Authentic, replica and home football jerseys - apart from the price, what's the difference?

Autentikus, replika és szurkolói focimezek – az áron kívül mi a különbség? - Sportmá
Would you like to buy the shirt of your favorite football team or give someone one as a gift? Do you find several types of soccer jerseys at different prices and fancy names and you don't know which one to choose?

We have put together a few thoughts for you apart from the price, what is the difference between authentic, replica and fan football shirts, so you can be sure on your next purchase!

Manufacturers of jerseys for club teams and national teams, such as Nike, adidas, Puma, etc. in exchange for the hefty license rights, they want to sell as many football shirts as possible - and many other products with crests - to the fans of the teams. Fans buy jerseys for different purposes, some collect them and display them framed on the wall, some play sports in them, others use them as street wear, so the expectations placed on the products are different. Most of the time, the point is that it should be like the soccer jerseys worn by the players and be affordable.

The manufacturers basically in three performance (and price) categories they offer the jerseys of the teams. We deliberately use the performance category, not the quality, because despite the fact that the price of the top category jersey can be up to three times that of the cheapest jersey, each product represents the usual excellent quality from the manufacturer. The individual categories may run under different fancy names depending on the manufacturer, but the characteristics and differences of the categories described here are roughly the same. With the following example, we will try to show the differences between the jerseys through some versions of one of the most popular soccer jerseys, the FC Barcelona home jersey worn in the 2013/14 season.

The authentic jersey

The first category representing the highest performance is authentic or match jersey. This is exactly the same soccer jersey that the players take the field in and fight for playing time.

Authentic jerseys have the highest performance, i.e. they conduct and evaporate sweat the best, they have very good breathability, so they breathe well and are as light as possible. Based on the expectations of the players, the manufacturer strives to design the jersey in such a way that it helps deliver maximum performance in the most comfortable way. These soccer jerseys carry the highest technology, the latest developments, which is why the price of authentic jerseys is the highest.

The recommended retail price of authentic football jerseys is around HUF 35,000.

The replica jersey

The second category already includes specially developed and produced for the fans. replica jerseys belong. It is very important to emphasize that a replica does not mean a fake, it means a knock-off, the word has only been associated with this meaning since the Chinese Industrial Revolution, unfortunately. (Please note, this is why nobody likes to advertise jerseys this way, and perhaps that is also why Nike calls this category "Stadium" - stadium jersey in Hungarian from the 2014/15 season.)

Replica and authentic soccer jerseys are virtually identical in appearance. If you look at the picture of the two FC Barcelona jerseys, you might not be able to find two differences. Those two only if you enlarge the pictures well. In reality, of course, there are differences.

The most important difference with the authentic jersey is in the aforementioned performance. Replica soccer jerseys are not made for players, so they are not as light and do not conduct and evaporate sweat as well. But don't think that the material of the replica jersey is not good, it is also an excellent choice for sports! Both jerseys have DRI-FIT technology, so their ability is almost the same, only the replica jersey has a slightly lower performance, approx. by 10-15%. If we wanted to use a car analogy, the authentic jersey has a 2.0-liter engine and the replica jersey has a 1.8-liter engine in the same engine. The structure of the material (weaving and feel) is the same, but precisely for the sake of lightness, better sweat drainage and ventilation, the material of the authentic jerseys is thinner than the design of the replica soccer jersey, but this is only visible if you lift the jerseys and hold them up to the light. Our personal opinion is that the denser weave makes the replica jersey more beautiful.

Another difference resulting from the expected performance is that there are no ventilation holes on the sides of the replica jerseys, and the panels of the authentic jersey are fitted by flat "welding" instead of sewing, so as not to accidentally irritate the player's skin. These "extras" result in the peak performance of the authentic jerseys, and obviously the lower price of the replica jerseys is due to their omission. The recommended retail price of replica jerseys is around HUF 25,000.

So in summary there is no significant difference in the material of the replica and authentic jerseys, only that performance-enhancing technologies, which are unimportant to the majority of fans, are omitted from the replica jersey.

There are a few small imperceptible differences in the appearance of the jerseys, which need to be presented for the sake of completeness.

FC Barcelona crest. You can only see the difference with a magnifying glass. The crest of the authentic jersey is embroidered, the replica jersey is woven. Both are beautiful and durable solutions, but the production cost of the woven coat of arms is probably lower.

THE "més que un club" tag there is also a small difference in placement, that in the case of the authentic FC Barcelona jersey, it is stuck on like a sticker, while the replica has a sewn-in label.

Small difference that the authentic jersey is printed with DRI-FIT, while the replica is embroidered. The authentic jersey gains a few grams with this, but the replica is perhaps a little nicer in this detail.

The fan jersey

The third category is a fan jersey. These jerseys are significantly cheaper - approx. HUF 14,000 - as detailed above for their counterparts, as they were designed so that fans can show their enthusiasm for their favorite team by wearing them to the stadium or as casual wear.

Performance is no longer so dominant in this category, since the material of the jersey is not technical polyester.

The appearance of the fan jersey does not necessarily match 100% with the authentic and replica versions, but if there is, the difference is very small. In the case of the FC Barcelona jersey, the difference can be noticed on the sleeve, where the striping seen on the authentic and replica versions is missing, and the crest and branding are also printed.

The fan jersey is therefore somewhat "simpler" in appearance and material than its more expensive counterparts, but it is perfectly suitable for expressing our commitment to our team on the street or in the stands, and all this at a much friendlier price.

In summary, for our money, in all three cases we get a high-quality, branded product and there is no right or wrong decision, just different needs and areas of use.


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