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The Top 100 Shirts of 2018: 50-41

As the second half of Top 100 Shirts begins, we see a focus on Nike’s superb third kits this year.

The Top 100 Shirts of 2018: 50-41

The best football shirts of 2018

Christmas is coming, 2019 is coming and most importantly the very best in football shirts are about to be revealed.

Yep, in the final days of December we’re revealing which shirts made it on to our ultra-competitive countdown of football kits.

Most interestingly in this list, we see the beginnings of a strong presence from Nike, and in particular their third kits. Look out for them here and in future blogs.

Let me know if you agree or disagree by chatting to me over on Twitter.

Other blogs in this series

100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-2 | 1

50 - Atletico Madrid Third


I think I’ve spent more time talking about Nike’s third kits this year than any other group of kits, and there’s some very good reasons why.

Nike reached an all time low back in 2016 with their incredibly bland kits at the Euros, but fast forward to 2018 and we now have one of the most creative, diverse set of shirts you’ll ever see. Atletico’s is one of the most daring of the set, and I absolutely love it.
- Phil

Didn’t like this one when I first saw it, but it is grower. Two tone blue does conjure up Southampton in Pony 1993, which I am all for.

Pattern in the light stripes has a strong retro feel. The shirt on its own is fairly mundane but adding shorts and socks brings it to life fully. The deep yellow trim and sponsor set it off nicely. All in all it works pretty well.
- Alec

Compare prices on the Atletico Third Shirt

49 - Porto Third


You can tell this shirt was designed by a street artist, because it’s really something special. Not only unique and visually impressive, it’s also one of the best third kits seen worldwide this year, and something I hope we can see again in the future. The usage of the two blues is perfect, and they go hand in hand together to form such a memorable shirt.
- Apollo

I really like this shirt. By far the best of the three kits from the Portuguese giants this year.

The colour is just perfect, with the cut and collar making for a stylish shirt. The best part of the kit, however, is the detail on the main body: a beautiful shadow pattern with an early 90s feel. Makes a great kit.
- Alec

48 - Jubilo Iwata Home


If there is a better league for kits than the J-League then tell me. This is magnificent. Absolutely all you would want from a J-League shirt.

The black with sky blue trim is really pleasing on the eye, topped off by a fabulous shadow pattern and an iconic sponsor. A special edition for use in four games only it is a shame that it didn’t get more game time.
- Alec

Almost identical in base design to Uruguayan national side shirts seen in recent years, which in itself would probably place it on our top 100, this shirt has a unique but gorgeous twist. Tonally printed on the front in a huge manner is a moon, a star and a Japanese Paradise flycatcher, the team's mascot and official bird of Shizuoka Prefecture.

Japanese teams seem to have developed a taste for flashy, daring shirts in 2018 and this is a perfect example of that. Whilst visually striking the print also stops just shy of becoming chaotic and messy and for this Puma, I salute you.
- Chris

47 - Man City Away


When Paul Dickov put a 97th minute equaliser past the Best Man at his own wedding,Vince Bartram, to take the 1999 Second Division play-off final to extra time, I doubt it ever crossed his mind what it could result in his club eventually becoming. It stands as the latest goal ever scored in regulation time at the Old Wembley and after almost 20 years most City fans remember it as if it was yesterday. This shirt is a ode to that special day and in my totally unbiased opinion is a real beauty.
- Chris

Compare prices on the Man City Away Shirt

46 - Barcelona Third


Finally a Barca Third kit that isn’t cookie cutter!

Bright pink, hot pink & silver, this kit is truly one of a kind. If we go deeper than that, the pattern on the kit is inspired by the aerial views of Barcelona’s Eixample District. A stunning kit that represents a city beautifully. I really hope Nike bring this level of effort to other clubs in 2019/2020. If they do, we’ll have some future classics ready to be sold for triple in 20 years time and I’m all about it.
- Dane

Compare prices on the Barcelona Third Shirt

45 - RB Leipzig Third


I shouldn’t like this shirt.

I’m not biggest fan of template kits and last year Nike really tested my patience. Fast forward to 2018 and RB Leipzig have been given a Nike template and worst of all, it’s not even from this season. Looking through last year’s Nike teamwear catalogue, you’ll find the NIke Challenge III template… precisely the shirt Leipzig will be using.

Yet despite all this, I love it. The black and white combo really work well together. Red Bull gave permission for its logo to be used in monochrome and along with the club badge, which has been given the same treatment, it looks really smart.
- Pedro

44 - Cameroon Home


44? Seriously? This shirt should easily be a Top 10.

When pictures of this shirt were first released there was the sort of buzz the Nigeria shirt received on its unveiling. Sadly the momentum didn’t continue, with a no-show at the World Cup doing nothing to help on that front. But people need to remember this shirt, because it’s one of the most fun designs you’ll see.
- Phil

Not feeling this one I am afraid. I usually like the Puma template with large stylised animal on the main body of the shirt which they’ve employed extensively for the African nations recently. But this one doesn’t work.

The colour is okay but the lion is awful. It looks like some kind of robot from a poorly produced kids cartoon. Flag trim on the collar is good but not keen on anything else. Perhaps I am biased: still sulking about the move away from the lion badge employed at Italia 90. I probably should move on but somethings are difficult to drop …
- Alec

Compare prices on the Cameroon Home Shirt

43 - Chapecoense Away


The Umbro Nations collection earlier this year was met with mix reviews to say the least, but the one shirt to come out of it with any dignity was Chapecoense’s Colombia-tinged effort.

Like any good shirt, the details are what make it. Look out for the intricate pattern and the fantastic integration of the club crest to match the design.
- Phil

Another banger from Umbro placing well in the 100. This kit is honestly class. Paying homage to the Colombian National team, it really is a classy kit. The chest pattern, back of the neck details and again the classy sleeves, Umbro gets another one right. Really cool to see teams giving a nod to national teams as they take on the world stage.
- Dane

42 - Peru Home


Yes yes yes! Umbro have aced this one. I have long admired the white shirt red sash that has made Peru stand out on the international scene from year dot. This modern rendition works brilliantly.

Simple clean and effective, there’s not much more to say about this. Other than the fact that an away kit with reversed colours and the same template somehow makes me love the home shirt more. Everything you want and need in dealing with an iconic kit brand, it was love at first sight.
- Alec

There’s is something about a sash on a football shirt which is truly beautiful. Peru may not have set the footballing world alight during this year’s World Cup, but at least they were one of the best-looking teams at the tournament.

Umbro have done some great work here as the iconic red sash looks better than ever. This time the sash is flanked on either side by a gold trim. The gold trim also appears on the shoulders and around the team badge.

All in all, a beautifully, elegant shirt.
- Pedro

Compare prices on the Peru Home Shirt

41 - Chelsea Home


This is without a doubt my favourite Premier League shirt of the season - something I'd never thought I'd say about a Chelsea home shirt, pieces which are usually quite plain and boring.

The slithers of red and white seemingly randomly dotted all over give the shirt an innovative and futuristic feel, whilst still maintaining Chelsea's traditional look of Royal Blue. I'm also a big fan of the sleeves and main body being the same colour, a technique not often employed by this particular Nike template.
- Chris

Compare prices on the Chelsea Home Shirt

The Top 100 shirts of 2018

Rank Shirt  
1 China Away Read more
2 Nigeria Home Read more
3 Germany Away Read more
4 Japan Home Read more
5 Corinthians Third Read more
6 Mexico Away Read more
7 Parma Third Read more
8 Leeds Away Read more
9 Boca Juniors Away Read more
10 Parma Away Read more
11 Newcastle Away Read more
12 New Zealand Away Read more
13 Inter Third Read more
14 Croatia Away Read more
15 Real Betis Third Read more
16 Parma Home Read more
17 V-Varen Nagasaki Away Read more
18 Brondby Away Read more
19 Clapton CFC Away Read more
20 Marseille Away Read more
21 Argentina Away Read more
22 Colombia Home Read more
23 Galatasaray Third Read more
24 Jamaica Away Read more
25 Gremio Home Read more
26 Real Betis Away Read more
27 Tottenham Third Read more
28 Germany Home Read more
29 Lazio Home Read more
30 Everton Third Read more
31 Tigres Home Read more
32 Houston Dynamo Away Read more
33 Portland Timbers Home Read more
34 Shimizu S-Pulse Home Read more
35 Bayern Munich Home Read more
36 AIK Special Read more
37 Aston Villa Home Read more
38 Chapecoense Home Read more
39 Al-Ahli Third Read more
40 UNAM Pumas Home Read more
41 Chelsea Home Read more
42 Peru Home Read more
43 Chapecoense Away Read more
44 Cameroon Home Read more
45 RB Leipzig Third Read more
46 Barcelona Third Read more
47 Man City Away Read more
48 Jubilo Iwata Home Read more
49 Porto Third Read more
50 Atletico Madrid Third Read more
51 Rangers Away Read more
52 PSG Third Read more
53 Torino Third Read more
54 LAFC Home Read more
55 Hellas Verona Third Read more
56 Tibet Home Read more
57 Iceland Away Read more
58 Belarus Home Read more
59 FC Copenhagen Read more
60 Fiorentina Home Read more
61 Napoli Away Read more
62 Vitesse Away Read more
63 Cruzeiro Home Read more
64 UNAM Pumas Away Read more
65 CD Leganes Third Read more
66 Hertha Berlin Away Read more
67 Sampdoria Home Read more
68 Orlando Pirates Home Read more
69 Senegal Away Read more
70 France Away Read more
71 Torino Home Read more
72 Bayern Munich Away Read more
73 South Korea Read more
74 Canada Home Read more
75 Netherlands Away Read more
76 CD Leganes Away Read more
77 Stuttgart Third Read more
78 Juventus Away Read more
79 Werder Bremen Home Read more
80 Nice Home Read more
81 Colombia Away Read more
82 Kaizer Chiefs Home Read more
83 Napoli Third Read more
84 West Ham Away Read more
85 Fulham Home Read more
86 Juventus Third Read more
87 USA Away Read more
88 Dinamo Bucharest Home Read more
89 Corinthians Away Read more
90 Atlanta United Away Read more
91 USA Home Read more
92 Saint-Étienne Home Read more
93 Spain Away Read more
94 Iceland Home Read more
95 Ajax Away Read more
96 Real Betis Home Read more
97 PSG Away Read more
98 Cape Town City FC Home Read more
99 Red Star Belgrade Home Read more
100 Portugal Away Read more

39 shirts stand between us and the best shirt of the year. Let's do this.

Phil Delves

Grab a brew, and let's talk about subliminal geometric patterns.