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Top 10 Iconic Football (Soccer) Kits

Updated on September 20, 2014


Originally wearers of a Black shirt with a Red Sash tied around player's waists then changing to Red & White striped shirts, but forced to change their kit as at the time they were first promoted to the Top Tier of Dutch Football in 1911, teams had only one playing shirt (no away/change shirts), and newcomers would have to choose a new shirt/colour conifguration if an existing team donned the same garments. Sparta Rotterdam were already in the Top Tier of Dutch Football at the time, and being wearers of Red & White striped shirts, by proxy forced Ajax to change their kit to the instantly recognisable Red & White thirded shirt, and they would look wrong in anything but that kit these days.


The legend of Boca's classic Blue Shirt with a Yellow horizontal sash, is that Boca & another team called Nottingham de Almagro wore shirts so similar, they actually played a match in 1906 to decide who would keep the honour of wearing their style shirts (which apparently was a White shirt with pinstripe Blue). Boca lost this match. This loss forced Boca to reconsider the style shirt they wore, and decided to wear the colours of the flag of the first ship that would sail in to the port of La Boca. The ship that first ported turned out to be a Swedish vessel called Drottning Sophia. As a result, the Swedish colours of Blue & Yellow were used, firstly with a Yellow Diagonal Sash, and then almost always since the Yellow Horizontal Sash.


There is little knowledge to why the great Arentinian club have their iconic Red Sash, but the design is instantly recognisable as their's, altohugh there are clubs & nations that wear the same design, including Peru & Rayo Vallecano of Madrid, Spain. In fact, it seems the Spanish club, who used to wear all white, became affiliated to River Plate and thus sport the great design as a result.


Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG), have experimented with their kits quite a bit, however their mainstay & the kit that iconises the club, is the Daniel Hechter designed Blue Shirt, with a Thick, Central Red Band, With Thick White Piping. Hechter, who was a fashion designer, became PSG's president in 1973, and developed the bold & never seen before design, making the kit recognisable whenever seen as that of the biggest club from France's capital city.


Club de FĂștbol Universidad Nacional A. C. (Pumas UNAM), a Mexican football team that was originally an Amateur football team made up of students from the Univerisities different schools. They have one of the most iconic & instantly recognisable kits you could ever come across in the beautiful game. Their colours of Blue & Gold pay homage to the University of Notre Dame. It was because of the that University's football coaches that the Universidad Nacional gained an American-Style football team. Their nickname, and subsequently the reason for the Oversized emblem that dornes the front of the shirt, was originated by coach Roberto 'Tapatio' Mendez , who compared his players to Pumas during his motivational speeches.


Brazil's national flag inspired kit is iconic, mainly because of the success & stye of play of the national team, because without success, and without the iconic way the player's of the great footballing nation play the beautiful game, the mis-matched kit of Yellow, Green, Blue & White would be an abberation. We let Brazil off for this fashion faux-pas however, and any other combination looks wrong when they take to the field.


Real Madrid's all white kit is world famous & with the clubs status as the most successful Association Football league club of all-time, the kit being iconic is justified. There was only one season where Real Madrid did not have all-white for Home Shirt & Shorts, this was in 1925, after a visit to England, club officals realised that well-known & respected club (at the time) Corinthian FC, wore White Shirts & Black Shorts. The club officials decided that Real Madrid wanted to portray the values of Corinthian FC, therefore changed the kit for one season only, as it became seen as a bad-luck charm after bad results against FC Barcelona in the cup.


Red & Black, as the club's nickname suggests, Rossoneri(Red/Black), are the colours that Italian team AC Milan wear. It is an iconic colour combination that is widely recognised by football fans everywhere. The Red, is said to represent the Fire inside the Players, and the Black, is said to represent the Fear inside the Opposition when they play the Mighty Milanese Giants!


Many great players have sported the great shirt, and graced the team in doing so, but there are many theories on why the great FC Barcelona wear the Blue & Red shirts. However the mainstream theory in Catalonia, the area where the club hail from, is that Joan Gamper(FC Barcelona's original leader), selected the colours a they were the colours of his hometown team, FC Basel of Switzerland. This theory holds quite tight, as the history, tradition and indeed the inception of FC Barcelona involves Swiss(along with Spanish & English) players & a Swiss leader (the afforementioned Joan Gamper).


The colours of AS Roma are almost unique in Profession Football, giving the iconic status of their kits. The colours are based around the traditional colours of Rome, and are officially known as Imperial Purple & Golden Yellow. Roma kits are undeniably recognisable and unmistakable as the kits from one of the biggest clubs in the Italian Capital.

Which of these kits would you say is MOST iconic?

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Do you agree with the iconic status of these teams' kits? What kits do you think deserve mention as iconic?

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    • adambarker97 profile imageAUTHOR

      Adam Barker and Dean Barker 

      4 years ago

      Thanks Thomas, Inter was in our thoughts, however just for a top 10 we think the others stand out more. Even if we had of included an English Club, there would be clubs in our thinking ahead of Chelsea & Liverpool. For instance, Arsenal with their White Sleeves on a Red Shirt, even Blackburn, Wolves or Bristol Rovers, had they had the international recognition the other clubs do. There are other non-English clubs that would make iconic kit stats way above Chelsea & Liverpool too, such as Celtic, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, Flamengo, Fluminense plus many more. We will have more kit hubs on the way, as teams such as Heerenveen (Blue & White stripes, with Red Waterlillies) should have a mention in unusual kit designs too.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 

      4 years ago from New Zealand

      A great topic for a hub. All good picks, though I would have found a place for Inter Milan as well. Their blue and black stripes are memorable. I think Ajax is a good inclusion. No English clubs though? Chelsea and Liverpool have fairly iconic kits.

      Looks like a clean sweep for Brazil in the poll at the moment. I would have put Real Madrid second for their all-white kit.


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