LIECHTENSTEIN

Third 2016

Matchworn by Franz Burgmeier 23.03.2016 GIB ­čçČ­čç« : LIE ­čç▒­čç« 0-0


Manufacturer: Adidas

Source: Former Liechtenstein player

THE COUNTRY

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 werenÔÇÖt 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 ÔÇťkey to the countryÔÇŁ

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 LiechtensteinÔÇÖs 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 allÔÇŽ

Like many small nations, the crux of LiechtensteinÔÇÖs 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 teamÔÇÖs biggest successes are their occasional wins (15 in 40 years) ÔÇô 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 LiechtensteinÔÇÖs 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!


THE SHIRT

ÔÇťThatÔÇÖs boring!ÔÇŁ ÔÇô you might think. And I see where youÔÇÖre coming from. A shirt doesnÔÇÖt get much whiter than this, but thereÔÇÖs 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 ÔÇô all kept in a nifty white. It is then quite literally ÔÇťcrownedÔÇŁ by LiechtensteinÔÇÖs FA badge: a crown that is also found on the countryÔÇÖs flag.


If I still havenÔÇÖt 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 ÔÇťtransitional periodÔÇŁ of three matches ÔÇô before getting their new Adidas shirts ÔÇô the team wore these mysterious white jerseys for no apparent reason. Since IÔÇÖm a big fan of those ÔÇťone-offÔÇŁ 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, IÔÇÖve 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.

Liechtenstein during a friendly match against Gibraltar in 2016


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