Let me ask you this: Would you play on a soccer field that looks anything like this? This is a clay soccer field and it was very standard back in the 1980’s in Italy. I grew up playing on fields like this, hard as rock, not to mention the damage it will cause to a goalkeepers body. Basically it’s like diving on the sidewalk. But with the necessary protection, it wouldn’t have been that bad, just that back then there was no “necessary protection”. Padded short and jerseys were unheard of, so what we (goalkeepers of the 80’s) did was put under our teams jersey 2 or 3 sweaters.
As I would often scratch badly my wrists, I came up with the idea of taping 2 shin guards to them, I would use skateboard plastic knee and elbow pads as well and 3 or 4 pairs of shorts on top of a heave cotton tracksuit pair of pants. I looked ridiculous, but I had to protect myself if I wanted to perform like a goalkeeper during practice and during the game.
Now, let me ask you this as well: How many of you would wear a pair of gloves like the ones above at your next soccer game?
And the heavy cotton jersey shown right here below, that weighs in at nearly 3 lbs, would you wear that in the middle of the summer when the sun sines in a 100 degrees?
In 1980 when you walked into a sports store and asked where the goalkeeper gloves were, you’d end up having no choice but to purchase the only make and model they had on the shelve. Same with the cleats, if you didn’t have a LOT of money you’d end up getting the cheapest pair of Admiral or Umbro cleats they had and they had a lot of them, but if your parents were willing to spend 4 maybe 5 times more than you’d get a pair of Adidas, that back in the day were very popular along with Puma.
Every time that you look at your goalkeeper gloves and you see that they’re a little worn or that you no longer have the latest model of cleats, or that your soccer field has a few dirt patches in it, remember reading this article and smile 🙂