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This is my attempt to collect a national football shirt from each of the 211 FIFA members.

Republic of Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Away, 2005/06

republicofirelandfootballshirt

I'm Irish, so this is one of a few Ireland jerseys I have.  We've had a lot of bad shirts over the Umbro years, but I actually like this one quite a bit.  Like any Irish jersey (barring rare finds) that is sold in the shops, it comes with a sponsor on the front.  This practice began in the late 80s when the FAI signed a sponsorship deal with car manufacturer Opel, which unfortunately for fans, had a clause that their logo would be plastered across the front of all replicas.  This set a precedent, and Eircom and then Three followed it when they became sponsors in later years.  I believe for a long time we were the only ones, but I have seen other nations also sell some shirts with sponsors so eventually I expect it to become the norm, when FAs realise they might get some extra dosh.  Interestingly, the English FA are staunchly against it and a few years ago refused to place the Vauxhall (the brand that Opel is sold under in England) logo on the front of their shirts for a promo shoot.  In the same shoot Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland sold out and put the Vauxhall logo on the front.

 

But logo gripes aside, it is a nice jersey.  Another Umbro effort that featured various cuts, panels and shapes that was popular at the time but here it works much better.  It is a template that a good few other teams used, but the two shades of green at the shoulder refelt the crest, which is a nice touch.  Though personally, I am not a fan of the current crest, but that is for another day.  On this shirt, the crest was a cheap stick on (see below) but in recent years it was been embroidered,

In football terms, Ireland's golden age to date has been the late 80s and early 90s, Qualifying for Euro 88 (the first appearance at a major tournament), Italia 90 and USA 94.  They have also appeared at Japan/Korea 2002, Euro 2012 and Euro 1016.

So far, the only silverware picked up at senior level is the 2011 Carling Nations Cup and the infamous Icelandic Triangular Tournament of 1986.

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