The 50 Greatest Football Shirts Ever

When you get a spare moment, type these words into Google: worst football shirt.

Now notice all the posts and articles in the results that claim to have found the 'worst football kits ever' or 'the ugliest football kits of all time' or something else on a similar theme. So many articles, so much repetition, such a lack of imagination or insight. And so much negativity.

They're the sort of posts a chimpanzee could bash out of a computer with one hand tied behind its back. The trouble is, posts of this kind are easy to write and require little or no true understanding of the subject matter.

But enough is enough. It's time to pay tribute to all that's good about football shirt design and provide an antidote to the ever-increasing welter of lazily-written trash that regurgitates the same old tired content.

Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you The 50 Greatest Football Shirts Ever.

It's been our pleasure to present a blog post every day for nearly seven weeks, each one focusing on a football shirt specifically chosen for its sundry merits, but never chosen just because it appeared on someone else's blog post.

And here are a few other things that The 50 Greatest Football Shirts Ever is not. It is not simply a list that took two minutes to scribble down on a scrap of paper after a few pints down the pub with our mates.

Nor, for that matter, is it an exercise in creating clickbait, and we won't make you view endless slides to get to the information you want either. Our aim is to do justice to the best football shirts there has ever been by giving you the detail and opinion we think you'll appreciate.

This project has taken over a year to put together and the shirts featured have been selected and ordered by a panel of four people, all of whom share your passion for great football shirt design.

Joining your Football Attic regulars Chris Oakley and Rich Johnson are John Devlin, illustrator-supreme and creator of the wonderful True Colours books and website, and Jay from Design Football, curator of the finest website dedicated to exhibiting thousands of kit designs from people around the world.

Together, we bring you a definitive collection of brilliant shirts that have captured the magic and majesty of football over the last five decades. Note, however, that we don't say 'The definitive list'... That's because we understand that everyone has their own opinion, and we encourage you to share that with us - either by leaving a comment below, or by sending us a Tweet with #50GFSE in the message. We have much to discuss, and we're looking forward to lots of healthy debate about which shirts you like best.

And so to the countdown. All of the posts will be indexed below as they are published, but by regularly visiting The Football Attic on a regular basis, you can catch up on all the latest entries as they appear. Needless to say, we also encourage you to visit True Colours and Design Football too, just to complete your immersive football experience.

For now, though, enjoy our selection of The 50 Greatest Football Shirts Ever.

The countdown

50. Netherlands 1996 Home Shirt by Lotto
49. Hull City 2007-08 Home Shirt by Umbro
48. Germany 1991 Away Shirt by adidas
47. Pumas 2014-15 Home Shirt by Nike
46. France 2009-10 Techfit Home Shirt by adidas
45. Cork City 1989-91 Home Shirt by adidas
44. Corinthians Centenary Home Shirt 2010 by Nike
43. Norwich City 2004-06 Away Shirt by Xara
42. Arsenal 2005-06 Home Shirt by Nike
41. Birmingham City 1972-74 Third Shirt by Umbro
40. Athletic Bilbao 2011-12 Away Shirt by Umbro
39. USA 1992-93 Home Shirt by adidas
38. France 1980-84 Home Shirt by adidas
37. Brighton & Hove Albion Home Shirt 1985-87 by adidas
36. Watford 1985-88 Home Shirt by Umbro
35. Manchester United 1992-94 Home Shirt by Umbro
34. Rangers 1987-90 Home Shirt by Umbro
33. Olympique de Marseille 2011-12 Away Shirt by adidas
32. USA 1994 Home Shirt by Adidas
31. USA 1994 Away Shirt by Adidas
30. Saint-Etienne 1981-82 Home Shirt by Le Coq Sportif
29. West Ham United 1976-80 Home Shirt by Admiral
28. Evian Thonon Gaillard 2011-12 Home Shirt by Kappa
27. Coventry City 1987-89 Home Shirt by Hummel
26. Internazionale 2010-11 Home Shirt by Nike
25. Scotland 1988-91 Home Shirt by Umbro
24. Crystal Palace 1972-73 Home Shirt by Admiral
23. 1860 Munich 2012-13 'Oktoberfest' Shirt by Uhlsport
22. Dundee United 1984-87 Home Shirt by adidas
21. Universitario 2013 88th Anniversary Shirt by Umbro
20. Olympique Lyonnais 2010-11 Away Shirt by adidas
19. Argentina 1986 Home Shirt by Le Coq Sportif
18. Aberdeen 1976-79 Home Shirt by Admiral
17. Celtic 2012-13 125th Anniversary Third Shirt by Nike
16. Ipswich Town 1982-84 Home Shirt by adidas
15. Hull City 1992-93 Home Shirt by Matchwinner
14. Italy 2000-01 Home Shirt by Kappa
13. Manchester United 1992-94 Third Shirt by Umbro
12. Boca Juniors 1981 Home Shirt by adidas
11. Wales 1976-79 Home Shirt by Admiral
10. England 1980-83 Home Shirt by Admiral
9. Africa Unity 2010-11 Third Shirt by Puma
8. Newcastle United 1995-97 Home Shirt by adidas
7. France 1984-86 Home Shirt by adidas
6. Juventus 1985 Home Shirt by Kappa
5. Liverpool 1985-87 Home Shirt by adidas
4. Denmark 1986-87 Home Shirt by Hummel
3. Netherlands 1988 Home Shirt by adidas
2. England 2009-10 Home Shirt by Umbro
1. West Germany 1988-91 Home Shirt by adidas

67 comments:

  1. so your saying http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Blackburn_Rovers/Blackburn_Rovers.htm wasnt even considered ?? its one of the oldest kit designs in football

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adam... In a word, yes - yes we are saying that. Several points to cover here:

      (1) We're talking about shirts, not kits

      (2) We're talking about specific shirts, not generic designs, and

      (3) We've written an estimated 34,000 words or more justifying why our Top 50 shirts made the final list above anything worn by Blackburn. I'd say that proves we've put some considerable effort into justifying our views.

      We haven't got an anti-Blackburn agenda going on. Far from it - there are several Blackburn shirts we've liked down the years. It's just that we feel there were many others that deserved our acclaim ahead of them.

      But it's all opinions at the end of the day. We only hope ours haven't offended you too much in any way.

      Best wishes, Chris.

      Delete
  2. ...interesting, but you forgot the t-shirt of sporting cristal from Peru; the shirt of this popular team of that part of the world won the election and the prize of the most beautiful shirt between many teams from south america tthe past two years consecutively.

    ReplyDelete
  3. FC Barcelona centenary's shirt is pretty special too and away's shirt (the orange one) in 92 for the fisrt CL also could be chosen.

    But is a nice list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you. Barcelona centenary's shirt is awesome.

      Delete
    2. Notei que esta pesquisa não foi boa quando eu vi a camisa da Inglaterra em segundo lugar,era melhor colocar a camisa do Brasil de 1994 .

      Delete
  4. Surprised not to wsee any Lazio (mostly Away) and Parma kits. Roma too. Palermo

    ReplyDelete
  5. Not even one of this?

    http://www.rivermillonarios.com.ar/media/galeria/132/5/9/6/7/o_river_plate_historia-307695.jpg

    Best America team, best colors... why do you hate argentinian teams, english people?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So...2 Argentina (1 club, one national) shirts in the Top 50 and we hate Argentina teams? By that logic, we must despise Australian teams and practically loathe pretty much all nations on the earth!!!
      Personally I find River shirts dull...

      Delete
    2. Fuck off!! River Plate is the most bigger team on Argentine and you think that his shirts are dull? Really, I hate you!!

      Delete
    3. Well at least your'e being rational about it. And yes...in my OPINION, River shirts are nothing special. Being a big team doesn't mean your shirts are the best.

      Delete
    4. Ahhh dejate de joder, pancho. Que seas de River no quiere decir que las camisetas hayan sido increíblemente geniales. De hecho, no hay camisetas con una franja en diagonal en toda la lista: la de Perú, la del Vasco Da Gama, Rayo Vallecano, la de Arsenal, alguna de Argentinos, la de River... Tal vez la mas linda a mi entender de las de River es la de 1997 pero no se si es como para entrar en la lista.

      Delete
    5. the most glorious shirt is what River used in 2011

      http://img01.mundodeportivo.com/2011/06/18/Los-jugadores-del-River-Plate-_54172784785_54115221155_600_244.jpg

      Delete
    6. I'm not from argentina but here in Italy we only know Boca. in my opinion boca is the only american team (with sao paulo) that deserves respect and anxiety if you're going to play against him

      Delete
  6. la gloriosa camiseta del 81 vistio al mas grande jugador que hay y va a haber sobre la tierra

    ReplyDelete
  7. #1 Club DEPORTIVO MORON año 1989/1990....

    ReplyDelete
  8. la de borussia dortmund 1994-1998 la recalcada concha de tu madre!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. How about Bochum's 97-98 shirt? that one was unique!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great ranking, very fun to read.

    As an argentinian I think Brazil's verdeamharela should be in any top 50.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a Brazilian, I'd pick any Argentinian blue and white striped shirt also...! Kind of a love hate case here!

      Delete
  11. You're gonna get a lot of troll and hate from River Plate fans just as the anonymous one above. You put a Boca Jrs shirt in the list which is the River Plate classic rival. Plus that shirt is from a Boca Jrs winning championship and in that tournament they beat the crap out of River Plate with Maradona.

    As argentinian, I liked Sao Paulo shirt from the nineties. Maybe you could do a list for every continent if you have the time and please, put some River Plate shirts in it so every River Plate fan is ok with the list ;) .

    Regards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol! Very true césar! Can't please everyone!
      Funny thing is, I own a River shirt and no Boca ones :-D

      Delete
  12. La camiseta suplente de Argentina de 1998 me parece genial: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Va9Vy6f2_wE/SU_8f1CgacI/AAAAAAAAFaU/RD0SsClgZHE/s400/1998+Argentina+Away+c%C3%B3pia.png

    También había una muy interesante de Racing de esa misma época que es muy rara: http://mla-d1-p.mlstatic.com/5132-MLA4213418601_042013-F.jpg

    La camiseta de Independiente tenía ese detalle del diablo en marca de agua que era una genialidad: http://mla-s1-p.mlstatic.com/camiseta-de-independiente-topper-xl-12283-MLA20056699936_032014-F.jpg

    Y la peor camiseta de la selección argentina por lejos es esta: https://enunabaldosa.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/sorinargentina1.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 98 away shirt is also one of my all time favourites! And yes, I completely agree, that Reebok shirt was an absolute low point in AFA Jersey history!

      Delete
  13. Its a good ranking. In my opinion just too much england t-shirts.. Maybe you should add one from Brasil, Barcelona, Bayer Munich and Real Madrid. And definitelly move the Boca Juniors one up to the first place (although its amazing colours its just the only big team of America and the most popular one)

    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boca is the only big team of America? Is that qhat you said? Where exactly do you live? In a cave in the middle of bleedin Kazakhstan? gosshhh... mind your words mate, mind your words!

      Delete
  14. add this! http://tinyurl.com/qy3nlmh

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think is very good ranking, thanks you , and you put boca juniors in number 12, that can not be coincidence, haha .


    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  16. La mejor camiseta de la historia es la del Centenario de Rosario Central sponsor Zanella. Salu2. Gabriel.

    ReplyDelete
  17. lejos esta la mejor http://k45.kn3.net/taringa/7/4/8/7/5/1//lucho_9208/4FA.jpg?4063

    ReplyDelete
  18. Now you know why Boca vs River is the most important derby in the globe....

    and by far Boca is the only Big team in Argentina!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. now you guys know why Boca vs Riber is the most important Derby in the entire globe!!!

    and Boca Juniors is the Biggest Team in Argentina by farrrrr!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Who make this ranking? I think that put a lot of English shirt no so pretty. Defenility the German is not the prettiest, and for me the shirts that no respect the history puting star o whatever that no is the classical colors don`t like it . So i agree with the shirt of boca and Argentina and forgot for example this shirt http://s13.postimg.org/v3z17iw53/1995_1.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  21. Corinthians 2013 #1 the best

    ReplyDelete
  22. Essa relação só mostra o péssimo gosto das pessoas que fizeram essa seleção. Deveria ser o TOP 50 das camisas mais feias! E eu não tenho nada contra o time de São Paulo.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Growing up in Brazil in the early nineties, I can say for sure this was the most memorable shirt at that time, a must have to most kids. A totally unknown small team that had a quick ascension in the national football scene, and then down again.

    I look at it and it screams 90s aesthetics, but nowadays if people recognize the team, it's mostly because its shirt was so iconic, so unique and fresh at that time. It brought something very different and defined brave new paths to jersey designs in Brazil. A true classic.

    https://futeboldecamisa.wordpress.com/2008/08/11/bragantino-1990/

    ReplyDelete
  24. My opinion , this site does not understand soccer history when more than uniforms put Corinthians Brazil in the list being that there are many more beautiful shirts as Vasco da Gama January Rio and several years have also Flamengo and others Corinthians on top 50 of Brazil would appear in 50 because there are 49 more beautiful

    ReplyDelete
  25. Percebi que esta pesquisa não ficou muito boa ,quando colocaram a camisa da Inglaterra em segundo lugar,melhor ter colocado a do Brasil de 1994 que ficaria bem melhor.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ghana´s shirt in Brazil 2014 worldcup

    ReplyDelete
  27. Where's Brazil's T-Shirts? You're a joke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If that's the case, at least we make people smile, which is more than can be said for you.

      Delete
  28. Only one Spanish team among the 50, you kidding! Your ranking it's ridiculous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but you should see the number of visitors we're getting to our website...

      Delete
  29. Colour and preferences we shall not argue. I strongly disagree, but I do respect. Here is my list: #1 Brazil '70 World Champion; #2 (former) West Germany '74; #3 Netherlands '74; #4 Barcelona 1980; #5 Flamengo '80; #6 Real Madrid 1950, #7 Uruguay 2010; #8 Italy 1982, #9 Bayern Munchen 1985, #10 Argentina '86.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for giving us your own Top 10 Joao!
      I agree with several of those (especially no.10 😊)

      Delete
  30. Just finished all the Top 50 podcasts,
    superb listening, great job on the project everyone, top anorak stuff!
    But I can't decide what I'd rather my wife caught me doing, watching porn or listening to your podcasts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks as ever, Rob. Your positive feedback is very much appreciated. :)

      Delete
  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  32. i commend you on the effort, but a list without the croat national jersey in the top 10 ... sorry, no cigar.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Croatia is missing! they have done the best shirts i've ever seen.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I second that notion. Croatia's shirts are great because they launched a footballing nation to prominence with a bold red and white checkered design that some laugh at but that most will admit has become synonymous with the Croats. You can always tel, when Croatia is playing which to me is what makes a bit great, just like Brazil or Italy.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Now this is an iconic strip. Old Gold n Black - colours with history. http://www.toffs.com/wolves-1974-league-cup-final-retro-football-shirt?awin=1

    ReplyDelete
  36. I personally love the Scotland 1988-91 Home Shirt by Umbro.
    Even managed to buy it from SoccerBox.

    ReplyDelete
  37. You forgot Germany 2010 home shirt.
    That boring England white is place 2? What is this? (btw my monitor is in perfect condition).

    ReplyDelete