10 greatest AS Roma kits ever (1980-2021)
Nobody does shirts quite like Roma. From Barilla to Qatar Airways, we’re picking out some of our favourite ever Giallorossi designs.
The Roman Empire has never looked so good.
Blessed with a truly stunning colour palette, the glorious reds and yellows of AS Roma never fail to take the breath away. Combined with iconic crests and sponsors, these colours make it almost impossible for brands to get it wrong, and I Giallorossi boast the kind of shirt history most other clubs can only dream of.
From the days of Bruno Conti to those of Nicolò Zaniolo, the Stadio Olimpico has seen some of the most beautiful football shirts ever made. With the Capitoline Wolf emblazoned on the chest, each and every design oozes class, sophistication and looks downright cool - especially when you’ve got players like Francesco Totti to show them all off.
When it comes to shirts, they stand amongst the very tallest European giants, raining vibrant bolts of lightning down upon the rest of the world and immediately grabbing our attention. I’m taking a look back at what makes this club’s identity so special, and taking on the unenviable task of ranking the best AS Roma kits ever created.
This blog is part of our Shirt Giants series. There is more to come, but you can check out the rest of the series here:
10. 2000/01 - AS Roma Home Shirt
Let’s kick things off with a shirt that will always have a special place in every Romanista’s heart: the 2000/01 Scudetto-winning home shirt. Although it’s perhaps not as stylish or exuberant as other classic Roma kits, its incredible success on the pitch has turned this beauty into a true Roman legend.
Marking the grand return of Kappa (back for the first time since the mid-80s), this simple Roma design proved to be a match made in heaven. It’s impossible to look at this without thinking of Gabriel Batistuta, Cafu and, of course, Francesco Totti leading I Giallorossi to the title on a pulse-racing final day.
Besides, who doesn’t love a good orange turtleneck? Drenched in the traditional Roma colours, this simplistic design will always be considered one of their most iconic kits. I don’t think anyone could ever argue against that.
9. 2012-13 - AS Roma Third Shirt
Kappa had already produced a string of black third kits by this point, but I don’t think any of them reached the heights of this 2012/13 stunner. The trim on the collar and cuffs is nothing short of outstanding, matching beautifully with the sponsor and injecting a dash of Roma’s irresistible character.
While the Kappa logo on the shoulders does prove an unwanted distraction, the undoubted star of the show is the classic Lupetto badge on the chest. Contrasting perfectly with the black colourway, this iconic crest literally pops right out of the shirt and makes us all just a little giddy with excitement. Seriously, this is almost too much.
8. 2016/17 - AS Roma Away Shirt
Simple, elegant beauty. That’s all there is to say really.
For me, this is the best away shirt Roma have ever worn. The classic Lupetto crest once again takes centre stage, sitting atop one of the most simplistic football shirts of the past 10 years. The 2016 away shirt is clean, fresh and, above all, so different to the increasingly audacious football shirts we’ve become accustomed to.
While the home and third kits from this season were far more adventurous, this shirt is rooted deeply in the illustrious history of the club. There are no gimmicks or surprises here, just a gorgeous football shirt which proudly celebrates 90 years since the birth of AS Roma. I don’t think shirts get much more stylish, to be honest.
7. 2019/20 - AS Roma Third Shirt
Inspired heavily by the famous design of 1991/92, this season’s Roma third shirt is nothing short of magnificent. The stunning navy colourway is a fantastic throwback to that retro 90s effort, but this time it includes an incredible jacquard pattern, which features a mixture of the Lupetto and “ASR” lettering. Phwoar.
The famous Roman colours are found in the cuffs and that outstanding retro collar, while the use of the old Nike Futura logo is simply inspired. The US-brand stuck with this kind of retro theme for most of its top clubs last summer, but I’m not sure any others really get close to touching this. It’s a work of art.
It might have missed out to Roma’s fantastic away shirt in our countdown of 2019’s Top 100 Shirts, but (in my humble opinion) this was more than worthy of clinching that number one spot.
6. 1998-99 - AS Roma Home Shirt
After ditching the centralised crest and brand logo, Diadora followed up their Roma debut by serving up this fantastic 90s classic. The shades of Tyrian purple look as majestic as ever, but you just can’t pull your eyes away from those sensational shoulder panels, with the Lupetto streaming down both sleeves like an insatiable pack of wolves.
This injection of orange matches up perfectly with the outstanding collar, which looked even better when upturned around the neck of Totti (as if he needed to look any cooler). This kind of style is common within retro football shirts from this period, but it’s hard to think of many others bursting with such a sense of unique character.
5. 2001/02 - AS Roma Cup Shirt
Although all of Roma’s kits featured the iconic Scudetto badge in 2001/02, this fantastic half-and-half shirt is where it looked best. Sitting atop those shades of imperial purple for the first time since 1984, the addition of this Italian crest immediately throws us right back to those classic designs, but the bold two-tone pattern also delivers something completely fresh.
Famously worn in the UEFA Champions League that season, Roma’s 01/02 “Cup” Shirt was like nothing they’d ever had before. While the home shirt stuck with the classic Tyrian purple and orange accents, here the orange is much more pronounced in a near mirror image of the club’s famous crest.
Let’s face it, this was always going to be iconic, especially when matched up with those incredible navy shorts. Probably the best half-and-half which doesn’t come with some kind of stuffed crust.
4. 2014/15 - AS Roma Home Shirt
Following the beautiful “Roma Cares” shirts of 2013/14, the Swoosh made its Roma debut with one of the best designs they’ve ever had. Coming alongside a fantastic away shirt (who could forget that sensational sash?), the sponsorless home kit just oozes class and looks smart enough to wear to a dinner party. Maybe even a wedding.
The deep imperial purple once again looks magnificent, featuring a very subtle pinstripe effect through the use of a slightly darker red. An old-school polo collar adds to the irresistibly traditional look, matching those classy yellow sleeve cuffs - so long as you were cool enough to wear it upturned.
This is simply a timeless Roma shirt, and there’s a strong chance that the addition of Lupetto logo would’ve made me keel over.
3. 1991/92 - AS Roma Home Shirt
Taking over from Ennerre at the start of the 90s, adidas kicked things off with a gorgeous home shirt which introduced very subtle changes. With the classic collar, bright accents and a certain pasta company as the sponsor, the German brand stuck with the famous vintage look and came up with something which (not unlike the pasta) was good enough to eat.
The Coppa Italia badge sits on the chest, with the Lupetto logo shifting over to the left sleeve, but the biggest change here is the introduction of the three stripes on the shoulders. This extra injection of colour really adds something extra for me, dovetailing with the simplistic aesthetic and matching up perfectly with the iconic trefoil logo.
Roma’s partnership with adidas would be short but very, very sweet, and I seriously need to get myself one of these.
2. 2016/17 - AS Roma Derby Shirt
Elegance personified. Produced specifically for the Derby Della Capitale, this sensational design is probably one of the classiest football shirts you’ll ever see. The dark shade of purple contrasts beautifully with gold accents on the crest and logos, with the Giallorossi stepping onto the pitch dressed like a battle-hardened Roman legion. This might as well have been a tunic.
This colour combination has strong links to the incredible history of the capital, and it’s one of the few shirts I’d argue is actually improved by the sponsor. Although the SPQR lettering (“Senatus Populusque Romanus”) is found on the collar, having this emblazoned in gold as a sponsor looked absolutely magnificent.
I reckon they should just wear this every time they play Lazio, to be honest.
1. 1987/88 - AS Roma Home Shirt
Pretty much any Roma shirt from the 80s could be considered their best ever, with both Kappa and Ennerre producing the epitome of Roman design. Since it’s almost impossible to separate them, I’ve restricted this list to just one: the gorgeous shirt first worn in 1987/88.
While the previous design featured the Coppa Italia badge on the chest, this was the first Ennerre design which featured the Lupetto where it should be. The deep shades of red are matched with bright pops of yellow on the incredible collar and cuffs, while Barilla continued to stake their claim as the greatest shirt sponsor of all-time.
These colours are matched across the shorts and socks, too, polishing off what we now all recognise as the quintessential Roma look. After decades of gorgeous shirts from Kappa, adidas, Asics, Diadora and Nike, I’m not sure we’ve ever seen anything better than this.
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