10 ICONIC SHIRTS

10 ICONIC SHIRTS

TEN ICONIC SHIRTS THAT MAKE US MISS THE PAST

Napoli 1989/90

Napoli’s second Scudetto – delivered with a record points haul – made clear to their Serie A rivals that their first title, won three years earlier, was no fluke. 

The Ennerre-manufactured shirt they wore in the 1989/90 season was gorgeous enough in its own right but throw an iconic sponsor into the mix and it’s elevated to another level. 

The kit has a deeper significance for the southern Italian club’s loyal fans because it was worn the last time their club won the league. 

 

Dortmund 1996/97

The sponsor! The badge! The rave-inspired fluorescent yellow! 

The sartorial majesty of Dortmund’s Champions League-winning shirt should never be underestimated. This was peak '90s Nike. No templates shirts here, danke schön. 

Under Ottmar Hitzfeld, BVB soared to Europe’s summit, beating Man United twice in the semi-finals before overcoming Juventus in the final.

And the kit they managed it all in was worthy of the piece. 

Wimbledon 1987/88 

May 14, 1988. It’s FA Cup final day and, as should always be the case, sunshine bathes Wembley. The Twin Towers gleam.

Newly-crowned league champions Liverpool were to complete another dominant season with their second double in three years. Unfashionable and unfancied Wimbledon had made their own history reaching the final – the pundits said defeat wouldn’t hurt Dennis Wise, Vinnie Jones and John Fashanu. They had achieved so much in reaching Wembley.

But the Dons had other ideas. Lawrie Sanchez scored in the 37th minute - and when Ian Rush missed a penalty on the hour mark, the trophy was heading to Plough Lane.

The shiny shirt they wore that day, made by Spall, glistened in the sunlight as Wimbledon’s working class heroes celebrated the most unlikely cup triumph in the competition’s history.  

 

Sampdoria 1990/91

Atillio Lombardo, Roberto Mancini and Gianluca Vialli led the Genovese side to their first and only Scudetto in 1990/91 – and they wore this absolute masterpiece from Asics as they did so. 

The club was formed in 1946 from the merger of two existing sports clubs - Sampierdarenese and Andrea Doria – and the jersey’s famous stripes are a combination of the founding clubs’ original colours - blue-white and white-red-black.

The fact is – and it is a fact – there is no such thing as a bad Sampdoria kit. They don’t exist. But this may just be the finest ever.

Marseille 1990/91

Does it get any better than this? Does anything? Probably, no.

The simple adidas trefoil, the clean white against the azure blue, the elegant curves of the club crest, even the sponsor printed in the same Pantone as the shoulder detail… it’s all so perfect. 

This was the shirt Chris Waddle wore as he established himself as a bona fide superstar in the southern French port city – and even a highly suspect mullet couldn’t detract from the shiny elegance of it all.

Liverpool 1988/89

Hillsborough was a turning point – the moment the authorities realised they could no longer treat fans like second class cattle. But it took the horror of April 15, 1989 – and the appalling loss of 96 lives – to bring about such a defining culture change.

There are dozens of haunting images of that afternoon in South Yorkshire, many of which go some way to documenting the terror endured on the Leppings Lane terraces. One of those photographs is of Liverpool’s Bruce Grobbelaar, walking from the pitch after the match was postponed only six minutes in. Behind him, the chaos and fear of the tragedy is beginning to become apparent. 

The green Adidas shirt he wore that day will forever link the Zimbabwean to British football’s darkest hour.

Palmeiras 1990/91

The deep green combined with a badge that looks like it’s straight out of Star Wars makes this Brazilian club shirt too good. Add the Coca-Cola logo and a big old adidas trefoil too and this may just be the best thing out of South America since Che Guevara.

Holland 1988 

It is the greatest European Championship goal ever. Marco Van Basten’s volley in the 1988 final was as sublime as it was fucking ridiculous.

That he even attempted to score from his position near the corner flag was remarkable enough. But the execution, the sheer precision and thunderous power as his body contorted was total divinity.

And the shirt he wore? Adidas, Dutch orange; nearly as unforgettable as his goal.

Tottenham 1990/91

The World Cup aside, this may have been Paul Gascoigne’s defining moment. Arms outstretched, trademark grin spread wide across his face and gallons of adrenaline pumping through his veins, England’s greatest midfielder sprints towards the Spurs fans after his magnificent free kick had thundered past Arsenal’s David Seaman in the 1991 FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Gascoigne was just sensational that day. He played with a child-like naivety, as if that April afternoon would go on forever.

The Hummel shirt he wore, Holsten emblazoned across the front, would be replaced by the time the final came around – a match which is now best remembered for the Geordie’s reckless lunge on Gary Charles and subsequent cruciate knee ligament injury. For Gascoigne, his desperate descent was just beginning.

France 1998 

In a career jam-packed full of goals and skills and plaudits and trophies, perhaps, just maybe, the pinnacle of Zinedine Zidane’s career was reached at the World Cup in 1998.

The trequartista led the host nation (who had failed to qualify for the World Cup four years earlier) to unexpected glory, showcasing his talent at every turn. His two headed goals in the final against Brazil set Les Bleus on their way to victory. And the shirt he and his team-mates donned – a silky, shiny homage to the Michel Platini-worn Adidas France 1984 kit – was nearly as stylish as the man himself.

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