Matchworn Zotsara "Zout" Randriambololona 27.09.2022 MDG 🇲🇬 : BEN 🇧🇯 1-1
Contrary to popular belief, Madagascar is not only populated by dancing zoo animals and lemurs. Nicknamed “barea”, after the island’s endemic zebu species, the national team hasn’t yet reached the popularity of the hyperactive DreamWorks characters, but after the country’s recent developments in football, this might change.
After years at the bottom of the FIFA rankings, the "Barea" surprisingly qualified for the Africa Cup for the first time in 2019 - and that's not all!
After spectacular victories against Burundi and the favorites Nigeria, the team managed to qualify for the round of 16 without losing any points, where they defeated DR Congo in a penalty shootout. The end of the Malagasy dream came in the quarterfinals, where they were defeated by Tunisia. Madagascar unfortunately failed to qualify again for the 2021 championship, narrowly trailing Ethiopia by one point. With players from all over the world - including France, Holland, Luxembourg, Moldova, Saudi Arabia and Ireland - Madagascar finally seems to have a competent squad for the long term, which could also cause a surprise or two in the future.
African teams and football jerseys are a strange combination. Sometimes fakes of the big brands are worn, sometimes the brand is changed within the tournament or contracts with brands are simply not fulfilled. In 2021, Madagascar was briefly equipped by Italian manufacturer Macron, only to switch to the domestic manufacturer "Barea" after a few games. Clearly inspired by the country’s former shirt designs, Barea’s attempt is kind of a mess. Nevertheless, I’m more than happy to have received this matchworn rarity from midfielder Zotsara "Zout" Randriambololona.
The shirt features an “aloalo” – a Malagasy totem that is put on the graves of the deceased – in the center of the shirt, as well as some “marbled” looking grey smudges. The highlight of the shirt may actually be the numbers, as they have the fantastic looking new federation badge printed on the bottom. Madagascar’s shirts by Barea are extremely hard to get, so a matchworn version directly from a player is a fantastic addition to the collection.