Lists

FourFourTwo's 50 best football shirts... EVER

Best football shirts
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30. Gremio, home (1989-90)

A Brazilian classic colour combo, enhanced further by the sewn-on manufacturers logo and curly fizzy pop logo sponsorship.

29. Roma, home (1981-82)

Another side that rarely put out poor kits – that colour combo and wolf imagery can’t fail – Roma’s apex came this year with its most stylish exponent, Falcao (despite his curly Phil Neal mullet), apparently having a hand in the design.

28. Nigeria, home (1994)

The Super Eagles topped their group at USA '94 with this African print-patterned adidas number, only to deny the world a fifth game in it by losing to eventual finalists Italy in the last 16. If only more teams would incorporate local influences into their shirts like this.

27. Nagoya Grampus Eight, home (1994-95)

J League shirts have always been heavily influenced by Japan’s unique artistic and design tradition, and this one – famously modelled by Gary Lineker for a couple of terms at the end of his career – was a smasher.

26. Marseille, home (1971/72)

A groundbreaker. This was the first shirt to have something we now take for granted: a brand logo and a sponsor. It looked darned dapper, too.

25. Argentina, home (1986)

England players saw far too much of this shirt's rear while watching Diego Maradona scurry out of reach for 90 minutes at Mexico '86 – the tournament at which Argentina's diminutive genius left all in his wake before lifting the Jules Rimet. Iconic. 

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24. Corinthians, home (1982-83)

Charged with political significance: in ’82 the players of the crisis-torn Sao Paulo outfit – including ciggy-mad Seleção God Socrates – took over the running of day-to-day operations, with employees, players and managers all getting an equal vote. It looks unbelievably good, too.

23. Fiorentina, away (1996-97)

Purple is a tricky colour to pull off and often the preserve of the Mad Cat Lady (even when it's merely just for trim in this white number), but in Italy’s most beautiful city they’ll tell you it’s violet and point you at a picture of Gabriel Batistuta looking unbelievable. Bonus points for Super Mario getting involved.

22. France, away (2011-12)

The Breton stripe was used by the French navy from 1858, popularised by Coco Chanel in 1917, and is still a staple of casual womenswear and high fashion Jean Paul Gaultier sailor outfits. Full marks to the France side for embracing the tradition for this shipshape away effort.

21. Juventus, home (1983-84)

A shirt fit for Serie A and European Cup Winners' Cup champions. This delightful creation from Kappa is the all-time classic Juventus shirt, known for its stylish giant collar, smart V-neck... and Michel Platini. It's all about Platini.    

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20. Stockport County, home (1981/82)

Even the most agitated Falkland Islander would be hard pushed to deny that the Argentina international shirt is a peach, but Stockport’s lovely homage to it was unfortunately withdrawn after the war over Las Malvinas broke out early that season.

19. Man City, away (1988-90)

One of the few football tops that could be acceptably worn in the church of Mancunian acid house cool, the Hacienda. Mind my pint, Bez!

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18. Wales, away (1980-83)

The Principality have had some great kits over the years, and for our money the finest is this obscure yellow and green change number from 1980-83. Think Ian Rush, Kevin Ratcliffe and Joey Jones in full adidas glory.

17. Verdy Kawasaki, home (1993-94)

Presumably after passing the bong around Mizuno HQ and wigging out to Anthem of the Sun by the Grateful Dead, the design team got straight on with knocking up this splendidly psychedelic effort for the Tokyo-based yo-yo club. Far out, おとこ (that’s Japanese for man).

16. Colombia, away (1990)

Higuita! Valderrama! Escobar! Rincon! Iconic team they may have been, but Colombia were actually a bit rubbish at Italia '90, scraping out of the group stage in third place then exiting to Cameroon. Still, at least they looked good while getting their arses handed to them by Roger Milla & Co. in this deep red number, complete with jazzy symmetrical shoulder bars. 

15. Atalanta, away (1990-91)

Despite being a cut and paste of the classic Germany shirt from the same era, this is a masterpiece of design, and the colour scheme just gives it the edge over Die Mannschaft’s top threads.

14. Club America, home (1994-96)

A shirt that invokes both Colombia’s ‘birdman’ super-fan and the Rio carnival, this was a jersey that could have gone badly awry. But for us, the primary colours ambition on display makes it more brilliant than bonkers. The Mexico City outfit’s continental badge finishes it off perfectly.

13. Sampdoria, home (1991/92)

Sampdoria shirts are always outstanding, but this one – from the year that the Genoese marvels pipped the two Milan clubs to the title – is slick Italian style at its very zenith. Best worn by the slick ‘terrible twins’ up front – Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Mancini.

12. Tottenham, home (1985-87)

Good on hummel, who thought slanted pinstripes above chevrons would work. And by Jove, they do: this super-stylish Spurs effort from the mid-to-late '80s was fine design, featuring yet more chevrons on the sleeves and neatly fitting all of its components into one compact area. Ossie Ardiles never looked so good. 

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11. Mexico, home (1998)

A bit of local artistic influence always enhances a kit, and manufacturers Aba Sports channel a bit of imagery here in a manner that the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl would surely have approved of – becoming drunk on fermented agave juice and cavorting with his sister in celebration, as was apparently his wont.

50-31 • 30-11 • 10-1