What soccer players do with their jerseys after a match has always been a puzzle to me.
They walk out of the locker room with immaculate kits for every match. Could they be new each time? Because if they aren’t, what happens when they exchange their shirts after some matches?
The mystery compelled me enough to turn to the internet for answers. And turns out there’s no one-fits-all rule for what happens to the jersey.
It depends on how rich a club is and how many sponsors for a team there are. Some clubs rewash and reuse the kits, while others allot three new kits to players for each match.
The contrast is overwhelming!
The care, exchange, donation, and use of soccer jerseys have many conditions accompanying them. A player may consider it his property, but a club can sometimes restrict players from giving away or exchanging their jerseys.
It doesn’t happen that often, but more on that later in the text. Right now, let’s see what happens to soccer jerseys after a match!
Read more: Do Soccer Goalies Wear Pads?
Do Soccer Players Keep Their Jerseys?
Soccer players are free to keep, exchange, donate, or give away their jerseys.
But not every match compels a player to give his shirt away. More often, a player goes back to the locker room wearing the complete kit.
What happens to the jersey afterward really depends on the soccer club. If it is a big and rich club, the jerseys are likely to go to donation after the match.
Used soccer jerseys on landmark occasions have a high worth among fans. And giving that free revenue to charity is one of the many ways soccer builds respect in society!
A player is also at liberty to take the worn jersey back home to keep the match’s memory. Soccer players do this to keep the timeline of their careers alive.
Now, what happens at clubs that can’t afford such a stockpile of jerseys every season?
Clubs with a lower revenue tend to wash and reuse the jerseys worn by players in a match. A soccer jersey can last 50 washes, which makes it good enough to last a season.
And in this case, a player may not get to keep his jersey. However, if the team is issued with new kits or the season ends, a player can then keep his jersey.
On some rare and cheerful occasions, a soccer player may even give away his jersey to a lucky fan in the stands.
But, of course, that’s if the club allows it and he’s sure he has a reserve shirt to wear for the rest of the match. Or, the next one.
Why Do Soccer Players Exchange Their Jerseys?
The trend of exchanging soccer jerseys after a match goes a long way in history and respect.
The tradition is said to have originated after the first-ever victory of France against England in 1931. Overwhelmed by the landmark victory of three goals, the Frenchmen requested the English for their jerseys and gave birth to the most praiseworthy soccer tradition!
Ever since soccer players exchange their jerseys with their rivals after a match. It is a token of respect for the other player and a memoir of a great game.
Though clubs may restrict players from exchanging their jerseys with other teams at times.
The 1966 World Cup fixture of Argentina vs. England showed us when players cannot exchange jerseys.
Sir Alf Ramsey, the then manager for England, snatched the shirt away from the hands of an English player who was about to exchange his shirt with his rival.
Clubs that have bad blood prefer not to show respect to their opponents at times. And since exchanging jerseys is the pinnacle of respect in soccer, it is denied in some matches.
Other than such rare episodes, this is an extremely lovable tradition that shouldn’t die out. It is one of the most beautiful acts by players in soccer and needs to stay alive!
Do Soccer Players Wear a New Jersey Every Game?
Whether soccer players wear a new jersey for every game or not depends on the club’s revenue and financial standing.
Soccer clubs’ revenue ranges from a few thousand dollars to many billions. And with such a vast difference, the spending attitudes differ as well.
A rich club with numerous sponsors in line like Real Madrid, PSG, and Manchester City often has three kits for a player in each game. One for each half and the third as a backup should a jersey get damaged!
The worn and undamaged jerseys are then donated for charity after the match while new ones make it to the locker room for an upcoming fixture.
Now the not-so-rich clubs cannot bear such an expense and reuse their shirts for matches. The jersey goes straight to the laundry room after the game and is readied for the next fixture.
For clubs with a choking revenue, their players may only wear new jerseys if the old one is damaged. Or if the club has a big fixture against a major club.
Wearing a new jersey for each game also depends on a club’s sponsors. The more and bigger sponsors there are, the higher the chances for players to wear a new jersey to every game.
But since sponsors are attracted more towards the big clubs, the smaller ones are less likely to benefit from this either.
Soccer players are generally free to keep their jerseys after a fixture.
But as highlighted already, it highly depends on what the club’s concerns are regarding jersey replacements.
Keeping the jersey shouldn’t be a problem if there is enough revenue to have replacements for every match.
On the contrary, if a club is strict about its gear and equipment because of its revenue and budget, it may not allow its players to keep their jerseys after a game.
Even though most soccer clubs allow their players to keep or exchange their jerseys, donating them to a charity is far more preferable.
So a soccer player may only keep a jersey from a memorable fixture if he hasn’t exchanged it already!
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!