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How Can You Tell If A Soccer Jersey Is Real? 6 Important Characteristics

How Can You Tell If A Soccer Jersey Is Real? 6 Important Characteristics

A Soccer jersey is one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of soccer, probably because it is worn by all 22 soccer players during a soccer match.

Each soccer team has a different and unique jersey, designed and tailored to detail to help in distinguishing one soccer team from another. No two soccer teams have identical soccer jerseys—and most teams have different jerseys for home and away games.

Fans over the years have made it a custom to put on their favorite soccer team’s jerseys. They wear it not only in the stadium during matches but also in carrying out their daily activities.

Fans see this as a medium of giving full support and dedication to their favorite teams and it makes them feel happy, passionate, and purpose-driven.

Soccer jerseys are extremely adored and cherished by fans and players alike which is why the authentic jerseys are on the high side when it comes to cost and demand.

Though they are of high quality, their high prices often mean that not all soccer fans can afford them. Counterfeiters are exploiting the vacuum created by the high demand for soccer jerseys to circulate fake ones at cheaper prices that are often enticing to passionate, not-too-financially-buoyant fans.

Sadly, sometimes the fake jerseys are often marketed at the price of the real ones to fleece those who can afford the real jerseys.

These fake jerseys which are regarded as counterfeit look a lot like the real soccer jerseys and soccer fans sometimes find it difficult to tell the difference between the real soccer jersey and the fake.

If you are one of those soccer fans that find it difficult to tell a real soccer jersey from a fake one, this article is for you. We have explained in detail various ways of distinguishing a real soccer jersey from a fake one.

A soccer ball and jersey are on the wood floor

How can you tell if a soccer jersey is real?

Real soccer jerseys are more durable and are far better than fake soccer jerseys when it comes to quality.

Since the introduction of jerseys into soccer, there has been an incredible evolution in its manufacturing techniques and technologies. Nevertheless, the key considerations when putting them together include suitability, durability, and comfort.

The old fashion way of manufacturing soccer jerseys from cotton and wool which caused some players discomfort has been replaced with polyester materials which give more comfort and are more durable than cotton.

Furthermore, soccer jerseys are manufactured in two ways namely the real (authentic), and fake (replica) soccer jerseys. Both are designed for different reasons and different sets of consumers.

The real soccer jerseys are manufactured and designed for the professional soccer players on the field to give them comfort and breathability when they play while the fake soccer jerseys are randomly manufactured for fans who do not need them on the field.

Nevertheless, most fans still choose to participate fully in soccer by buying the original soccer jerseys no matter how expensive they might be. Fans often feel a historical and intimate connection to their teams when they put on original soccer jerseys.

To make things easier for you when you are ready to shop, here are some easy ways to distinguish between a real soccer jersey and a fake soccer jersey.

Check the fitness of the jersey

Fake soccer jerseys are designed like traditional everyday wear. They do not have the required fitting and are similar to polo and T-shirts, it usually has an extra space in the mid-section and shoulder for different body shapes.

Real soccer jerseys are slim, tighter, and are body-fitting on the sleeves and midsection. The reason is that there will be no distraction for soccer players from their jerseys as they run around the field.

Also, opponents will find it difficult to grab or hold onto another soccer player’s jersey for long during play.

Check the Logo or Badge application

There are various attachments to soccer jerseys in the forms of logos, sponsors, badges, team crest, and others. These are design features that help in distinguishing one soccer jersey from another.

From the application on soccer jerseys, you can easily tell a real soccer jersey from a fake one.

Attachments to a real soccer jersey are mostly heat pressed and have a synthetic and smooth feeling. When these design features are heat transferred, they are lighter and sit cleanly on the soccer jersey to give a more aesthetically appealing finish.

On the fake soccer jerseys, attachments are mostly woven, stitched, or embroidered. The woven application does not sit cleanly on the soccer jersey and they tend to be huger.

Unlike the fake soccer jerseys which can be washed and reused over a long period, you should be mindful of the real soccer jersey because when you wash them extensively over a long period the attachments tend to come off quickly.

Also considering the knit of the fabric, they are knitted differently. The knit on the real soccer jersey has “Adizero” while the knit on a fake soccer jersey has “Climacool”.

Adizeros are easily breathable and thinner than Climacool and are mostly found on Adidas brands.

Check the fabric

Real soccer jerseys are manufactured using very high-performance fabrics. Their fabrics do not retain sweat and give room for maximum airflow which allows for easy breathability.

The laser-cut holes that run down on both sides of the torso on Nike brands are a perfect example. The fabric is light in weight, stretchy, and also regulates body temperature.

On the other hand, fake soccer jerseys are manufactured using unoriginal fabrics that are conventional and cheap. These fabrics are heavier and not as stretchy as the real soccer jerseys, they can be breathable but have room for minimal airflow.


The price of a soccer jersey is essential when trying to distinguish a real from a fake soccer jersey.

If a soccer jersey is more than 50% cheaper than its contemporaries, especially during the sports season, you should have it in mind that it might be fake or substandard.

The price of a soccer jersey isn’t often reduced or discounted unless the sports season comes to an end. Even when the season ends, it will not be sold below 60% of its actual price, if sold at that rate, it should look suspicious because the seller also needs to make a profit.

adidas Boys' Entrada 18 Jersey, Black, X-Small
  • Junior boys' athletic jersey
  • Regular fit
  • Crewneck provides full coverage

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tags on the soccer jersey

Every soccer jersey comes with an inner and an outer tag. The outer tag should give a reference to the color and type of jersey, the club crest, and the correct size of the soccer jersey.

All these specific details should be clear on a real soccer jersey rather than the general brand tags that have terms like “Adidas jersey” commonly found on fake soccer jerseys.

The inner tag should consist of the right country of origin, the size and product code should also be consistent on all the tags, the product code should match the code on the outer tag and all fonts must be readable and clear.

Product code

Over the years, the quality of fake jerseys has continuously been modified to achieve some standards, but you can still differentiate a real soccer jersey from a fake by checking out their product code.

The Adidas and Nike brands provide these codes on every soccer jersey. On the Nike jersey brand, it is located close to the bottom of the shirt on a small white silk label. It comprises 6 digits, followed by a dash and another 3 digits, making it 9 digits altogether.

On Adidas, a small tag on the inside collar carries the code, it is 6 digits in all consisting of 2 letters and 4 numbers.

These codes can be Googled to verify the soccer jersey’s authenticity, they should not be cut off after purchase like some people usually do.

The product code on soccer jerseys that do not appear when searched on Google is a red flag signifying that the soccer jersey is not real but a replica.

Fans are advised to search for the counter which denotes the soccer jersey’s production number and also the year of production at the bottom of the soccer jersey.

The numbers found on a real jersey are more than a million while on a fake jersey they are about five hundred thousand or so, this mostly applies to Nike brands.


Although replicated soccer jerseys have similar looks to real soccer jerseys, some soccer fans still prefer to go for real soccer jerseys. They sometimes see it as a way of supporting their favorite soccer teams financially.

Real soccer jerseys are comfortable, body fitting, durable, and can be used over a long period. Soccer fans usually keep them as treasured time stamps to remind them of memorable occurrences in the world of soccer.

Real soccer jerseys may be quite expensive but they are worth the expenses. So, always save up money and go for a real soccer jersey, using all the above-mentioned factors to differentiate real soccer jerseys from replicas.