based on Georgia’s old flag, screams “90s” and goes to show what fantastic designs Italian brand “Lotto” were creating during the 90s and 00s.
On top of the maroon shirt, they slapped an almost dinner-plate-sized badge that probably rubbed off the left nipples of several Georgian players and can easily be used as a frisbee, once taken off the shirt.