Top 100 Football Shirts of 2019 - Part 5: 60-51
In part 5 of Top 100 Shirts, one of my personal favourites makes an earlier-than-expected appearance. See if you can guess which one it is.
The best football shirts of 2019
We’ve reached half-time in Top 100 Shirts.
What do you think of the list so far? Has your favourite made the cut yet? Have you seen a shirt languishing in the 90s that deserves a spot closer to #1?
Our goal with this series is to bring a bit of everything to the table, and this next 10 shirts exemplifies that more than most sections. There’s a shirt on here which would struggle to get inside my personal Top 100, whereas one of these shirts was one of my favourites. But thankfully this isn’t just a list of my personal favourites. This is a melting pot of the opinions of several kit enthusiasts and writers, and though it’s left me surprised on more than one occasion, it’s been a lot of fun to see this list unfold over the weeks.
So as we head down the tunnel to take a much needed breather, let’s look forward to the second half. Because no matter how much we may disagree on the final order, we can all agree that 2019 has truly offered something for everyone regardless of taste.
Or maybe you hate most of what you’ve seen. In that case I hope 2020 brings you more joy.
Other blogs in this series
60 - Coventry Away
When hummel released Coventry City’s home and away kits of 2019/20 there was a collective cheer for the kit world, with hummel revisiting their most classic template famously worn by Denmark at the Mexico ’86 World Cup but also worn by Coventry City between 1987 and 1989.
The away kit (the template was not used by The Sky Blues in the 80s for their away kit) is a yellow incarnation of this kit, with navy blue pinstripes which graduate in their thickness to give this shirt an appearance of a “Quartered” shirt rather the classic halved look. I have seen both Home and Away shirts “in the wild” and the away kit was the stand out of the two for me. The yellow / navy colour combination matched with the hummel branding on sleeves and logo deliver a cracker of kit. hummel and Coventry City I applaud you.
59 - Ajax Home
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Ajax shirts, so it’s great to see their new home shirt has stuck with their traditional look. The white and red combo has obviously become synonymous with the Amsterdam giants down the years, and this season adidas have added a lovely bit of black trim to the collar and cuffs. Not bad at all.
What really stands out, though, is the new white background on the crest, which was a common feature of Ajax shirts up until the 1990s. The whole thing is just really crisp, clean and, above all, unmistakably Ajax. I’m a fan.
58 - Ecuador Home
This is a great example of how to use a flag as inspiration for a shirt design. The vibrant yellow shirt is complemented perfectly by navy blue and red sleeve cuffs and collar.
However, it is the chest area that really makes this shirt stand out. I haven't seen any marketing spiel about what has influenced the design but it seems like Marathon have been inspired by the traditional patterns seen on Ecuadorian carpets and rugs.I may be way off the mark, but this is what it reminds me of.
Whatever the inspiration was, Marathon have produced a stunning shirt.
57 - Australia Women Home
I enjoy the collaborative nature of Top 100 Shirts, particularly in the way it throws up all sorts of curveballs that challenge your personal tastes.
Having said that, I’m really disappointed to see this glorious design from Nike outside the Top 10. Though the shirt is arguably just an approximation of the legendary 90s Australia kit, this is one of the enduring looks of the year for me.
56 - Zenit Away
Zenit away kits... they have been white with blue for as long as I can remember Zenit away kits being a thing. So what makes this specific Zenit away kit so special? "It's just plain white with blue! Eurgh!" cries one fan. "They're the same every other year! Eurgh!" cries another angry Russian. Then from somewhere behind, a calm,creepy voice proclaims "I like this kit. I really like this kit". It's Vladimir Putin, who puts his stamp of approval, enough to allow Gazprom to adorn the front of it. All jokes aside, this is a delightful kit. Just look at the tricoloured cuffs! How can you hate the tricoloured cuffs?
55 - Middlesbrough Home
Like other manufacturers, Hummel have used the past as inspiration for this Middlesbrough shirt. However, instead of raiding their own archives, Hummel have used a couple of iconic Boro shirts from the late 80s to base this year’s effort on.
It would be easy to simply copy those classic shirts, but Hummel have managed to make the shirt look modern and fresh, while still being very clear about where the inspiration came from.
The shirt is also eco-efficient as it uses Hummel’s ZeroH2O technology, meaning the shirt was manufactured with no water consumption or water waste.
By all accounts, this shirt is a winner.
54 - UNAM Pumas Home
The giant puma head strikes again. And, this time, things are even better.
Whereas the away shirt benefited from a fantastic raindrop pattern, the home shirt instead opts for a stunning sun ray design. This bursts out from the centre of the shirt, framing that iconic puma graphic and giving the whole thing an awesome Aztec vibe. In fact, if you dig a little deeper, the Aztec logo actually features throughout the silvery-white colourway, so it’s not hard to see where Nike have drawn their inspiration.
I could probably talk about this shirt all day. But don’t worry, I’m not going to.
53 - Besiktas Home
adidas haven’t had a great year. Yes, they did a lovely job with Arsenal’s kits (two of which we’ll see later), but outside of The Gunners I haven’t been particularly impressed.
Having said that, the Besiktas home shirt is a real gem. The pattern is straight out of the 90s, but as far as I’m aware the design is unique to the club this year. This is easily my favourite Besiktas shirt this side of the millenium.
52 - Manchester City Away
Far and away Manchester City's nicest shirt since the red & black away of 2011/12, this unique and classy piece should definitely be higher on the list - in my totally unbiased opinion of course. There was a sense that design-wise we were stagnating under Nike, so the switch to Puma was welcome; they certainly haven't let us down. The contrast of the plain black to hazard yellow on one side is an inspired design, but the highlight for me are the differently coloured sleeve tabs and details.
51 - Valencia Third
This fellow here ticks so many boxes. Great pattern? Check. Great colour? Check. Great sponsor? Cherm... nevermind, it's a bookie. But still, this is a great shirt. Very fine shirt on both sides! (no the pattern doesn't carry over to the back, but that's OK).
If you’re keeping score at home, Valencia’s Third is yet another shirt in this list which could easily double up as a bus seat. That already puts it in my personal good books.
Like many of the best shirts this year, it’s a look grounded in the 90s, but the style of the pattern looks anything but dated. It’s got a touch of Australia’s shirt a few places earlier, and like that design this deserves to be much higher in my opinion.
The Top 100 shirts of 2019 - Table
|41||Philadelphia Union Away||Part 6: 50-41|
|42||Sampdoria Home||Part 6: 50-41|
|43||Atlético Tucumán Home||Part 6: 50-41|
|44||Hamburg Home||Part 6: 50-41|
|45||Huesca Third||Part 6: 50-41|
|46||Charlton Away||Part 6: 50-41|
|47||Leones Negros Third||Part 6: 50-41|
|48||Arsenal Away||Part 6: 50-41|
|49||Forward Madison Third||Part 6: 50-41|
|50||Club Puebla Home||Part 6: 50-41|
|51||Valencia Third||Part 5: 60-51|
|52||Manchester City Away||Part 5: 60-51|
|53||Besiktas Home||Part 5: 60-51|
|54||UNAM Pumas||Part 5: 60-51|
|55||Middlesbrough Home||Part 5: 60-51|
|56||Zenit Away||Part 5: 60-51|
|57||Australia Women Home||Part 5: 60-51|
|58||Ecuador Home||Part 5: 60-51|
|59||Ajax Home||Part 5: 60-51|
|60||Coventry Away||Part 5: 60-51|
|61||UNAM Pumas Away||Part 4: 70-61|
|62||1874 Northwich Away||Part 4: 70-61|
|63||Blackburn Away||Part 4: 70-61|
|64||Monchengladbach Third||Part 4: 70-61|
|65||Costa Rica Cup||Part 4: 70-61|
|66||Real Madrid Away||Part 4: 70-61|
|67||RB Reipzig Third||Part 4: 70-61|
|68||Parma Third||Part 4: 70-61|
|69||Fortuna Dusseldorf Third||Part 4: 70-61|
|70||Marseille Away||Part 4: 70-61|
|71||Forest Green Third||Part 3: 80-71|
|72||Spurs Third||Part 3: 80-71|
|73||Dundee United Home||Part 3: 80-71|
|74||Sao Paulo Away||Part 3: 80-71|
|75||West Brom Away||Part 3: 80-71|
|76||Frankfurt Home||Part 3: 80-71|
|77||Mali Away||Part 3: 80-71|
|78||Netherlands Women Home||Part 3: 80-71|
|79||Roma Home||Part 3: 80-71|
|80||Inter Home||Part 3: 80-71|
|81||Venezia Home||Part 2: 90-81|
|82||Schalke Third||Part 2: 90-81|
|83||AGF Aarhus Home||Part 2: 90-81|
|84||Marseille Home||Part 2: 90-81|
|85||Atletico Madrid Third||Part 2: 90-81|
|86||Newport County Home||Part 2: 90-81|
|87||Brazil Cup||Part 2: 90-81|
|88||Schalke Away||Part 2: 90-81|
|89||Charleroi Away||Part 2: 90-81|
|90||Gremio Home||Part 2: 90-81|
|91||Zenit Saint Petersburg Home||Part 1: 100-91|
|92||Fluminense Home||Part 1: 100-91|
|93||Lazio Away||Part 1: 100-91|
|94||Portland Thorns Home||Part 1: 100-91|
|95||Venezia Away||Part 1: 100-91|
|96||Stuttgart Third||Part 1: 100-91|
|97||Newport County Away||Part 1: 100-91|
|98||Atletico Madrid Away||Part 1: 100-91|
|99||Nantes Away||Part 1: 100-91|
|100||Urawa Red Diamonds Home||Part 1: 100-91|
Did you know we’re giving away the #1 shirt on this list? We’ve not revealed it yet, but you can still enter our competition to be in with a chance.
Think how good that shirt is going to be. Better than all the ones in this part and all the parts before it.