ICELAND

Home 2002/03

Matchworn/prepared (player unknown)


Manufacturer: Erreà

Source: eBay

THE COUNTRY

Hhhhhhhu!“*clap*

That’s Icelandic for „collectively-cheering-after-Iceland-won-a-game-in-an-international-tournament”.

After being absent from any big footballing tournament for sixty-nine years, Iceland’s golden generation managed to qualify for the 2016 EURO and the 2018 World Cup subsequently.

Due to their status as an underdog and their devoted effort, as well as their handsome manly Skandinavian faces, they were a fan favorite among men and women alike – hell, even my mother confessed that she had a crush on Rúrik Gíslason, who apparently took part in the Germany version of “Dancing with the Stars”.

Their appearance at the 2016 UEFA EURO was particularly successful, with the team advancing to the Quarter-finals, where they lost 5-2 to France. When they managed to defeat the English team in the Round of 16, an ecstatic “Hhhhhuuu!” (see the difference in spelling due to the German accent?) resounded through every German Biergarten, as the cool Icelanders had already melted our cold Teutonic hearts.

Like everything in life, success is subjected to fluctuations. Consequently, it seems that Iceland’s national team is currently heading for mediocrity again, with the team losing seven of their eight games in 2020, only beating Romania 2-1.

As it seems, it will be a while until we can all clap in unison again…


THE SHIRT

In the past, Iceland’s shirts haven’t been particularly spectacular, with the team using mostly blue templates. In 2002, however, an Italian designer at Erreà had a close look at the meaning of the word “Iceland” and came to the only reasonable conclusion: let’s put some ice floes on the shirt. Also dubbed “the icebreaker”, Erreà’s 2002/03 effort is still the most iconic shirt the country has worn to date, despite the team not quite making it to the 2004 EURO, finishing their table just a single point behind second-placed Scotland.

Every German also still remembers the aftermath of Iceland’s 0-0 draw against the favored German team, when Germany’s coach Rudi Völler lost his temper during an interview, accusing the interviewer of having already drunk 2-3 beers before the interview.

I’ve been after this model for a couple of years, but so far, the shirts I had found were XXL or even XXXL, and while Iceland shirt expert Adam (check out his collection here), assured me that most of the shirts indeed came in giant sizes, I was glad to finally find an medium sized shirt that’s also matchworn! Due to its smaller size, I assume that it was worn by a youth national team, although also regular sized grown-ups could comfortably wear this shirt.

Rúnar Kristinsson also wearing the #6 against Germany in 2006


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