San Marino toasted their 90th anniversary on Monday night with a special set of kits referencing the republic’s former flag; but it was England who made history with a 10-0 win in Serravalle.
Harry Kane helped himself to four goals as the Three Lions racked-up double figures for the first time since 1964, to confirm their place at Qatar 2022.
As miserable people complained that minor nations really shouldn’t be allowed to waste the time of England’s elite international footballers; commentators noticed that FIFA’s lowest ranked team were not wearing their customary sky-blue colours.
They had in fact lined-up in a limited edition kit to mark the 90th anniversary of the San Marino Football Federation’s foundation in 1931, that was described in BBC radio commentary as “lurid.”
From a distance, the Macron produced strip in its peculiar mix of orange, white and crimson was reminiscent of Motherwell’s claret and amber colours – not that that’s a bad thing of course!
The colours were a reference to San Marino’s first flag, in use between 1465 to 1797, that still means an awful lot to their national identity and can be found in soft furnishings and upholstery detailing in government buildings across the mountainous micro-state.
Aside from the eye-catching colourway, the polo-collared shirt featured embossed details picking out the location of nine castles within the tiny republic’s borders as well as San Marino’s slick modern crest.
To their credit, UEFA have been working hard to help European football’s smaller nations define their own footballing identity and Macron’s support of their Kit Assistance Scheme has brought the same attention to design detail enjoyed by the bigger boys to Andorra, Belarus, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and of course San Marino.
No matter the colour, taking pride in the shirt is a huge part of international football and whilst there will be those who’d rather see England face Dan Marino than San Marino, we hope to see these mismatched fixtures for many years to come.