2004: The Year Of The Underdog

2004: The Year Of The Underdog

In the first part of a new series we are taking a look back at a year in kits - kicking things off with 2004. It was, in many ways, a remarkable year for football. 

Greece lifted the European Championships having never previously won a single game in the competition, Tunisia lifted the AFCON trophy for the first time, José Mourinho guided Porto to an historic Champions League win and Colombian minnows Once Calderas shocked South American football by beating Boca Juniors to lift the Copa Libertadores.


 Shop Portugal collection on Cultkits!

Perhaps the stand out moment in the world of kits was the introduction of the iconic ‘circled number’ Total 90 kits at Euro 2004. Though four years after its introduction at Euro 2000, Kappa were still producing some of the most stylish kits around with their Kappa Kombat range and Puma memorably outfitted the Cameroonian national side in skin tight, one piece bodysuits.


Cameroon in their famous bodysuits.

 Shop Cameroon Collection on Cultkits!

So let’s take a look at what went down in what really was one of the most remarkable years in the history of football - undoubtably it was the Year Of The Underdog.


14th Feb - Tunisia


14th Feb - Tunisia beat Morocco 2-1 to win AFCON for the first time in a standout Puma kit complete with old school collar. 


2nd May - AC Milan



2nd May - AC Milan win Serie A in a beautiful Adidas kit best remembered for its iconic gold name and numbering. Buy AC Milan 2004 (a) shirt.

 Shop AC Milan Collection on Cultkits!

8th May - Bremen


Bremen win Bundesliga

8th May - Bremen win Bundesliga in one of the all-time great Kappa Kombat kits, complete with ‘Young Spirit’ sponsorship.

Shop Werder Bremen collection on Cultkits!


Ajax win the Eredivisie

8th May - Zlatan and Ajax win the Eredivisie in a classy Adidas design.

 Shop Ajax Collection on Cultkits!

15th May - Arsenal


 Shop Arsenal Collection on Cultkits!

15th May - Arsenal compete invincible season to win Premier League in a simplified Nike design that ditched the black detailing of the previous efforts in favour of a more classic look. Buy Arsenal home shirts here.


19th May - Valencia



19th May - Valencia beat Marseille to win the UEFA Cup, having already claimed the Spanish league title. It was the first season with Toyota sponsoring the sides shirts as the splash of red across the chest became an iconic look of the 00’s. Buy signed home 2004 Valencia shirt here.

Shop Valencia Collection on Cultkits!

22nd May - Manchester United



22nd May - United beat Millwall to lift FA Cup in one of the most menacing kits Nike ever produced. A fitting shirt for Fergie’s all conquering Red Devil’s. Buy Manchester United home shirts here.

Shop Manchester United Collection on Cultkits!

26th May - Porto


 Shop Porto Collection on Cultkits!

26th May - Porto beat Monaco to win Champions League an impressive 20 years after the sides shirts first carried Revigres sponsorship.


26 June - River Plate



26 June - River Plate win Clausera in a design that worked perfectly for Adidas’ 2004 template. Buy brand new with tags, here.


1st July - Once Caldas



1st July - Once Caldas beat Boca to win Libertadores in an FSS design that’s unique collar looks suspiciously close to Pumas template of the year before. Still a great kit though.


4th July - Greece


Shop European International Collection on Cultkits!

4th July - Greece beat Portugal to win euro 2004 - When they entered EURO, Greece had never won a match in a major tournament. Buy Greece 2004 (a) shirt here.


25 July - Brazil



25th July - Adriano inspired Brazil beat Argentina on penalties to win Copa America in the iconic total 90 template. Shop Brazil shirts here.

Shop Brazil Collection on Cultkits!

26/28 August - USA


 Shop USA Collection on Cultkits!

26/28th August - USA and Argentina win women’s and men’s gold at Olympics. The US side being outfitted by Nike with a unique design featuring cut out patterns to the sides.


10th December - Newells 



10th December - Newells win Apurtura in a great design by Argentine manufacturer TBS. Buy iconic Newells (h) shirt here.


17 December - Boca


Shop Boca Juniors collection on Cultkits! 

17th December - Boca beat Bolivar to win Copa Sudamericana in Nikes futuristic double layered template with outer mesh over a solid base layer. Shop Boca shirts here.


19 December - Santos


 Shop Santos collection on Cultkits! 

19th December - Santos win Brazilian league in a classy Umbro design, albeit one with some pretty out of place sleeve sponsorships. Shop Santos shirts here.


Words by Andy Gallagher


Back to blog

Leave a comment