The insane design, combined with Montoya’s unique personality, made the shirt an instant hit. So much so that an impressionable 22 year old in Brazil would later famously take inspiration from the design. But more on that later.
While the design was purported to have come solely from the mind of Mono the truth may well be a little less clear cut. Our story takes an unexpected twist, from sweltering nights at La Bombonera to the banks of the river Rhine, and Fortuna Düsseldorf, 11,000 kilometres away.
Five years prior to Mono taking the field for the first time in his now famous design, Fortuna were preparing for their second season back in the first division. The 1990/91 Bundesliga season would be notable for several reasons, it would be the last season that the league was exclusive to teams from the former West Germany as well as marking the first time that FC Kaiserslautern lifted the Bundelsiga trophy. More relevant to our story however it would also be the first time that teams were allowed to have different manufacturers for their outfield and goalkeeper kits. So while Düsseldorf’s outfielders would once again take the field in Puma the goalkeeper shirt of Jörg Schmadtke would be manufactured by Uhlsport, and it seemed, they were out to make a splash.
Schmadtke took the field in a rather unique design. A cartoon truck complete with spewing exhaust pipes would make up the base of the design with garish patterns completing the outfit. Perhaps Mono Montoya’s design was not quite as outlandishly original as it had seemed.
Now, no one is claiming that Montoya himself had ripped off the design. Indeed the enduring feature of his design was that it featured a cartoon of Montoya himself driving the truck. However, as Montoya had always stated he was assisted by designers at Olan, it would seem entirely more plausible that these kit designers had some prior knowledge of the design worn by Schmadtke.