Champions League Commences: Third Kits EVERYWHERE
Its that most wonderful time of year, Champions League Group play commenced last week with some great results (Arsenal 6-0 for example) and some more middling ones (Inter 2-2 Twente) but regardless, Champions League means Nike and Adidas can make even more money by peddling third kits to fans (the whole point of a home and change is that they almost never clash with most teams, but there have been times where they have been a necessary evil)
For example, Arsenal @ Barcelona in the Quarterfinals last year is when the Gunners wore their fine White/Redcurrant striped shirt as both the home (red and white) and change (navy blue) clashed with Barca’s trademark Red and Blue stripe.
Let’s see what teams will be wearing during the 2010/11 CL campaign on the Road to Wembley.
Real Madrid (9/10)
Boy oh boy did Adidas spoil Los Galacticos Dos this season. The Home (White with light blue) and the away (Black with Neon Green) already look brilliant, but for Champions League, Adidas brought back Madrid’s unofficial third color, Purple. It does follow the template of the other two, but with the Champions League patch and the European Cup winners patch, the incomplete stripes almost look right. With how strong the team is, and that Mourinho Magic, don’t be surprised if you see the likes of Alonso, Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Ozil raising the CL trophy in this great looking kit.
Bayern Munich – Champions League Home Kit (10/10)
Jurgen Klinsmann 2.0 (Munich Forward Thomas Muller) is modeling what I think may be the BEST of all Champions League kits out this season. An all black affair, Bayern Munich will surprisingly be wearing these beautiful shirts at home in front of the 68,000 Bayern faithful instead of their traditional red and white stripes. I think it is an interesting decision, but it makes the 2009-10 CL runners up look that much more menacing against their opponents. (Fans, if you like this shirt as much as myself, buy quickly, as I’m sure it will be sold out in no time)
Chelsea Football Club, I don’t like you for obvious reasons (okay, I’ll admit, I like Kalou and Essien, but still), which is why I am glad to present your ridiculous looking European Kit for this year. The Black and Blue stripe, a nice touch to reference Chelsea’s home kit and ACTUAL colors, but the lemon-lime is totally unnecessary, the team had a great third last year with the white kit with horizontal black stripes. This however, is the worst kit the club has seen since the hazmat yellow kit of 2007-08. The away kit of black and orange has grown on me, but this looks ridiculous.
AC MIlan (8/10)
Another great kit for Milan this season, The Adi Dasler empire has done an excellent job for some of the premier clubs in the world this season. This is a simplistic, great looking kit. The all black provides a menacing look for the rossonieri, and the horizontal red piping is a nod to the red and black striped home kit, and like the home kit, the nape of the neck features a subtle italian flag. This looks excellent, but I deduct points only because this clashes just like the home kit does, when will they wear it?
Olympique Lyonnais (8.5/10)
For 2010-11, Lyon ditched longtime kit sponsor Umbro for Adidas, and they reaped the benefits. This is Top 5 most unique kits I have seen this year, and joins Everton’s pink away shirt as one of the most vibrant in europe. The purple, red and navy blue work together festively for the Champions League semifinalists. Considering their change kit resembles my grandmother’s curtains, I do hope Lyon wears this kit often during European play.
Special Mention – Europa League Sides
As we know, the best dressed do not always make Champions League play, here are a few Europa League (and one non qualifier) that have some excellent third kits.
Manchester City (10/10)
I have spoken highly of City’s third kit since it was first released, because plain and simple, it may be the best looking third kit in England. As you can see above, it is a nod to the Citizens’ past, and the best part about it? Sponsors Etihad Airways were willing to shrink their logo so not to break up the red and black sash. City has worn these kits twice so far that I know of (a friendly at Inter and against Wigan Sept. 19) and I do hope to see it more as high-spending city looks to buy themselves a trophy.
I have spoken highly of Liverpool’s third kit in the past, and they finally have broken it out during the Europa League Qualifiers. I still believe that last year’s phantom and gold number is a bit better, but the fact that the sponsor was willing to match the rest of the kit and they changed the club crest colors to match is excellent. This vibrant black and yellow kit is a great third look for the Reds.
Everton will release this third kit on September 30, and wow does it look good. This provides a nice contrast to the club’s home blue and pink away kits. The cream color is simple, but the Chang logo, club crest, and manufacturer logo look right at home on the shirt. And also, look at those socks! Everton may be out of European play, but I hope to see this shirt in the premier league when they are not at Goodison Park.
Well there is a preview of the third kits clubs will be wearing during European and League play this season. Next post, I’ll have fifteen kits that non-soccer fans might be interested in buying. – J