2002-03 Portugal Home Shirt Size Small
Era: 2002-03 (Used for the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2004 UEFA European Championships qualifying campaign)
This article comes to you remaining in excellent condition ahead of (at the time of writing) its 20th birthday! The material shows very little wear meanwhile the respective Nike swoosh and emblem embroidery are also in fantastic order!
Pit to Pit Measurement: 19.5 inches
Shirt Length: 27 inches
Made by Nike in their Nike Fit template of shirts that they introduced in 2002; although the size label has washed off, the dimensions of this shirt suggest that this would be an ideal fit for a size small!
Nike, in their 3rd presentation of Portugal’s home shirt, would continue in their use of burgundy as the shade of red which adorned the shirt, meanwhile, the yellow accents were retained and green returned as a tertiary colour to devastating effect in what was one of Nike’s best expressions of this template! While the World Cup in 2002 ended in a disappointing Group Stage finish, this was the shirt worn predominantly as the ‘Selecao’ prepared to host the European Championships in 2004; claiming a fine 2-1 win over Brazil on 29/03/03 and the shirt was last worn in the epic 8-0 win over Kuwait on 19/11/03! This would also be the last home shirt to be worn by national team icons of the Euro 2000 semi-final adventure: Vitor Baia, Jorge Costa, Paolo Sousa, Joao Pinto, Sergio Conceicao and Paulo Bento as well as being the first Portugal home shirt worn by Cristiano Ronaldo as new coach – Luis Felipe Scolari looked to usher in new blood ahead of Euro 2004!
After 2002 began with a 1-1 draw away against Spain on the 13th February, Portugal would welcome Finland to Porto to continue their preparations ahead of the World Cup in Japan and South Korea later in the year. To the surprise of the football world, Finland would crush the hosts 4-1 on the 27th March! In their penultimate friendly before the World Cup began; they would battle to a 1-1 draw with Brazil on the 17th April, before finally securing their first win of the year when they defeated China on the 25th May in Macau!
Drawn in Group D of the World Cup alongside – Portugal, South Korea and the United States of America; António Oliveira’s were considered the clear favourites to qualify and were even amongst the dark horses to go all the way, however, a stunning 3-2 defeat against the United States in their opening game would set the tone for an embarrassing Group Stage exit when they fell 1-0 to co-hosts South Korea in the qualification decider. Their blushes would be slightly spared given the poor performances of the majority of the favourites with both France and Argentina also exiting in the Group Stage, however, this would not be enough to spare Oliveira from a stay of execution, as he was replaced by Luis Felipe Scolari; himself having guided Brazil to victory of the tournament itself!
The new regime began with a pair of 1-1 draws against England and Tunisia respectively, however, the year of 2002 would end on a high-note as they came from 2-0 down to defeat Sweden 3-2 on October 16th and then saw out the year with a 2-0 win over Scotland in Braga!
2003 would see Portugal entertain a calendar comprised entirely of friendlies as they prepared for hosting duties at Euro 2004. Scolari would experience first defeat in his new post when Italy came away with a 1-0 win on February 12th, however, a month later, he would oversee a 2-1 over World Champions and former employers – Brazil! 4 days later, they would then see off Macedonia before playing out back-to-back draws versus the Netherlands and Paraguay respectively.
The summer of 2003 would keep the grooves greased with a 4-0 win over Bolivia and the a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan, however, when the national side reunited on the 6th September to host Spain in a pan-Iberian friendly in Guimarães; they would be beaten 3-0! The result proved to be nothing more than an aberration however, as they ended the year with 3 wins and a draw in their remaining 4 fixtures including epic wins over Albania and Kuwait by 5-3 and 8-0 score-lines respectively!
The notable players that season(s) were:
Helder Postiga, Nuno Gomes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pauleta, Rui Costa, Simao, Figo, Deco, Sergio Conceicao, Joao Pinto, Maniche, Costinha, Petit, Tiago, Paolo Sousa, Paulo Bento, Nuno Valente, Miguel, Paolo Ferreira, Jorge Andrade, Fernando Couto, Jorge Costa, Ricardo, Quim, Vitor Baia
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