If you’re a football fan, chances are you’ll have at least one jersey from your team in your closet. I’m not saying that you’re not a real fan if you don’t (jerseys are expensive!), but jersey collecting is one of those things that makes football all the more enjoyable.
I myself have quite a large collection, started all the way back in 2016. Over the past five years, I’ve bought countless jerseys, and have made a collection that I can be proud of. Let’s go down memory lane and see what jerseys I’ve accumulated over the years, shall we?
Legend: H - Home, A - Away, C - Champions League, G - Goalkeeper, S - Special Edition, T - Training
16/17 - H, A(21 LAHM), S
My first ever Bayern jersey was the home shirt from the 2016/17 season. A lot of people hate on the collar, but I like the subtle horizontal stripes, and the white shorts. I remember wearing that jersey on my first ever visit to the Allianz Arena in 2017. Good times, good times. Sadly, I ended up ruining that jersey by flocking it with generic number font rather than Bayern font. It still hangs on my wall, just facing the front.
Remember the “For the Oceans” special edition Parley kit? I also got that later that year.
I also got the away kit for that season, but not for another couple of years. I only got it because I saw a really good deal on the internet. Believe it or not, it was on sale for $10(!), and it was legit, so I got it. I got it flocked with Philipp Lahm’s name and number, as it was his final season with the club.
17/18 - H(LAHM 21), H(LEWANDOWSKI 9), H(WAGNER 2), A(MÜLLER 25), C(ROBBEN 10), G(NEUER 1)
This is the one of the only two seasons I have all four jerseys that were released that season. The first home shirt and the goalkeeper shirt were both purchased on my trip to Munich. I first got the goalkeeper shirt, and got it marked with my favorite player in Manuel Neuer, who was sadly injured at the time. I still got to see him come out to receive his Bundesliga medal, though. The home shirt I got after watching captain Lahm play his last ever game(4-1 vs Hamburg) in it. I couldn’t get a pre-flocked one, because evidently I wasn’t the only one who was looking to get a Lahm shirt at the megastore after the game, so they were sold out. I had to get it flocked at the counter.
The away shirt I bought in New York as a birthday gift for myself, but I didn’t get it flocked for a while. The second home shirt I bought on another Munich trip. Robert Lewandowski had scored a hat trick in the game I was at(6-0 vs Hamburg), so naturally I got his shirt to celebrate. I also got my away shirt flocked while I was at the megastore.
The third shirt I bought and flocked at the megastore during yet another trip to Munich. I also got another home shirt because it was another great deal on the internet, and I flocked it with Sandro Wagner’s name and number in Munich. Fun fact, I missed my train to Berlin while flocking that shirt, but I managed to catch up to it at Nürnberg. What an adventure.
18/19 - H(JAMES 11), H(NEUER 1), H(HEYNCKES 11), H(RIBÉRY 7), A(LEWANDOWSKI 9), T
This season starts with a sad story. I bought my first home shirt of the season with James Rodriguez’ name and number, and wore it at the DFB-Pokal final in Berlin. We ended up losing to Eintracht Frankfurt, and it was one of the worst nights of my life. Sigh…
I got my next two shirts in New York, where I was going to school. The away kit I bought just for the heck of it. I know, why buy such a hideous shirt, right? I bought it after we lost a game, if I’m not mistaken. Bad game means a bad shirt. My second home kit was a long sleeve one I got on Black Friday. Both kits I got marked in Munich again, one Lewandowski and one Neuer. Why did I get Neuer flocked on a home shirt? Because I played in goal wearing that shirt - it really helps to wear a long sleeve shirt if you’re a goalkeeper.
During said trip to Munich, I bought another home shirt to celebrate the 1-0 win against RB Leipzig that I was lucky enough to watch. The FC Bayern Erlebniswelt(club museum) was having a special exhibition on our beloved Jupp Heynckes, so I got his name and number, despite the fact that he never played for us.
The final home shirt was purchased on my most recent trip to Munich. It was right after Franck Ribéry’s last home game, so I got my first ever Ribéry shirt. I could have gotten his new shirt for the upcoming season, since we had played our last game wearing the new kit, but I got the old kit for two reasons. One, I had watched Ribéry score three goals in two games while wearing that kit, and I was lucky enough to be in the stadium when he did. Two, the old kit was cheaper due to clearance sales. Can’t ignore that.
Oh, and there’s also the training top. It was a sporadic purchase, but it looks good.
19/20 - H(ROBBEN 10), H(MARTÍNEZ 8), H(MÜLLER 25), H(DAVIES 19), A(LEWANDOWSKI 9), A(MÜLLER 25), C(MÜLLER 25), C(LEWANDOWSKI 9), G(NEUER 1), S(NEUER 1)
Wow, I got a LOT of shirts from this season, didn’t I? 10 shirts from one season, that’s got to be a record. Let’s start from the top.
The first home shirt I got at the club megastore, after Arjen Robben scored his last ever goal for us. It was one of those special flocked jerseys with little pictures on the numbers, celebrating Robben’s glorious 10-year spell with FCB. A few days later, I was wearing said shirt at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, watching us wash away the pain of the previous year by winning the DFB-Pokal final.
I got my next three shirts in New York. The first away kit during a Labor Day sale, the other during another sale, and the first third kit for my birthday. The funny thing is, all three kits are marked with the wrong font, all from the previous season. The away kits both have dark blue numbers rather than the silver of 19/20, and the third kit was marked with the white home kit flock of 18/19 as well. Why? I couldn’t for the life of me find a place that had the current season’s flocking. I had to run all around Manhattan to flock my third kit. But all’s well that ends well.
The next three kits I got in December 2019, from the club’s online shop. I got Javi Martínez’ shirt because I always liked him, and, true story, I saw a video featuring him in a glasses shop window just around the corner from my dorm. Really. I also got a Müller shirt because I realized I had never got a Müller home shirt before, and a Neuer shirt because, well, it had been a while since I’d bought a goalkeeper shirt. I’m wearing the former while writing this piece.
I bought the rest of that season’s shirts whilst quarantining in Brooklyn. It was a very tough period of my life, and getting those shirts made it just a bit easier. The first one I got was the special edition 120-year anniversary kit that we had worn in the 2-0 home win vs Augsburg. I also bought another third kit because I wanted one with the correct orange flock. Finally, I got another home kit with our breakout star Alphonso Davies’ name and number, which arrived a few days before I headed home for Korea.
What a season that was. 10 shirts. It just so happened to be our treble-winning season.
2020/21 - H(LEWANDOWSKI 9), H(CL WINNERS), H(MARTÍNEZ 8), H(NEUER 1), H, A
If the previous season set a record for most shirts in a single season, this season set a record for most purchases of the same shirt, with a whopping five. The first one was bought while I was in Brooklyn, with Lewandowski making the home shirt for the first time in three years. I wore that shirt while watching the DFB-Pokal final, the Champions League final, the two Super Cups, the Club World Cup final, and the Bundesliga title decider the following year. We won all six games.
The second home kit is a special kit with Champions League winners flocking on the front and back. It was a birthday present for me. The third was a farewell tribute to Martínez, who left at the end of the season. I also got a long sleeve version, soon to be marked with Neuer’s 1. Finally, I got a blank kit just because I liked the kit so much. The latter three kits all have the Club World Champions badge on the chest.
There’s a reason I bought so many home shirts from this season. It’s officially the most successful kit in Bayern’s long and rich history, having been worn in seven title deciding matches and won every single one. It was the center stone of a glorious sextuple, plus another Bundesliga title. Heck, even the Frauen won the league in this shirt. A jersey like that deserves to be immortalized.
I also got the away kit last Christmas, to commemorate our 8-2 win over Barcelona wearing that kit. It’s not marked yet, but I’m thinking of getting Müller on the back, considering how well he played in that game.
10/11 A, 16/17 H, 16/17 A(NEUER 1), 18/19 H(KLOSE 11), 18/19 A(KOREA 20), 18/19 G(NEUER 1), 19/21 H, 20/21 A(KLOSE 11)
Obviously, my Germany kit collection is not as extensive as my Bayern collection, but it’s still something special. I got the 16/17 away kit, the dark green/gray one that won the silver medal at the Olympics, just after the Olympics ended. I got the home kit that year as well, as a birthday gift. The disastrous 18/19 season’s kits I got all three, lord knows why. That World Cup was one to forget. But I did have some fun with the away kit, flocking it with the word KOREA, and the numbers 2 and 0. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what that means...wink.
The next home kit I got as soon as it was released, and although it has some bad memories to its name, it was also worn during an average Euro campaign that I’m not too displeased with, and it was worn in all four matches that Hansi Flick has worked his magic in so far. That’s something positive. The away kit I just got because it looks so darn cool, and it was worn in that memorable game against Hungary at the Euros. Hopefully Flick can work his magic in another game wearing that kit as well.
My favorite Germany kit I have as of now, though, is the glorious jet black and gold 10/11 away kit. I got it on eBay, and man, it was worth it. I remember my first ever Germany game, watching them wearing that sleek kit and blowing apart Argentina at the 2010 World Cup. It’s a kit that brings back a lot of memories, and I love it.
You’ll have noticed that I have a few kits with Miroslav Klose’s name and number. Well, he deserves that recognition, he’s Germany’s all time leading goalscorer, not to mention the World Cup’s all time leading goalscorer as well.
16/17 Real Madrid H(RONALDO 7), 16/17 Barcelona H(MESSI 10)
These two I got to honor the two greatest ever players I’ve seen in my life. They may not be my favorites, but they are historic players, and I thought they warranted a purchase.
Surprisingly enough, I don’t have a single Korea jersey. But have you seen Korea’s current jerseys? They’re hideous. They make the mint kit look half decent, and that’s saying something. Hopefully someday Nike will come up with a kit that’s actually worth spending on. Take a look:
On Purchase List
Bayern 21/22 A, 11/13 H, 13/14 H, Germany 14/15 H
These are the kits I don’t have yet, but have full intention of getting in the near future. First, this season’s Bayern away kit, adorned with Hansi Flick’s farewell and Lewandowski’s goalscoring record.
The Bayern home kit from 11 to 13, the glorious gold flocked treble kit, and the Wembley final winning 13/14 home kit are also on my list.
Finally, Germany’s 14/15 World Cup winning kit is in my mind as well. All historic kits, and all very worth every penny. The only question is which do I get first...
So this is my jersey collection so far. A total of 41 shirts, with a couple more on the way. The collection will only get bigger as time goes by, and I wonder how many more kits will be bought, and how many more memories will be made. Every kit is special, and every kit has a memory or more. I’m proud of my collection, and I hope that I can be even prouder of what it will become. Long live my collection, and long live Bayern and Die Mannschaft (and Korea!).