As a preview of the next podcast our mysterious Brazilian friend Stoppinho (world famous football shirt archivist) is back to talk to us about another shirt from his collection.
Up for review this week is the 1998 Paraguay shirt. I thought it would be high time to get a bit South American on you!
Despite the fact most households were beginning to get computers, my university at the time only had one. Telephone was still the way of making contact, as writing letters to companies did not ensure that that you would: a- Get a reply, b- That they could read the letter and c- Would be tight and send a return letter be sea mail and I’d have to wait 6 months or more for the reply. Whilst using the university’s computer, I was looking high and low for a Colombia home shirt as I was a massive fan of the fuzzball Valderrama. What a player! No one since has come close to the full package that he represented. I found a sports store in Miami that claimed to have the shirt, but of course there was no way to order online.
So the next day I rang them from home and encountered a harshly spoken raspy American voice that told me that they did not have this shirt in stock, but was I interested in a Paraguay top? I rang back the next day and asked to have it numbered and agreed on a price over the phone. Next was going to the local post office for a money order made out in American dollars; and then sending the order over to the store in America. For some time I heard nothing. Zippo. In fact I had even forgot I even ordered it when I my mum accepted the parcel and enquired who the hell did I know in Miami. Anyhow bang! There it was and in my hands. And what a cool retro shirt it is.
This is a shirt that was made by Puma. It has red and white vertical stripes, and has the sewn on Paraguay Football Association logo on the top left side. On the right side is the old skool puma logo. The white puma logo is also printed on the sleeves. The collar is very retro with the multi coloured collar. There is a red border that is distinguishably sewn onto the printing to border where the sleeves meet the main body of the shirt. The material itself has a nice feel and shows minute breathable holes that keep the shirt very lightweight and breathable.
On the back is an interesting touch. A badge is sewn on the upper back, lower neck area, showing the country outline of Paraguay. A very nice touch. I do regret buying the shirt with the number now in hindsight, but back in those days it was difficult to organise and sports shops in Australia just didn’t offer the service. So to actually have the Paraguay shirt numbered was a “hardcore fan “ look and had massive street cred. No lettering was able to be put on with the badge in that area, however most teams didn’t really have the names printed anyway.