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REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Away 2012/13

Matchworn Francis N'Ganga 02.06.2012 BFA đŸ‡§đŸ‡« : COG 🇹🇬 0-3


Manufacturer: Uhlsport

Source: Collector

 

THE TEAM

If the two Congos were sisters, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa) would certainly be the flamboyant and extroverted one, whereas the Republic of the Kongo (Congo-Brazzaville) would be more reserved and unimposing.

Both Congos, separated by the eponymous river, look back at a turbulent past. While it’s bigger brother once was a Belgian colony and later transformed into the country of Zaïre, the Republic of the Congo used to be French and retained the name “Congo” over the years. To make family matter more complicated, both Congos once had a lost brother, named “Portugese Congo” who has now become Cabinda exclave belonging to Angola.

To end this dry history lesson on a lighter note, I have to mention a Congolese national player that always amused me, when I browsed through the annual “Kicker” special edition: Bongo Christ. While being a kick-ass name for African percussion group, Bongo (from the Congo) used to player for (then) third tier club Hannover 96 and also earned four caps for Congo’s national team. Although he can’t be considered a legendary player, he certainly joins the ranks of other ridiculously named footballers, such as Argelico Fucks and Creedence Clearwater Couto.

The football history of the Republic of the Congo is quickly told: even though they are not a regular in the Africa Cup, the actually won the trophy in 1972. Ever since, their footballing successes restrict themselves to irregular participations in the Africa Cup and a few unexpected performances, such as a 5th place in their 2015 outing in the cup.

 

THE SHIRT

 A couple years ago, I’ve alreaady been able to get my hands on the home version of this shirt. The away shirt by German manufacturer Uhlsport is kept in a thick white fabric with red curves and a prominent black seam on the upper part of the shirt.

It also has a nice fabric badge as well as the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier patches.

The shirt comes from French-Congolose defender Francis N'Ganga, who played the main part of his career for French teams before moving to Belgium team Lokeren.

It’s always nice for a collector to get both the home and away version of a shirt. Considering Republic of the Congo shirts are among the hardest to get, I’m very delighted to add these to my collection.


Francis N'Ganga wearing the shirt in 2012

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