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Alajuelense Home football shirt 1996
Alajuelense Home football shirt 1996

1996 Alajuelense home football shirt. Home shirt as worn during the latter part of the 1995-96 tournament and for a few matches of the 1996-97 tournament.

Alajuelense was recovering from losing two back-to-back league titles against Saprissa (1993-94 and 1994-95; as well as a CONCACAF Final Round played on December 1995 against Municipal from Guatemala, CS Moulien from Guadeloupe and eventual winners Saprissa) and was well on its way to reclaiming what was rightfully theirs. The team was managed by Brazilian coach Valdeir "Badú" Vieira who was on his second season with the rojinegros. He departed the team at the end of the season for the empty seat on the Costa Rica National Team.

This shirt was worn towards the end of the season--notably on both matches against Saprissa for the "Segunda Fase" semifinal, and on the four matches against Cartaginés (the "Segunda Fase" finals and the national finals). This shirt was most famously worn by Alajuelense when they won the first semifinal match against Saprissa by 2-4 on their home turf before almost 20.000 Saprissa faithful on June 23rd, 1996. It was the last time that Alajuelense would score four goals against Saprissa while playing away before a 4-4 tie on 2013 (Saprissa played home at the Estadio Nacional that time, though). Alajuelense also wore this shirt on the return match (lost 2-3 but qualified through a 6-5 overall score).

Shirt #7 was worn by striker Rónald Gómez on his last season with Alajuelense. He netted 27 goals and had close pursuit by Cartaginés forward Norman Gómez (no relation). Rónald initially used #18 after being signed from AD Carmelita but moved to #7 after Honduran forward Ciro Paulino Castillo was released following the end of the 1993-94 season. Gómez left Alajuelense for Spanish outfit Sporting de Gijón. He eventually fell out of grace with the Alajuelense fandom after he signed years later with Saprissa.

More examples of this shirt

  • Alajuelense Home football shirt 1996 Alajuelense Home football shirt 1996

    Another example of the home shirt used by Alajuelense during the latter part of the 1995-96 season in which they won the league title against Cartaginés and shook off four years without winning silverware.

    This shirt was famous as it was the first shirt in the Nike deal, however it was later revealed that it was manufactured locally and had the Nike logo stitched. However, Nike supplied training gear and on mid-1997 did deliver the goods. The Nike sponsorship lasted until 1998 and was the first time in which Alajuelense was supplied by a major sports firm; later being followed by PUMA from mid-2008 until late 2017.

    Shirt #5 was worn by midfielder Luis Diego Arnáez who was on his third year with the club, having arrived ahead of the 1993-94 season from hometown club Municipal Puntarenas. Arnáez retired in 2005 and had a caretaker spell as Alajuelense gaffer in 2008.

    "El Flaco" had another caretaker spell during the Clausura 2018 playoff round after Uruguayan coach Nicolás Dos Santos was sacked after poor showings against Saprissa and Santos (the Saprissa match being the most notorious one); and despite not qualifying for the finals on goal difference (as Alajuelense ended up tied in points with leaders Saprissa), Arnáez was named for the job full-time after salvaging Alajuelense's playoff by earning 10/12 points and, as aforementioned, contesting qualification until the final match.

    Submitted by NCW_1 June 12, 2018

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