Summers are meant for three things. International tournaments. Transfer excitement. And new kit launches. Arguably, new kits are the most satisfying of the lot.
There’s a real mixed bag in the Premier League this season, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City fans all panning their third-choice efforts. Across Europe, however, there are some stunning shirts with absolutely no zebra prints in sight.
If you’re really not keen on your side’s strip this season, check out some of the efforts from the continent that you could opt for instead…
Honourable mention: Loch Ness FC's home, away and third
LOCH NESS FC FOOTBALL STRIPS UPDATE!Here are the final versions of our 20/21 strips. They are still available for pre order from https://t.co/wrDWoxEu1kPlease visit our Facebook page for Information about your existing order and all the updates from the club.Thank you ❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/NLQ3le6P7uAugust 4, 2020
Admittedly, Loch Ness FC aren’t really known for much aside from being located near to the disputed monster of the same name.
The football club have fully embraced the monster, the myth, the legend this season - going full tourist shop on the home, away and third shirts. Perhaps Nessy's inclusion is the marketing boost that the sixth-tier side could do with.
10. Bayern Munich third
Ready for the mission! ♦️💪Check out our new third kit 👉 https://t.co/0mCRw2yUds#MissionLis6on #MiaSanMia #packmas@adidasfootballAugust 10, 2020
European champions, the cream of Germany and an embarrassing stock of riches in every position (especially at left-back, curiously), Bayern Munich have gone simple and subtle with their home and away kits - showcased in the Champions League final and 8-2 destruction of Barcelona, respectively.
For the third shirt, Die Roten have gone a touch jazzier. Artistic diamond shapes, similar to those on the Bavarian flag and the Allianz Arena exterior are plastered all over the kit. This is a unique design that may well become a classic if Bayern have another season like last year.
9. Galatasaray home
Galatasaray have one of the more underrated brands in European football. They’re the biggest club in Turkey, boast an iconic badge, stadium and club colours, and actually, many of their shirts over the years have flown under the radar.
We hope that this one gets the credit it deserves. Again, it’s very arty for a football shirt but we’re big fans of the red to orange fade on this one. Nike have knocked it out the park, again.
8. Juventus away
Backstage 📸 of our new 20/21 Away shirt by @adidasfootball 💥🙌Grab yours now on the Official Juventus Online Store! ➡️ https://t.co/9F06yWDfFq#ReadyForSport #createdwithadidas pic.twitter.com/n9WD5uV48jAugust 18, 2020
Paint strokes are in - that’s clear. But while the Juventus home shirt is a bold statement and their orange third shirt looks very much like something Hull City would send back, Juve’s navy blue effort is stunning.
The shade of blue itself is beautiful and paired with the white, this looks understated and classic. And there are the sleeves - the white rings really shouldn’t work but they look fantastic.
7. Atletico Madrid home
[🎥] Take a closer look at our new home kit...Available NOW‼️❕‼️➡️ https://t.co/1Twd3os1S1🔴⚪ #AúpaAtleti pic.twitter.com/CCtps0mCJPJuly 3, 2020
There’s only so much you can do with stripes. Juventus found that out with their half-and-half kit last season and Atletico Madrid have been subjected to diagonal stripes and odd fades, just because Nike can’t put out the same kit with a different shape collar each season.
Disclaimer: this season’s is essentially the same kit with a different collar. But it’s a classic navy blue collar with buttons, while the stripes are slightly jagged for a modern feel. It’s the perfect blend of vintage meets new and it looks great.
6. Stade Rennais home
⚡️ 𝐑𝐄𝐏𝐎𝐔𝐒𝐒𝐄𝐑 𝐒𝐄𝐒 𝐋𝐈𝐌𝐈𝐓𝐄𝐒. 𝐕𝐈𝐁𝐑𝐄𝐑 ⚡️ 🆕 Une ville, un patrimoine, une histoire. Découvrez le nouveau maillot 20-21. 👊 👋 @pumafrance @pumafootball #ForeverFaster #Roarzhone #AllezRennes #ToutDonner #RougeEtNoir #SRFC #StadeRennais #Football #Foot #New #Jersey #Home #Puma #Odorico #Rennes #Roazhon #Bretagne #BZH Stade Rennais F.C.
A photo posted by @staderennaisfc on Jul 16, 2020 at 1:02am PDT
Now we’re talking. French mosaicist Isidore Odorico played for Rennes before becoming the president of the club in the 1930s. Stade Rennais’s academy works closely with a school which is named after him.
That he should be remembered by the club with his trademark mosaic style is a very nice move indeed. The kit itself is beautiful too, completely unique and something that fans will remember for years to come. Great work all round.
5. Inter Milan home
👕 | HERE IT ISOur home shirt for the 2020/21 season😍 We can’t wait to see the Nerazzurri wearing it!#MadeOfMilano #Nike #FirstKit pic.twitter.com/Ou0oFgzsB5June 30, 2020
With an iconic sponsor in Pirelli, the location in one of Europe’s fashion capitals and associations with the likes of Ronaldo (the proper one), Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto’o, Inter Milan are possibly the most stylish club in the world. Atalanta are a burgeoning hipster fave, but black and blue belong to Inter.
This year’s home shirt is no exception. Again, how much can you do with stripes? In the Nerazzurri’s case, they’ve zig-zagged the buggers. The third shirt is a lovely tribute to that classic grey hooped effort from the 90s, but Nike have absolutely nailed the home shirt this time around.
4. Real Madrid third
🔠🤔 Which name would you get on the back of this shirt?👕 https://t.co/O5NGd4kgI7@adidasfootball | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/ew3FeUAuUcSeptember 12, 2020
There’s no shame in it - but Real Madrid kits tend to be a bit… bland. When you’re the biggest club on Earth, it’s hard to make daring fashion decisions that might divide your huge fanbase. Thus, it’s the same whites, purples and blacks. If Adidas plump for a brighter colour, they sure as hell don’t pair it with a garish pattern for fear of alienating the Madristas.
This season, all three of Los Blancos’ kits are linked with the same shade of pink. The home is white with pink trim, the away just a bright pink number but the third is a classy charcoal shirt with a patterned print inspired by the iconic Azulejo tile art paintings found in the city of Madrid. Easily the nicest of the three. Potentially Real’s nicest kit for years, too.
3. Roma away
The new away kit is here… 🐺But which of Nike's other designs has been your favourite from recent years?Vote now ➡️ https://t.co/DJtxOBRwCH pic.twitter.com/cbqg4lESJlJuly 30, 2020
Roma have been working with Nike for seven years now. Standout efforts over that time include the blue third shirt with the classic yellow pop collar and the lightning bolt white shirt - both from last season - along with that bright yellow shirt from a few years back that featured a map of the Italian capital.
All three of Roma’s shirts are gorgeous this season. The home features the classic ‘ghiacciolo’ style of the 80s, while the third takes elements of Nike’s Safari Air Max trainers. But you can’t beat the away. An off-white top with the old Lupetto badge and a vintage collar. We’re gutted that Nike won’t be making Roma’s shirts next season.
2. Marseille away
𝑩𝒐𝒓𝒏 & 𝑹𝒂𝒊𝒔𝒆𝒅 ⚪️🔵Marseille is in our DNA 🧬 There's no escaping the magic of our h𝕆𝕄e. Every @pumafootball shirt is different and full of majesty, showing off a different district of our city. pic.twitter.com/sK8C7cPbxgJune 15, 2020
It’s hard to know what to put on a graphic print, if it’s adorning the whole kit. Nike went with stadium-inspired graphics last season for most of their clubs - think Chelsea’s home, Tottenham’s third - while the season before, they printed stylised maps of clubs’ cities onto the alternate strips (we just mentioned Roma).
Marseille’s away shirt this season is simple but refreshing. An illustrated image of Marseille’s buildings with yellow lights left in some of the windows, this is a beautiful piece of design. The colours work fantastically together too.
1. Ajax away
A photo posted by @afcajax on Jun 11, 2020 at 1:27pm PDT
Ajax are known for a very particular style. For white with a red block down the middle of their shirt. For that sideways sponsor of the 90s, for the iconic black shirt of their most recent Champions League escapades that had gold and white touches. The home shirts are often bright, the aways dark and stylish.
Not anymore. This away shirt is the brightest, iciest one for years, featuring a retro graphic all-over. The nicest part though for us is that it’s completely fresh and different and yet it still feels like classic Ajax. it had the white and red touches all over and it still doesn’t feel like overkill.
Best in Europe? It’s arguably the best in the world. Donny van de Beek must be devastated he’s swapped this masterpiece for the zebra shirt.
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