The Barcelona Jersey Really is Heavy

Messi Nike Qatar Jersey 2011
Messi in a game against Atlético de Madrid. Photo by David Ramos (Getty).

The Barcelona Jersey Really is Heavy
El País: La camiseta del Barça pesa de verdad
Luís Martín reporting from Barcelona September 25, 2011

Barça’s shirt is heavy. Really. This isn’t a metaphor. There is evidence of what the team’s football players have had to tolerate every week since the debut of the team’s new kit, a jersey designed out of respect for the environment, made of recycled polyester composed of the equivalent of eight recycled plastic bottles. The so-called Dri-FIT fabric theoretically absorbs sweat which rapidly evaporates and “helps you stay try and comfortable at every moment” according the to Nike officials who presented the new design.

During the U.S. tour, the players noted that the shirt would become exaggeratedly soaked such that at halftime it was “as heavy as hell” and “stuck to the body like a limpet” according to sources in the dressing room. The players thought it was because of the humidity and scorching temperatures. But the same thing happened in Spain as well, against Madrid in the Supercopa games. Nothing changed after the Liga began, so in Valencia, the players sought proof to back up their complaints to management that the shirt was heavy: it was 200 grams at the beginning of the game and half a kilo of fabric and sweat at halftime. The hermetic players have not told the public of their search for a solution.

On Friday, members of Barcelona’s technical marketing department met with Nike, which is working on the problem. “In two weeks the problem will be solved,” an American representative of the company told this newspaper. That, more or less, is what the players are hoping for. The jersey is already heavy enough, metaphorically speaking, that after perspiration those words are a cliche no longer.

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