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“It all started with the Croatian shirt”


EL PAÍS has interviewed Juan Díaz, a soccer fan who in 1998 started a collection of jerseys that to date number around a thousand copies

Juan Díaz, a biotechnological engineer from Mexico City, began collecting soccer jerseys after the 1998 World Cup. The third place achieved by the Croatian team, led by then Real Madrid forward Davor Šuker, as well as the stories that his parents told about the Balkan War and the separation of Yugoslavia, they took him to look for the team's historic checkered jersey.

It was with that garment that Díaz, then 11 years old, started his collection.

Over the months, more shirts from different teams and clubs were arriving.

A couple of years later, his brother, five years younger, caught that hobby.

Now, almost 25 years after the Croatian feat in France, the collection of the Díaz brothers is around 1,000 copies of


from around the world.

In Mexico, getting soccer jerseys is only easy if it is about the big teams and clubs.

However, those are not Diaz's objects of desire at all.

His collection consists mainly of garments from Asian or African nations, clubs from Latin American countries, or teams from small European states, among many other hard-to-find items.

“When we were children we looked for the


of teams like Barcelona or Manchester United, but we gradually lost our taste for those jerseys because they are very easy to find, they are even in supermarkets.

Today we are a thousand times more interested in buying the Angolan shirt than the Brazilian one,” says the 35-year-old biotechnologist.

Díaz has always been clear that the pieces in his collection are not to be framed on the walls of his house.

“It's clothes, and we wear clothes.

Before, I used to dress in different soccer jerseys every day, and people would get a lot of attention when they saw me in

jerseys .

from places they didn't even know existed.

Nowadays I don't use them as much anymore, although I don't plan to stop collecting them”, explains the biotechnologist.

However, storing a thousand soccer jerseys is not easy.

Most of them no longer have a place in the closets.

Díaz and his brother have had to store them in suitcases, plastic bags and a few in a warehouse owned by the family.

In the video that leads this piece, the biotechnologist returns to the room in which he grew up to rediscover some of the garments with which he began a collection that increases in number every month.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-12-17

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