UKRAINE

Goalkeeper 2006/08

Matchworn or matchprepared Oleksandr Shovkovskyi

Manufacturer: Puma

Source: eBay

THE COUNTRY

Did you know that Ukraine invented masochism? Well, kind of:

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, after whom the term was coined, was born in Lviv, then part of the Austrian Empire.

The most masochistic the Ukrainian national team has ever been, was probably their recent 7-1 defeat against world champion France. If this caused great sexual pleasure among the players is not documented, head coach and Ukrainian football legend Andriy Shevchenko, however, didn’t look too aroused when the game was finished…

Apart from this shattering defeat, the Ukrainian team is actually the most successful former Soviet country after their Russian neighbors. Despite only qualifying for a single World Cup in 2006, where the team reached the quarter finals, they have now clinched their third consecutive EURO participation.


THE SHIRT

Lotto were the uncrowned kings of great 90s national shirts. It was during the mid-2000s, in what we collectors refer to as “the Great mid-2000s Shirt Demise”, when Lotto shirts became as boring as the ones from the big players. While the outfield players entered the pitch in a design that looked as if they had been impaled from all conceivable angles, Lotto had something great in store for the Ukrainian goalkeepers: a wild futuristic shirt, reminiscent of the experimental designs of the 90s, which gave the goalies an instant space-action-b-movie-look.

Doing my obligatory research, I worked out that this design was only rarely worn, however, goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskyi donned this model during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, so it might be possible that it was indeed worn or prepared for this major tournament.

Anyways, this certainly is a fantastic shirt and serves as a reminder that there were still some gems during an epoch of boring football jerseys.

Oleksandr Shovkovskyi during the 2006 World Cup


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