â†µA tradition that began in the early 1930s, players have been swapping jerseys at the end of big international matches for the last 80 years. Have you ever wondered what the players do with the other team's jersey? Hang it up on the wall? Store them in a box? Wear them a few weeks later to a pick-up game in the park? Wait…really? â†µReally. After Germany dismantled rival England in the World Cup's second round, Bastian Schweinsteiger was seen swapping kits with England star Frank Lampard. The German midfielder found his significant other in the crowd and tossed her the jersey as somewhat of a trophy, to be worn like a mink stole after a successful hunt in the woods. â†µâ†µ
â†µFlash forward a few days and we now have this photo, from the German publication Bild.de, that clearly shows the German international wearing Lampard's jersey, in a park, playing with friends. The particulars via Off the Post: â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥In case you were wondering how much a match worn England World Cup shirt is worth in Germany at the minute, the answer is not very much. Bastian Schweinsteiger got his hands on Frank Lampard’s shirt after Germany’s last-16 victory over England (a special gift from Lamps as a reward for being carried around in Schweini’s pocket for 90 minutes). â†µâ‡¥â†µI suppose it's a bit of an honor for Lampard to have another international star wear his jersey. But it's a little different when it's his actual jersey from a game in which his team got smacked around, isn't it? This is totally a trophy for Schweinsteiger. He may as well cut off Lampard's head, stuff it and hang it over the fireplace. â†µ
â†µâ‡¥A passer-by told German newspaper Bild: “Schweini looked very relaxed, playing football with around about seven men. I found it so cool that he wore the Frank Lampard jersey.” â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µIt also makes you wonder how players decide which opponent to offer a swap? Captain for captain? Top player for top player? What about the guy who marked you the entire match? (Note: here is a great NYT story, via Jack Kogod, that answers some of those questions). If you're Carlos Bocanegra, do you really want an Asamoah Gyan jersey to remind you why the U.S. got knocked out of the World Cup? Does David Villa want a closet full of also-ran defenders he's decimated over the years? Personally if I were a world-class goal scorer, I'd try to swap with the keepers I beat, but some may want the other team's striker, and who could blame them. â†µâ†µ
â†µI suppose, though, if you’re a young star like Schweinsteiger, it has to be fun showing off your old English. â†µâ†µ
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