Matchworn (player unknown) 17.04.94 ENG 🏴 : GRE 🇬🇷 5-0
The prefix „anti“ originates from the Greek word “ἀντί“ and simply means “against”.
It has blessed us with beautiful word creations such as “anti-war”, “antidiarrheals”, “Antichrist”, “anti-anti” or “anti-football” – the latter being a common description of the type of football the Greek national team practiced when they surprisingly won the European Championship in 2004.
Led by experienced German coach “King Otto" Rehhagel, Greece, who alongside Latvia were considered the underdogs of the tournament, relied on an experienced and defensively-oriented squad and a clear strategy:
build a wall in front of the goal.
With a lot of elbow grease (or dare I say “elbow-GREECE") and a minimized version of football, the Greek team somehow managed to bumble through the group stages, leaving the tied Spaniards behind.
During the knock-out-stages Rehhagel made hardly any tactical changes and eventually, after only scoring a total of six tournament goals, the Greek team miraculously made it to the big final where they faced host Portugal.
In a dull game, Angelos Charisteas used one of Greece’s few chances to put his team in front. In the further course of the game, the Greek con-Crete (see what I did there?) wall was able to withstand the tireless onslaught of the Portuguese team, securing Greece a more than unexpected victory in the world’s second biggest footballing tournament.
“This shirt is the tits!”(Plato, 1993)
While it has nothing to do with Greek’s greatest triumph, it certainly played a role in the country’s biggest footballing achievement until 2004 – their first appearance in a World Cup!
Used in 1993 and 1994, the shirt was worn when Greece won their qualification group unbeaten - two points ahead of the favored Russian team (you could say that qualification campaign was easy as π for them…)
For some reason, though, someone decided to equip the team with dull blue shirts for the actual World Cup, which naturally caused the team to lose all of its mojo and thus finishing the tournament without a single point and a goal difference of -10, as the worst team of the 1994 World Cup.
Made by Italian manufacturer Diadora, the shirt features multiple geometric patterns filled with different shades of blue, giving the shirt an almost a watercolor look. As is right and proper for the 90s, the jersey comes with a nice, buttoned collar and even more geometric shapes, sparkling inside the fabric.
There are apparently different versions of this shirt: for the first games, Greece wore the shirt with an embroidered badge and manufacturer logo, while later versions feature printed logos.
There is no doubt that this shirt is the best Greece shirt ever and one of the best national shirts of the 90s, yet, it is rarely featured in any “top lists”.
After owning a short-sleeved replica for a couple years, I finally managed to get my hands on this long sleeve player shirt worn in/issued for the game against England in 1994. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure out who wore number 17 in said match.