Fernando Silva lives in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, but strangely doesn’t collect football shirts from the famous yellow of the Canarinho. He decided his football shirt collection was going to be Romania.
Why collect Romania shirts?
I’d have to say it’s because of World Cup 1994. This tournament is my favourite World Cup, the one with the coolest kits, in my opinion, and it was a pleasure too saw that marvellous Romanian team in action.
How many shirts do you have in your collection?
About 550 shirts, but not only Romanian shirts. I have also a collection of national teams in general, including shirts from classic world cups, from 1986 to 1998.
I’ve always been a collector. In my childhood, I had too many collections: comic books, calendars, stickers, etc. My passion for football began at World Cup 1990 in Italy, so the passion for football shirts also started at that tournament.
What was the first shirt in your collection?
In 1993 I was gifted with my first football shirt, which was not a Romanian shirt, but a blue shirt of Brazil. I really love the shirt but quickly turned my attention to Romania after the World Cup in the United States. Unfortunately, the collection didn’t get started for a few years after that tournament.
My first Romanian shirt was the 2002 model, which I’ve bought in 2003.
My first attempt to get a Romania shirt was in 1994, just after the World Cup. I wrote a letter to the Romanian embassy in Brazil and received no reply unfortunately. I realise now that I wrote to them in Portuguese so perhaps that was the problem!
It was really difficult to get shirts in Brazil from other countries. You see, there was not CFS at this time and Ebay was not very popular in Brazil in 2003.
What is your favourite shirt?
My favourite Romania shirt is the 1994 home model. It’s not the rarest one, but my favourite shirt, by far. The combination of colours in that model was perfect, with the strips and the collar like the Romanian flag. And of course one of the best players in their history and my favourite player, Hagi, wore it.
What is the rarest shirt in your collection?
I have some shirts worn in 70’s and 80’s matches, still in the communist era which are very rare. It’s really difficult to pinpoint which is the rarest.
If I have to choose I’d probably say the blue shirts worn a few times by Romania. I have one used during the late 70’s (don’t know exactly in which match), and one used against Brazil, in a friendly game in 1974. The latter was in Brazil player Mário Zagallo’s personal collection, sold some years ago.
What is the shirt you would like most in your collection?
I’m searching for the blue shirt worn against Brazil in World Cup 1970. I saw it for sale once, but it sold for a lot of money that I couldn’t afford at the time. I think I’d stretch my budget now if I saw one again!