Matchworn (Player unknown) in a charity match 06.06.07
Manufacturer: Grand Sport
After former national icon Aung San Suu Kyi's fall from grace, Myanmar desperately needs another hero. One potential candidate is Japanese football legend Hidetoshi Nakata.
I’m not sure what ties the former Roma player has to the Southeast Asian country, but it was enough to prompt the Myanmar football federation to invite him to a charity match and print the slogan “We Love Nakata” on their shirts.
There isn’t much information on the internet about said match, other than that it was organized to raise money for the country’s youth teams. The sides that faced each other were the national team and a squad comprised youth players and legends.
Nakata, who took the field captaining Myanmar’s national team, managed to score a goal and spent the rest of his time in the country “studying traditional culture and the heritage of Myanmar” – quite a fruitful week!
This jersey has to be one of the stranger ones in my collection. Made by Thai manufacturer “Grand Sport”, the rather unspectacular shirt features a nicely embroidered federation badge, depicting the country’s old flag, as well as the Nakata print on the front.
One of the few pictures I could find of the match suggests, that at least two models of this shirt were used, with Nakata donning a collarless version, while the player next to him wears the same model that I received.
Brazilian coach Marcos Falopa, who managed Myanmar’s national team at the time, was the original owner of this shirt, before he gave it to a collector friend, who thankfully left it to me.
As someone who visited the stunning country (and caught Dengue fever in the process), I’m especially happy to now have a matchworn shirt of Myanmar in my collection, particularly from such an interesting event.