The Collector Series by World Soccer Shop highlights the stories of those who have continued the longstanding tradition of jersey collecting. Their collections tell the story of finding a home and community through a shared passion and pride in their supporting club. For Alberto Polanco, his story is no different.
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The Collector Series – Issue No. 2⠀ -⠀ Alberto Polanco started his collection by purchasing a 1997 Barcelona jersey. His collection has grown over the years to over 60 Barcelona kits. Polanco has even shown off his collection at a Soccer Con event, where he met some of his closest friends.⠀ -⠀ Do you have a collection worth sharing? Share now using #CollectorSeries and tagging @wrldsoccershop⠀ -⠀ #WorldSoccerShop #CollectorSeries #FCBarcelona #Barcelona #Barca ⠀
Back in 2010, Polanco owned a single Barcelona jersey from 1998, the first of their Nike partnership. Reminiscent of the days of Kappa, Polanco perused the Internet for the 1997 Barcelona jersey as a tribute to the manufacturing powerhouse. After finding the kit and making the purchase, “it got out of control,” said Polanco as he began buying and trading shirts of his favorite club.
“Every year, I promise myself to just buy one, but I end up getting all of them,” said Polanco.
That same year, Polanco had moved to Atlanta from Honduras and began looking to become involved in a community. As he searched for other Barcelona superfans, Polanco continued his collection obtaining a 1984 Barcelona jersey, the Gamper trophy game jersey (only 1896 original shirts remain in circulation) and approximately 60 other Barca kits. In addition to the Barcelona collection, Polanco also owns two match-worn Honduras national team jerseys from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“In my country of Honduras, people pulled for Real Madrid, and I always wanted to be against everyone,” said Polanco jokingly. “My Dad and my brother they also like [Barcelona] so we’ve been fans since 1991-92.”
After building his collection to a sizeable amount, Polanco attended Soccer Con in downtown Atlanta and brought his various Barcelona kits to showcase. On that day, Polanco found his community. People began to approach his collection, commenting on it rarity and talking with Polanco about his favorite club.
“I met some of my closest friends that day. From that day, everything changed,” said Polanco.
Polanco still lives in Atlanta and gets together every gameday to watch Barcelona at his local pub, the Brew House, with his community of soccer fanatics. Thanks to his favorite team and his collection of their kits, Polanco has found his own home away from home.
Back in 2009, Polanco started his collection. From that moment, his entire life has changed. New friends, a supporting community and a hospitable pub to watch every Barcelona match, have all grown out of his collection. You can start your collection today at World Soccer Shop.