Italian collector owns jerseys of all the 211 FIFA countries

Simone Panizzi laid a special collection. He collected all the 211’s jerseys of the FIFA affiliated countries. In So Foot puts the Italian out how he became that for each other.

Simone Panizzi between his collection © National

“I think I am the only one who the real shirt of Somalia”, is the title above the piece in So Foot. Five years ago, Simone Panizzi, an Italian from Livorno, all the official jerseys of the 211 at the FIFA affiliated countries to collect. When he was a few months ago, the shirt of Ricky Atamai from Tahiti was sent, was his collection complete.

It was sometimes a challenge to find a particular sweater in your hands. ‘From sixty countries, it is really hard to find. There are selections that are so few games that their outfit is not commercialised, ” says Panizzi, in So Foot. ‘These countries also have limited financial resources and their associations are not well organized.”

On eBay a shirt to buy for him is not an option. ‘Often it goes to people who are on a neutral shirt from Adidas or Nike, the logo of the country in question sewn. So also the jerseys of a number of small Asian and African countries. But if someone is so ten offers on eBay, you know that it is false.”

Help of Chiellini

How is he to work? “I have emails sent to all football associations and as a back-up I did many of the directors identified on social media. Many football federations have not even a website, but the organization chart is on the site of the FIFA. Furthermore, I have 2000 friends on Facebook, of whom 1400 players.’

So he got the help of none other than Juventusverdediger Giorgio Chiellini. “He is also from Livorno, and we have common acquaintances. Through him I got the shirt from Armenia, which he Italy football had. Ditto with that of Mexico.”

As a last resort, there were always the embassies. ‘Through that of Kuwait, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan in Rome, I have the shirts of those countries receive. And the Italian ambassador in Syria has me the Syrian sweater sent.’

Own story

The shirts were the hardest to get? ‘The Central African Republic. Ethiopia also, the selection itself plays sometimes with fake shirts. And from Somalia, I think that I am the only one with an official jersey. It has several years before a director at the football association I sent me from Sweden, where he is a FIFA training course for referee followed. I have him and then paid 70 euro, that was one of the cases that the effort paid off for my wallet.’

Panizzi decision: ‘Each shirt has its own story.’

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