Matchworn by Franz Burgmeier 23.03.2016 GIB 🇬🇮 : LIE 🇱🇮 0-0
Source: Former Liechtenstein player
If you ever wanted to run your own country and have a bit of cash to spare, this might be your opportunity!
The small Alpine principality of Liechtenstein was actually offered for rent:
For a mere $70,000 the whole country could be yours for a day! While the 39,000 Liechtensteiner weren’t enslaved to serve their wealthy tenant, a couple of other conveniences were included in the deal:
accommodation for 150 people
a medieval procession
a reception from Prince Hans-Adam II, including the obligatory presentation of the “key to the country”
Apparently, no one ever took the offer, even though it was said that Snoop Dogg was on the verge of doing so...
Although, the idea of ruling a country for a day seems tempting, I would rather spend my money on joining Liechtenstein’s national team for a match.
But despite Liechtenstein being one of the least successful teams in Europe, a mid-thirty beer bellied klutz like me would probably not be a reinforcement at all…
Like many small nations, the crux of Liechtenstein’s failure to develop into a European football powerhouse is obviously the limited selection of world class players, given their small population. Nonetheless, the country has spawned a handful of players that spent their careers in the higher European leagues, with Mario Frick and former goalkeeper Peter Jehle leading the way.
While the national team’s biggest successes are their occasional wins (15 in 40 years) – they also carry the burden of being the only country to ever lose to San Marino (more about that in my San Marino article). More successful that the national selection is Liechtenstein’s biggest club FC Vaduz, who competes in the Swiss League. Despite never lifting the Swiss Super League trophy, they won the domestic cup in Liechtenstein a whopping 47-times!
“That’s boring!” – you might think. And I see where you’re coming from. A shirt doesn’t get much whiter than this, but there’s more than meets the eye!
First of all, there are many nice details like the subtle pattern on the chest and the different types of fabric – all kept in a nifty white. It is then quite literally “crowned” by Liechtenstein’s FA badge: a crown that is also found on the country’s flag.
If I still haven’t convinced you that this is a special shirt, go ahead and google pictures of the national team. I guarantee you that you will only find pictures of the team wearing blue or, on some occasions, red. Yet, during a brief “transitional period” of three matches – before getting their new Adidas shirts – the team wore these mysterious white jerseys for no apparent reason. Since I’m a big fan of those “one-off” shirts usually kept in colors not necessarily associated with the team (like my maroon San Marino), I knew I had to have it.
Over the years, I’ve never come across a specimen, yet, on one fateful day, when I was given the opportunity to buy a whole matchworn shirt collection from a former Liechtenstein international player, I inquired if there was a chance that this particular shirt could somehow be unearthed. And indeed, former player Franz Burgmeier was happy to part with his shirt and even sign it. It was worn, when Liechtenstein played Gibraltar in a friendly in 2016. Coincidentally, my "matchworn deal" also included the corresponding Gibraltar shirt from said match.