FC Barcelona – Home Kitstory

With one of the most iconic shirts in football, FC Barcelona can also lay claim to being one of the most successful clubs in the sport with legends like Ronaldo, Messi, Ronaldinho and Maradona wearing their colors. With their blue and maroon stripes (and lately also squares), the origin of the Blaugrana colors is a story of much debate.

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The most common theory is that the colors originated from Joan Gamper, the founder of FC Barcelona, and his love for his previous club FC Basel. A quick look at the Swiss team’s kits offers this theory much credence.

However, other theories. Probably the most improbable would be that a board member’s blue and maroon colored pencil inspired the kit during a board meeting in late 1899. Another is that two of the club’s early players, Englishmen Ernest and Arthur Witty, once brought back their local Merchant Taylors’ School Rugby shirts for all of the FC Barcelona players – who consequently donned the shirts for a match and the start of a long blue and maroon shirt history.

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The stripes of the shirt have also had a long-standing history. Aside from the 2015-16 season (horizontal stripes) and the current 2019-20 shirt (checkered), the stripes on the shirt have always been a consistent vertical. It’s no surprise that fans have often protested with these changes away from tradition.

Another important part of the shirt history is the sponsor. Until 2006, FC Barcelona were one of the few clubs left in professional football without a shirt sponsor emblazoned on the front of their shirts. The change was attributed to Joan Laporta’s board, who reached an agreement with UNICEF for the first shirt sponsor in the club’s history. Qatar Airways followed in 2011, followed by Rakuten in 2017 – along with Beko as their shirt sleeve sponsor.

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Throughout their long 120 year history, Barcelona has had just three shirt suppliers. Sponsorless until 1982, they were then supplied by Meyba from 1982 to 1992, Kappa until 1998, and by Nike ever since.

A final point in the history of the FC Barcelona home kit are the shorts. Interestingly, the first shorts were white, followed by black, with blue only coming into play from the 1920s. Since then, the majority of kits have had blue with the occasional black, or maroon being used on odd occasions.

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Real Madrid – Home Kitstory

Arguably the most successful football club in the world, the undisputed Kings of Europe with 13 Championships and the only team to have successfully defended their UEFA Champions League title, not once but twice in a row, Real Madrid are a team with a great history and a kit that has always been recognized globally.

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Since the club was founded on the 6th of March 1902, the team has worn an all-white uniform. The origin of this practice coincides with the introduction of football to Madrid. To participate in a match the “primitive” players took off their regular clothes and played in their underwear: a white undershirt and white shorts. Teams wore colored bands across their chest to differentiate each other, but they fell off easily and so new uniforms had to be found. As the first club in Madrid, the Madrid Football Club retained the right to wear all-white as their uniform.

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The sole exception to this was the year 1925 when they wore black shorts in order to replicate one of the most famous teams of that time: London’s Corinthian F.C. This experiment lasted only one year though because during that season they were eliminated from the Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) by Barcelona with a 1-5 loss in Madrid and 2-0 loss in Barcelona’s stadium. Because of this the president decided that this kit brought nothing but bad luck and the team returned to their all-white uniform.

Minor changes have been made to Real Madrid’s kit through the years. Buttons were added in the early 1940’s as well as the club’s crest on the left breast. In 1947 Real Madrid became the first team in Spain to wear numbered shirts.

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The club’s crest has also changed from the first design to what we know now. It started as a simple design that featured the club’s initials “MFC” in dark blue which after a few years evolved into a more streamlined design featuring the initials inside a circle. In 1920 King Alfonso XIII granted the club his royal patronage in the form of a title: Real Madrid. and the king’s crown was also added to the logo. During the civil war all the royal symbols were eliminated and the crown in the logo was removed and replaced by a dark mulberry band of the region of Castille. After the end of the war the crown was restored and the mulberry band was retained while also making the crest full color.

Juventus – Home Kitstory

Juventus Football Club, La Vecchia Signora (The Old Lady) from northern Italy is one of Europe’s classic teams. Legendary players such as Michel Platini, Zinedine Zidane and now Cristiano Ronaldo have taken the field at the Delle Alpi (now Allianz Stadium) wearing the iconic black and white striped shirt.

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It all began in 1897 when the club was founded in Turin by a group of students. The original uniform that the first Juve team wore was, surprisingly, white with a black tie. They played with this plain uniform for two seasons and then, to stand out from the other teams, a pink shirt with a black tie was introduced. The father of one of the players had made the shirt but they soon faced the issue of the color fading after continuous washing. This made it necessary for the team to look for a replacement.

It was in 1903 that one of Juve’s players, Englishman John Savage, called up his contacts back in England to find new shirts in a color that wasn’t so prone to fading. Savage got in touch with a friend who lived in Nottingham and was of course a fan of local team Notts County, and he shipped out the black and white striped shirts worn by “The Magpies” (Notts County) straight to Turin. Juve have worn those colors ever since – considering them to be powerful and aggressive.

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Changes to the kit since 1903 have been minor. In 1979 Juve for the first time added the manufacturer’s logo to the jersey (then Kappa). 20 years later they changed their shirt supplier to Lotto, then Nike and now Adidas until at least 2021.

Another element that has changed in Juve’s kit through the years has been their sponsors. They have had 14 different shirt sponsors since 1981 when they proudly wore Ariston’s logo. The latest partnership they have is with Jeep, this deal will go on until at least 2022.

So there you have it. The “Old Lady” has worn the same colors for most of their history. This iconic shirt is sure to be recognized anywhere in the world, especially now that they have Ronaldo on their ranks.

Manchester United – Home Kitstory

For many years now Manchester United has been ranked as the most valuable football club in the world. According to the english newspaper The Independent, the team was worth 3.255 billion Euros as of 2018. This is the result of a global branding effort that has made their kit the most recognized globally. But did you know that the “Red Devils” once wore green and yellow uniforms? Or that a blue cord once adorned the white shirts of the Manchester United players?

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Formed in 1878 as the Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon Department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, they played mainly against other departments and rail companies. Back then it was common for players to wear whatever they had, and players were distinguished by their caps, not their kits. Although there is a mention from The Sportman’s Yearbook from the 1879/80 season that has the team wearing a white shirt and a blue cord.

In 1980 they competed in their first recorded match wearing the railway company’s colors: green and gold. According to historians these shirts were made of cashmere. They wore those colors up until the 1887/88 season when they wore red for the first time, red and white to be exact.

In the 1893/94 season the relationship between the football team and the railway company was strained and perhaps as a last ditch effort to maintain this relationship the team wore the company’s colors once again, the kit for the season was a green and gold striped shirt.

The team struggled financially for almost a decade before being acquired by Captain Harry Stafford in 1902. Together with other investors they decided to change the team’s name to Manchester United. It was during this season that the Red Devils started wearing the solid red kit with white shorts and black socks that they are known for throughout the world.

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PSG Home Kit

Established on August 20, 1970, PSG is Ligue 1’s one of youngest team in absolute terms. Compared to 136-year-old Le Havre or 109-year-old Marseille, the Paris side are relative teenagers in fact. Born after the merger between Stade Saint-Germain and some 20,000 Paris sportsmen, eager to see a great football club in Paris and Stade Saint Germain, Paris Saint Germain have always represented both Paris and Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

The colors of PSG jersey, taken from club’s coat of arms, are the traces of this merger. The red of Eiffel tower and the blue background are traditional colors of Paris, and are representative of French revolution. Red is associated with Saint-Denise and blue with Saint-Martin. The wink of white gives recognition to the coat of arms of Saint Germain en Laye. Fleur-de-lis, a royal symbol, and cradle remind that Louis XIV was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye while Eiffel tower recalls the beauty of Paris.

PSG arrived, the first season of 1970/71 in the French second division, wearing red jerseys with blue and white collars, white shorts, and blue socks. This jersey continued with minor changes until the 1972/73 season. In 1973, Daniel Hechter became club president and designed what is now famous as the “Hechter Jersey”: a dominant blue, a vertical broad central red band framed by two white lines. This look was inspired by Ajax’s jersey. Except for 1974/75 season where the colors were reversed, PSG made the “Hechter Jersey” its home identity until 1982. 

Under the leadership of Francis Borrelli, the Hechter Jersey was put on for away games. Paris now donned for home games in white with red and blue vertical bands on the side – the outer jersey in the last three seasons. Players who have marked the history of PSG in the 80s –Luis Fernandez, Dominique Bathenay – are associated with white jersey with red and blue bands on left side.  It is with this jersey, PSG won its first Cope de France (1982), pocketed the second cup (1983), and won the title of Champion of France (1986). The Hetcher jersey, which was demoted to an away jersey, was replaced for two seasons in 1988-1989 by blue jersey with diagonal strip.   

The Hechter Jersey returned as home identity in 1994 and has remained as home jersey since then. PSG stars such as Ronaldinho, Pauleta, Rai were seen in the Hechter in 90s and 00s. Popular with fans, gray jersey came in sight, as outer jersey, in 1999/2000 and made a comeback following season. The Hechter shirt saw numerous pinnacle moments including UEFA Cup Winners in 1995/96 and this jersey, with its vibrant and iconic colors, has remained the true soul of Paris Saint Germain.

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