Matchworn or matchprepared Cuauhtémoc Blanco
Manufacturer: ABA Sport
Click here to listen to Mexico's "national anthem":
¡Arriba, Arriba! ¡Ándale, Ándale!
(Speedy Gonzales, *1955)
These might have been the first words that introduced me to Mexican culture – or at least a cartoonish stereotype of sombreros, El Mariachi, tequila, la cucaracha and cacti. My second encounter with Mexico might have been Jorge Campos’ flamboyant jerseys during the 1994 World Cup and, four years later, this iconic piece of polyester.
As an eleven-time (and therefore record-)COCACAF Gold Cup winner, the Mexican national team basically had a subscription for the FIFA World Cup and yielded great players like Hugo Sánchez, Rafael Márquez, Luis Hernández, Javier Hernández “Chicharito” and many more.
In 2019 I finally had my third encounter with Mexican culture, when I was able to experience this beautiful country first-hand. And while some of the stereotypes turned out to be true, I wasn’t able to find a mouse with a sombrero and ADHD, however, there was una cucaracha in one of our AirBnBs….
What’s there to say, that hasn’t been said about this spectacular shirt? Top 3 stuff right there! (2nd place in BBC’s “Top football shirts to wear before you die list”)
The iconic Aztec calendar inspired design by Mexican manufacturer ABA Sport was allegedly designed within twenty minutes and has since then become an absolute cult kit that fetches ridiculous prices on eBay and such.
Already owning the home kit, I actually wasn't planning to get the away or third shirt, but when I found this beauty for an amazing price, I had to get it.
While doing my research, I found out, that replicas of the white version with names and numbers haven't been sold, and Mexican collectors confirmed, that this is probably a matchworn or issued shirt for striker Cuauhtémoc Blanco, who scored 39 goals in 120 appearances for his country. Blanco even invented his own trick, the "Cuauhtemiña", which made it to every football ground in the 90s and is performed by trapping the ball between your feet and then jumping and releasing the ball, thus, escaping the baffled opponent.
A matchworn version of arguably one, if not THE greatest national shirt of all time is certainly one of the most treasured shirts in my collection.