First shirts: kits they made their debuts in

First shirts: kits they made their debuts in

Whether they’re blessed with superhuman technical prowess, or a mentality way beyond their years, even the best players have to start somewhere. And, of course… with a debut, comes a player in a kit. So here’s our starting XI of kits that legendary players started their journey with.

Goalkeeper - David Marshall

David Marshall was handed his first Celtic appearance at the ripe old age of 19. Who were the opponents? Only Barcelona. But, Marshall rose to the occasion, and produced what is said to be one of the finest performances by a Scottish ‘keeper, as Celtic held the Catalan giants to a 0-0 stalemate, to progress in the UEFA Cup. Although Marshall may not have reached those heavy heights too often again, he has still accumulated 33 Scotland caps, and played in the Premier League with Cardiff and Hull.

 

Defender - Hector Bellerin

Bellerin broke into the Arsenal team at the start of the 2014/15 season after injuries to Calum Chambers, Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Debuchy. He was handed a baptism of fire on his debut… a trip to the bouncing Signal Iduna Park, as Arsenal lost 2-0 to the Black and Yellows. However, Bellerin must have impressed, as he went on to make 20 Premier League appearances that season. He’s now considered the first-choice right-back at Arsenal, after playing over 150 times for the North London club.

 

Defender - John Terry

JT made his debut in this classic Chelsea kit in a League Cup tie against Aston Villa. 19 years later and he was still sporting the blue kit. In those two decades he became a Chelsea legend, as the club entered the golden period of their history. With a trophy cabinet including: 5 Premier League’s, 5 FA Cup’s, 3 League Cup’s, and the Europa League and Champions League. He must have loved the way the Chelsea kit looked, considering he wore the full-kit in the 2012 Champions League celebrations, even though he didn’t play a minute.

 

Defender - Javier Mascherano

Mascherano had a distinguished career, accumulating 147 caps for Argentina, as well as successful spells at West Ham, Liverpool and Barcelona - winning the Champions League twice and countless La Liga’s. But, it all started in Buenos Aires, with his local team, River Plate. At the age of 19 he was handed his first start for the Argentinian giants in this iconic red and white away kit.

 

Defender - Ashley Cole

Cole is now hated by Arsenal fans, but that wasn’t the case when the sprightly young left-back made his debut for the Gunners in a League Cup tie against Middlesbrough, in this old-school yellow ‘Sega’ kit. He played over 150 times for Arsenal, winning the Premier League twice (once unbeaten) and three FA Cup’s. He had even more success at Chelsea, winning every trophy available to him.

 

Midfielder - Sulley Muntari

Muntari became something of a cult hero for Portsmouth, after his one season at the club resulted in FA Cup success. Although, he actually started his career wearing black and white stripes in Italy. Not Juventus, but Udinese. Muntari wore these classic colours for 5 years before making the switch to the south coast of England. Following Portsmouth he had spells with both Milan clubs. But, it was with his national team, where he’s had the most success. Despite having plenty of falling outs with the Ghanaian FA, Muntari would play at 3 World Cups, and scored 20 goals for the Black Stars.

 

Midfielder - Juan Roman Riquelme

Every Argentinian kid that grew up around Buenos Aires had the dream of playing for Boca at the Bombonera. That became a reality for Juan Roman Riquelme in 1996, when he was substituted on against Union Santa Fe. Just a week later, and El Torero had his first goal for his beloved Boca. A move to Europe soon beckoned, when he was signed for Barcelona. But it was further south in Villarreal, where Riquelme truly shined, dragging the club to their first Champions League semi-final. 

 

Midfielder - Rafael van der Vaart

One of a plethora of players to have emerged out of the famed Ajax youth academy. Aged just 17, the Dutchman made his debut for Ajax against Den Bosch in the club’s centenary kit. He amassed 52 goals in just 117 games for Ajax, which unsurprisingly led him to be hailed as ‘the next Johann Cruyff’. Between 2005 and 2008 he had another successful spell, this time in Germany with Hamburg. Then came his big break with Real Madrid, but van der Vaart couldn’t fully replicate the form of his earlier years. His long overdue arrival in England came through Spurs, where he quickly became a fans’ favourite. Whilst he didn’t help the club end their trophy drought, he still managed to notch 24 goals in two seasons. With the Dutch national team, van Der Vaart went to 5 major tournaments, with the Dutchman reaching the World Cup final in 2010, losing to Spain.

 

Midfielder - Joaquin

The green and white stripes of Real Betis have become synonymous with one man over the last two decades… Joaquin. The tricky Spanish winger has played over 350 games for Real Betis since breaking through the academy in 2000. His greatest success with the club came in 2005, as Real Betis upset the odds to win the Copa del Rey. He went on to play for Valencia, Malaga and Fiorentina. But, his long standing romance with Betis resumed in 2015 when he was re-signed by the club. At the youthful age of 38, Joaquin continues to bomb down the wing for Los Verdiblancos. 

 

Forward - Thomas Muller

Muller made his Bayern Munich debut in 2008, coming on as a late substitute for Miroslav Klose against Hamburg. He only made a handful more appearances that season, but since then he has become a club legend. 12 years and 116 goals later, Thomas Muller has definitely etched his way into the Bavarian club’s history books. The German forward has won 8 Bundesliga’s, 5 DFB Pokal’s, the Champions League, and the World Cup. It’s fair to say he’s had a decent career.

 

Forward - David Healy

When you think of David Healy you probably think of all the goals he scored for Northern Ireland. You probably wouldn’t think his first kit would be that of Manchester United. Healy made his debut for the ‘Red Devils’ in a 1999 League Cup tie against Aston Villa. But that would be Healy’s first and last game for the club. He then hopped from club to club, with his most successful spells coming at Leeds and Preston, but it is his contribution to Northern Irish football that he is most fondly remembered for.

 

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