It’s been a hell of a year for football shirt design. As ever the headlines were dominated by the same football clubs-cum-fashion brands that we’ve become used to. Releases from Arsenal, Ajax, Venezia and PSG (who just missed out on this list) all occupied significant airtime and by-in-large deservedly so.
But casting the net wider we’ve seen some seriously impressive releases from all over the globe. From Mexico to Japan via Poland, we’ve gathered together the 10 shirts that, in our opinion, stood out head and shoulders above the rest…
Club America third
A remarkable Aztec inspired pattern covers Club America’s third shirt. And while the pattern is the standout feature props should also be given to the sides sponsors who allowed their brand logos to be matched to the shirts colour palette. It made for North America’s best kit of the year.
Atlético Mineiro Away
Though it’s yet to see the light of day in an actual match, the fan designed Manto da Massa shirt is too good not to include. Brands have been utilising maps for close to a decade now but nobody has executed it better than Mineiro fan Lucas Adriano.
Ajax womens home
Ajax women’s home shirt featured all the throwback goodness of the men’s shirt but with the added bonus of featuring the classic ABN-AMRO vertical sponsorship. When combined with classic numbering and a throwback badge and collar it’s a football purists dream.
Germany Euro 2020 away
Germany may not have won Euro 2020 but their away kit was the pick of the punch. It marked the first time any national side had rolled out a blackout kit (albeit not entirely black) and just looked so damn clean out on the pitch.
The pick of the bunch from this years Venezia releases, the shirt is based upon the red and gold colours of the Venetian flag. As with the sides other designs the team name is displayed across the chest rather than any sponsors while the iconic Kappa logo repeats on the sleeves and shorts.
AIK 130th anniversary shirt
Our second anniversary kit of the list and as they often do, AIK went futuristic and minimal. A centralised club shield and no sponsors help propel this effort right to the top of this years kit table.
The best of three strong kits from Arsenal, the zig-zagging third shirt pays homage to the iconic lightning bolt away design worn during the 1995/96 season. Once again Adidas use of a textured looking print has worked really well.
Another kit with a huge amount of hype upon release, Ajax’s Marley inspired third kit celebrates the clubs association with the first family of reggae. The club fell foul of UEFA on account of the design featuring lyrics from Bob Marley’s three little birds. UEFA effectively stated it wasn’t corporate enough and banned them from using it in European competition. We’re not even joking.
Arguably no shirt has polarised opinion more this year than Spurs’ away shirt. Upon release it was slammed by many but public opinion has largely come around. One thing is for sure, under the floodlights there are few kits anywhere that can match the look of Tottenham’s away.
Japan anniversary shirt
A release that flew a little under the radar at the time, the Japanese senior side only wore the design once for a special friendly match with the Japans U24 team. The classic look of the white collar and giant national flag offset beautifully with the shirts dusty blue colour palette.