There comes a time when every soccer fan wonders what happens to the jerseys that soccer players wear during matches. I have compiled a list of all the possible things that usually happen to jerseys after a soccer match ends.
After a soccer match, a player’s jersey is either washed and reused, exchanged with another player’s jersey, donated to charity, kept by the player, given to a fan or thrown away if it’s in a bad condition. In general, what happens to the jerseys heavily depends on the club that owns these jerseys.
Some big soccer clubs afford to give the jerseys away after a match while other smaller clubs use them multiple times due to financial difficulties.
Here is a list of what usually happens to the player’s jerseys after a soccer match.
1- Some soccer jerseys are exchanged between players after a match
If you have been watching soccer for a while, then I am 100% sure that you’ve seen players exchange jerseys at the end of some matches.
Once a soccer match ends, some of the players decide to exchange their jerseys as a form of respect to each other. Usually, big soccer players are asked to exchange their jerseys by other players a lot.
Exchanging jerseys between soccer players after a match ends has become a ritual in the soccer world.
But what happens to the exchanged soccer jerseys?
Many players keep the exchanged jerseys for themselves to always remember that they have played against the opponent that owned the jersey, and some other players sell the exchanged jerseys for a high price, especially if they are jerseys of great soccer players.
For example, the soccer player who exchanged his jersey with Pele’s jersey in the world cup of 1970 was able to sell the shirt for about $220,000.
If you don’t know who Pele is, he was basically one of the top soccer players in his era and he was considered a national treasure in Brazil. Here is more information about Pele’s contribution to soccer in Brazil if you’d like to learn more.
I’ll end this section by noting that not all soccer players are open to exchanging their jerseys with other soccer players. There are some soccer clubs that prohibit their players from exchanging jerseys with other players due to financial issues.
Some clubs also force their players to pay for the jerseys that they exchange with other players.
2- Jerseys of big soccer clubs are usually donated to charity
Most soccer clubs that compete in the biggest soccer leagues around the world are able to afford giving the jerseys of their players away after a soccer match.
Usually, these soccer clubs give away the jerseys to charities that need them. Some of these charities give the jerseys to adults and children who can’t afford to buy any soccer equipment but are huge soccer fans.
Most of the jerseys of the big soccer clubs are sponsored by large corporations. In other words, these clubs are paid to put the name of the large corporations that sponsor them on their jerseys.
This makes it easy for big soccer clubs to buy new jerseys to their players for each match because of the large amount of money they make from the sponsors of these jerseys.
So in other words, usually the players of big soccer clubs only wear their jerseys once, and then these jerseys are given away to charities.
3- Small soccer clubs usually wash and reuse the soccer jersey’s of their players.
For each big soccer club that you see on TV, there are many other smaller clubs that are trying to take it’s spot.
These small teams can barely make any money when they compete in the smaller and less known leagues in their country.
Since these soccer clubs can’t afford to buy a lot of jerseys for their players, they usually wash and reuse their jerseys after every match.
They even try to fix the jerseys that aren’t in great shape instead of buying new ones.
By the way, a few decades ago, even big soccer teams used to wash their jerseys and reuse them. However, the financial situation of big soccer clubs has evolved so much since then, and more money is being thrown towards big soccer clubs around the world.
4- Some soccer players decide to keep the jersey for themselves.
While most of the jerseys of the top soccer clubs are usually given away for charity, some of these jerseys are actually kept by the players after special matches.
Some soccer players prefer to keep the jersey that they wore during a special soccer match to remember the match for the rest of their lives.
For example, the jerseys used in a champions league final usually contain the name of the competing teams on them. These jerseys obviously can’t be used during other matches because they contain things only related to the game they were used for.
Some players decide to keep these special jerseys for themselves to remind themselves that they made it to the champions league final.
Also, players might keep their jersey to themselves when they score a hat trick while wearing it.
If you don’t know what a hat trick is, it’s basically when a soccer player scores 3 goals during the same match.
5- Jerseys are sometimes given to fans after a soccer match
During a soccer match, you’ll find a lot of fans in the audience holding signs asking for the jerseys of their favorite players.
While it’s rare that the players respond to these signs, some do. In other words, sometimes a soccer player decides to give their jersey to a fan from the audience.
So, some soccer players might give their jersey to fans in the audience if these fans ask for it or if an incident like the one mentioned above happens.
I believe that by now, you know very well what happens to the jerseys of soccer players after a match. However, before I end this article, I want to answer one last question that you might have.
Do soccer players change their jerseys at halftime?
Most of the soccer players do change their jerseys on halftime. In fact, a player usually has 3 jerseys during a soccer match. The first one is used in the first half, the second one is used in the second half, and the third one is kept as a reserve in case something happens to the other jerseys during the game.
Soccer jerseys used by big clubs are usually donated after the match ends. Smaller soccer clubs however can’t afford to buy new jerseys for every match so they usually wash the jerseys and reuse them in other matches.
Also, soccer jerseys are sometimes exchanged between players, given to the fans, or kept by the players for memories.