HOME / 1995-97
BY YOLI AGUILAR
When we think of Bayern Münich, the first image that comes to our mind is that of the team in a solid red kit. Throughout its history, that is what they have primarily been associated with and it’s what they’re synonymous with.
However, in several seasons, they are often seen sporting a different colour scheme in a bid to add a bit more suave to their shirts, and that was evident in 1995.
Perhaps adding in other colours may seem strange, but when this kit is given a look, it is one that instantly attracts the eye and appeals to many.
In this kit, the predominant colours are red-and-blue vertical stripes, a design that often goes against the history of the club. The last time a similar colourway was used was in 1968 and this was only the second occasion Bayern Munich had mixed blue into their shirts.
Amongst the players to don that famous kit was the prolific Jürgen Klinsmann, whilst the likes of Lothar Matthäus, Jean-Pierre Papin and an emerging Dietmar Hamann were also part of that team.
Although it seems strange because of how unique it was, that shirt is often not remembered. Bayern Munich finished that season in second place behind Borussia Dortmund, and it was all widely forgotten.
In the 2014-15 season, Adidas and Bayern Munich replicated that design, and it also enjoyed more success on the pitch, as the Bavarian giants romped to the Bundesliga title under Pep Guardiola.
Nevertheless, this was a kit that looked great and it’s a rare design that Bayern Munich only bring out on a few occasions.
HOME / 2018-19
BY KARAN TEJWANI
Green-and-black is a wonderful combination, but one that is rarely around. In England, lower-league side Forest Green Rovers don them, and they make great kits, while elsewhere, there is Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany who have been synonymous with those colours, amongst a select few.
Over in Italy, however, there is a club that keeps those colours close to their heart, and they are Sassuolo, who struck gold in 2018. Perennial makers of great football shirts, Kappa used green-and-black to great advantage and combined it with a black fade design at the bottom of the shirt to go well with the black shorts.
In addition to that, the black sleeves and sleek V-neck made for a great combination, and this shirt was silently one of the most prominent in Serie A that season.
Sadly for tiny little Sassuolo, there wasn’t much to cheer about that season. They finished the season in 11th place, proving to be decent enough to avoid relegation but not strong enough to relive the glory days of two seasons prior, where they managed to qualify for the Europa League and came up against the likes of Athletic Club.
To some joy, the Neroverdi had some great players sporting that shirt. Prior to his bizarre loan move to Barcelona, Kevin Prince-Boateng made that shirt look even better for about four months, whilst current Inter Milan genius Stefano Sensi made a massive name for himself throughout the season, proving to be good enough to finally make the big step at the end of the season and also cement his place in Roberto Mancini’s Italy side.
Other than them, there was also Turkish prospect Merih Demiral, who’s now trying to make some noise in Turin with Juventus after an impressive season, whilst Alessandro Matri, the forward who’s played for just about every team in Serie A (at least once, no less) also sported these colours.
Kappa know good kits and they hit the nail on the head with this effort for Sassuolo. It may not have received the same love as some of the other kits in Italy last season, but it’s right up there and it looks fantastic.
HOME / 1998
BY JAKE SMALLEY
Worn majestically by the maned midfield maestro Carlos Valderrama, Colombia’s World Cup shirt from 1998 was a thing of beauty.
A thick blue collar contrasting gloriously against the yellow of the main body made for one of the best World Cup kits over the past 30 years. Despite having spectacular versions in the 2014 and 2018 tournaments, Colombia boast their best effort with this classic from Reebok, who are a missed retailer in the football shirt world.
Although they are seen as something of a top side on the international stage these days following the emergence of their golden generation containing the likes of Radamel Falcao and James Rodríguez, the 1998 side were coming in on the back of a rough patch.
They found themselves back on the plane home after picking up just three points during the group stage in which they found themselves beaten comfortably England and Romania, who advanced at their expense.
The Three Lions triumphed 2-0 in their fixture with Colombia in a glorious red strip, with David Beckham curling in a sumptuous free kick akin to his Greece special four years later.
The man who is perhaps best associated with this time period in Colombia football is for sure the aforementioned Carlos Valderrama. The afro-clad schemer had something of a nomadic career, skating around Argentina, France and Colombia with a lengthy spell in Major League Soccer towards the end of his career.
He is often regarded by many as an icon of Colombian football and a man who represented his country in a time when perhaps the side around him wasn’t at its highest standard when compared with the players they boast today. Valderrama’s enigmatic figure led a new generation of great players to come through.
Clad in the beauty of this yellow and blue masterpiece, Valderrama looked every bit the lion his hair aimed to replicate.
HOME / 1999
BY GABRIELE ANELLO
Japanese football is a world of magic when it comes to shirts, since there is so much unexplored variety and grandeur. From early glances, many of their shirts stick in the minds of fans for their striking colours and designs.
Shimizu S-Pulse have been synonymous with great shirts. They have a particular genesis: the Shizouka-based club was founded in 1991 and in one of the most important prefectures for football in Japan, but without any major corporate backing. This was unique in that era. Most clubs had a strong backing, but that wasn’t the case with Shimizu S-Pulse.
Unlike their district neighbours – Júbilo Iwata, who were basically the former team of multinational conglomerate, Yamaha, S-Pulse counter on just their fans and local businesses. They were convinced about the opportunity of having another club in the prefecture, despite Júbilo’s presence. This is probably why the ‘S’ in the name was put in – it stood for Shizuoka, and also the support of the fans who contributed to give birth to S-Pulse.
It worked, but most of all, this heart-felt approach exudes from the 1999 kit. At the Nihondaira Stadium, that year began an era of successes and missed opportunities. S-Pulse won all the trophies in Japanese football at the time, except the championship. That year, however, they came close to winning the league.
At the time, the championship had a two-stage format and despite earning 65 points all season, Shimizu lot the two-legged final…against Júbilo Iwata! They accumulated 16 more points than them in the league, but Shimizu lost on penalties.
While achieving these heights, the club did it with a unique Puma kit. The most stunning detail was the globe-pattern on the journey. A similar detail was also evident when Mizuno manufactured the kit earlier in the decade, and Puma continued with it. The globe – manufactured with a particular camouflaged design was moved slightly to the side, compared to the central spot it had previously.
The globe is significant. It isn’t just a show of the planet, it shows a fictional country, all coloured in orange – which is the primary colour of the club. That nation appearing on the kit is an embodiment of the Japanese concept of Kenshō, rather than a physical country. Kenshō is connected to a concept of Zen culture, which underlines the imprtance of “seeing someone’s true colours.”
This is a unique kit befitting of the club. The shirt, the message and the story behind it is what makes Shimizu S-Pulse so special.
HOME / 2013-14
BY BILLY MUNDAY
There really was something fiercely fantastic about Galatasaray’s 2013-14 home kit. It consisted of the club’s usual gold and red colours, but with a vibrant fluidity that fitted the shoulders of some of the game’s greats so well. This was the Gala of Didier Drogba, Wesley Sneijder and Felipe Melo, the Turkish team that took on Europe’s elite both at home and away.
The gold and red shades apparently originate from the streets of Istanbul where, in the early 20th century, club founder Ali Semi Yen and two of his teammates went to search for new kit colours on foot. After searching through several shops, the mixture of gold and cherry red resembled a goldfinch and caught their eye.
For this campaign, Galatasaray stuck with their half-and-half shirts but switched up the sleeves and collar so they’d have opposing colours. This, along with either white or red shorts, made up quite a sight in on those Champions League nights.
They took on Real Madrid, Copenhagen and Juventus in it, sending the Italian giants packing on the final matchday of the group stages. The last 16 draw threw up a homecoming for Drogba as Chelsea took on the Turkish champions, with José Mourinho’s side eventually easing into the quarter-finals.
Drogba set the tone for a successful season right at the start, netting the winner against Fenerbahçe in the Turkish Super Cup. There was no Super Lig triumph but there was a Turkish Cup victory to come in consolation, with Sneijder scoring the only goal of the final against Eskişehirspor.
There was no need for a changed strip in either game, with Gala lifting two trophies in their famous red and gold colours.
Nike can take the credit for this particular masterpiece and it was one of a selection of Galatasaray beauties in those glory years on the pitch. Since then, Nike have held on to the reins with the club, but they’ve yet to match their 2013-14 product.
AWAY / 1991-92
BY JAMIE GARWOOD
Being a Tottenham fan, you grow up with an aversion to all things red and a fond admiration for all things white. While Tottenham wear the familiar white, navy blue shorts and blue socks for their home games. For me, I personally loved the away kit options growing up in the early 1990s – that being the yellow or purple choices donned by the White Hart Lane side.
Perhaps it was an aversion to dare not get the sacred white shirt dirty with ketchup from a burger or forsake getting green on it like you would cricket whites. Yet you could wear the yellow shirt above anywhere, especially in the summer when there was no football.
It had this part-starburst, part-chevron, part-square design on the right-hand shoulder, with sky and navy blue creating a splash upon your shoulder like a kaleidoscopic angel while the famous cockerel covered your heart with pride.
Yet, it was a weird period in Tottenham’s history for this shirt. It was first brought out in 1992-93 season – it was a period where Paul Gascoigne left for Lazio and Gary Lineker’s last season. The player I remember most fondly donning that shirt is Gordon Durie, who joined the club from Hibernian but failed to replicate his form from Scotland. He returned to Rangers soon after and ended up winning seven league titles.
However, this kit did have one glorious moment in the sun, that being in 1995 when Ronnie Rosenthal scored one of football’s most unbelievable hat-tricks in an FA Cup fifth round replay away at Southampton as Tottenham were trailing 2-0 at half-time only for Rosenthal’s introduction as a half-time substitute to turn the tide scoring two goals to take the game into extra-time before completing his hat-trick in the first period to make the score 3-2. Spurs ended up winning 6-2.
However, the look on Rosenthal’s face when he cheekily catches Southampton goalkeeper at his near post from long distance beaming in that yellow Umbro kit sponsored by Holsten was a wonder to behold and a memory that sticks.