Matchworn by José Abundis 19.01.2000 MEX 🇲🇽 : ROM 🇷🇴 3-1
Everybody knows the ominous bootleg football shirt stalls that are ubiquitous in popular holiday destinations. They usually sell shirts that somewhat resemble the original shirt, but are easily identifiable as a blatant copy.
As I child, all of this didn’t matter to me. Those shops were a magical world of affordable football polyester and 10-year-old me wouldn’t leave from a Mallorca holiday without at least one of them in the suitcase.
25 years later, my view on counterfeit football shirts has shifted. While those really bad copies are harmless and laughable at best, the high-quality counterfeit shirts from China are almost indistinguishable from the original – especially to the unknowing eye – and thus have made it much harder to authenticate the real shirts on platforms like eBay.
In 1999, Mexican fans must have thought that their team was taking the field in poorly copied bootleg shirts. Looking like a rough approximation of its predecessor, ABA Sports iconic “Aztec” jersey, Mexican manufacturer “Garcis” copied the fundamental design idea, but replaced the famous image of the Aztec god “Huītzilōpōchtli” (good look saying that after a few beers…) with the Mexican federation logo.
The result is a shirt that surely wasted its potential, but is a fantastic shirt nonetheless.
A 90’s collar, shiny fabric with a glistening manufacturer logo hardly make a bad shirt. After the successful period wearing the ABA Sport design, however, it was obvious that Garcis’ effort would always be overshadowed by its forerunner.
Despite being somewhat of a copy, the Garcis design is still a very popular shirt, fetching high prices among collectors, given it’s relative rarity compared to the ABA Sport design.
Therefore, I’m even happier that I was able to acquire a matchworn version of this model. Unlike many of the replicas, this shirt comes fully sublimated and features a back number with Garcis’ manaufacturer logo exised.
It was worn in a friendly match against Romania in January 2000 by striker José Abundis, who also managed to score the conclusive goal to secure a 3-1 victory.
Now that it will be hanging next to his ABA Sport brothers, I wonder if they will taunt it for being a knock-off…