Matchworn by Olivier Lechner 06.14.14 IMN 🇮🇲 : MCO 🇲🇨 10-0
Source: Monaco Football Association
Imagine having a large amusement park in your house, but not being allowed to use it. That’s about how the Monégasque people must feel, having a big casino in the middle of their city-state that’s only intended to squeeze money out of the pockets of foreigners, but not their own. Monaco is a sport-crazed country, hosting the renowned Monaco Grand Prix that leads through the city, as well as other big sport events such as the Herculis games (which I accidentally watched as a spectator when I visited Monaco in 2008).
When it comes to football, AS Monaco is certainly the country’s flagship. Consequently, many people don’t realize that the second smallest country in the world has indeed its own national team. While you won’t find them participating in a world cup, let alone the qualification rounds, Monaco’s national team rather competes with the likes of the Vatican national team, Tibet, Occitania or Ellan Vannin. Since its inception in 2000, the team has played no more than 29 friendly matches, with their biggest defeat being a whopping 1-21 against Sápmi during the 2006 VIVA world cup final.
Their squad consists entirely of Monégasque national, which limits the number of eligible players to a pool of 25 players that play on a competent level. As a result, the team is currently struggling to call up a squad for future games, as many players have become too old or started concentrating more on their family and work life.
The shirt is one of the holy grails of my collection. A rare memorabilia of one of the world’s smallest national teams. I have to thank Monaco’s FA Director Laurent Revollon for contributing this gift to my collecting.
Despite being a Nike template, the shirt perfectly fits Monaco’s flag and the fantastic looking stitched badge gives it a classy look. The shirt was worn by Monaco’s all-time record scorer Olivier Lechner during a 0-10 friendly against Ellan Vannin (Isle of Man). It’s possible that it was also used in other games, as the team is known to use their shirts for several years. While older Monaco shirts had sponsor on the chest, the “Ekinsport” lettering is found above the number.