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Top 100 Football Shirts of 2020/21 - (Part Nine: 20-11)

Swirling brushstrokes, white tiger prints and gorgeous mosaics. Hang this in the Louvre!

top 100 shirts 9

This is Part 9 of 10. Explore the rest of the countdown:

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


20. North Ferriby FC - Away

north ferriby 2020-21 away kit

I’ll be surprised if you’ve heard of HG Sportswear, or ever seen them in a list of best shirts. They couldn’t be more deserving of this top 20 hit, as their 2020/21 creation for the Northern Counties East team is a true feast of design. It’s similar to the Italian ‘Renaissance’ shirt, but rightly sits above it in this countdown.   

Dark greens and gold give us British racing nostalgia. To top it all off, the shirt is made from the equivalent of 16 recycled plastic bottles, emphasising the club’s commitment to protecting the environment. Superb.

- Kevan Thorpe, FOOTY.COM.

19. RB Leipzig - Third

rb leipzig 2020-21 third kit

RBL are one of the most debated clubs in world football. However, one thing that can’t be debated is the beauty of this third shirt. The colours are out there and that’s something that I’ll always love in a shirt. 

The distortion of the club's badge being used as the primary design factor on the kit is a really nice touch, too. The shirt almost looks like some waves breaking in the sea and that is something I can and will FULLY get behind as a design going forward. It’s a fantastic shirt and is in my opinion RBL’s greatest shirt in their short history as a club.

- Ellis Platten, Away Days.

Yes, yes and yes. Nike promised to ditch templates much earlier this year, and this is exactly the kind of bold, brash and wonderful shirt I was hoping for. I honestly couldn’t care less about its supposed link to Air Max trainers, this is so much fun it’s essentially a one-way ticket to Funky Town. Great, now I’ve got that song stuck in my head. 

- Ben Hyde, FOOTY.COM.

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18. AS Monaco - Away

as monaco 2020-21 away kit

One thing that I like in kits is the use of consistent design across a club’s collection, and the AS Monaco away kit does just that this season. Taking the classic Monaco-look with their diagonal design but, in completely contrasting colours of navy blue and yellow, giving a nod to the change colours worn in 1999/2000 season (also produced by Kappa) - as well as paying tribute to Princess Grace of Monaco, who came up with the iconic look for the club 60 years ago this year.

The use of white for the club crest, Kappa logo and sponsor also work with the kit, giving a simple but elegant look for Monaco on the road this season.

- Gavin Hope, Football Kit Geek.

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17. Norway - Away

icy norway 2020-21 away kit

Nike's latest away strip for Norway has been quite rightly lauded as a masterpiece by many football shirt connoisseurs this year. Simple in construction with a beautiful mid-blue v-neck (featuring Nike's new and fairly questionable 'wrapover' engineering on the reverse) and cuffs, the acclaim comes from Nike's careful application of an ice blue mottled, faded effect that is so reminiscent of Norwegian icebergs it has been known to actually lower temperatures of those wearing it. 

It's another great example of how an international jersey can encapsulate the spirit and culture of a country, thereby connecting the team with supporters as a whole, in a way that a club shirt can sometimes struggle to do. The jersey also features Nike's zig-zag side seam colour block application, again in darker blue – trimmed with white – that adds stability and structure to the abstracted fabric.

- John Devlin, True Colours Kits.

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16. Motherwell - Away

motherwell 2020-21 away kit

Macron have made big strides in recent times and now boast a strong foothold in Scotland, with Motherwell the pick of their bunch. The dark blue references the club’s original colours, with the Sampdoria-style band allowing for the incorporation of the famous amber and claret. If we were being picky, we’d go for blue socks rather than white but overall it’s a very tidy effort, with the old-style collar and ‘MFC’ monogram adding to the classic air.

Museum of Jerseys.

15. Slovenia - Away

slovenia 2020-21 away kit

I have an ongoing love affair with Slovenia kits. The recurring motif of a mountainscape should have grown old by now, but I find myself instead falling more and more in love with the designs of each iteration.

This time round in 2020, the mountains are decidedly less intricate in aesthetic compared to previous years. It works though, and the colour choices are particularly notable.

Of all the greens and blues that have painted the Slovenia shirt pictures over the years, these are some of the most beautiful. 

Phil Delves.

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14. Portland Thorns - Away

portland thorns 2020-21 away kit

I only really know one thing about Portland Thorns: they know how to make football shirts. They’ve arguably delivered the strongest one-two punch of the season, serving up a collection which is absolutely dripping with thorny character. The away, for me, is nothing short of a classy, sophisticated masterpiece. 

You’ve probably noticed they’ve gone quite heavily down the “thorn” route here, and there’s just no escaping the beauty of that insane pattern. Those fantastic stripes remind me of a very specific scene from Sleeping Beauty, which is quite apt since I’d probably hack through a nest of thorny branches to get hold of one of these. 

The crisp pattern clearly steals the show here, but there’s also some rather lovely detailing to feast your eyes on, too. Yep, this basically makes a mockery of this year’s MLS kits.

- Ben Hyde, FOOTY.COM.

13. Manchester City - Away

man city 2020-21 away kit

It's a shame there's been so many shirt leaks this season, certainly more than previous years. This has been let out of the bag for some months, but that didn't stop any excitement. PUMA have been loving their patterned designs of late, and so have we. The dark shades and copper gold colourway work in perfect harmony. The mosaic pattern inspired by the City's architecture is a stroke of genius. It's subtle, yet striking in the same breath. This is up there with one of the best, if not 'the best' away shirts of the season.

The Kitsman.

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12. Red Star FC - Home

red star 2020-21 home kit

I hold my hands up… I’m guilty of criticising templates (it’s hard not to when adidas’ Tiro 19 exists!). I know templates have been used for years and I appreciate that the use of templates has more economical implications, but sometimes I want to see more than just a change of colour depending on the club.

Yet despite saying this… I absolutely love this Red Star FC home kit even though it uses adidas’ new Condivo 20 template.

You could say that this is just just a green shirt, with green Condivo 20 collar and sleeve cuffs and white Adidas shoulder stripes… and to an extent you’d be right. But how do you make a kit stand out amongst all the plain, striped, halved and quartered shirts out there? Well, the answer seems to be by getting design collective Acid FC to produce a shirt using the club’s location and history and in the process, making it look completely different to any other.

The design is made up of drawings of fans, players and other influential symbols from Red Star’s history and future, and all done in the ‘Toile de Jouy’ style. The style involves printing figures and landscapes onto fabric, which can be found in the markets close to Bauer, Red Star’s home ground.

This is a great example of combining a template with some creativity to create a shirt that is not only outstanding, but also one that France’s second oldest football club should be proud of.

Pedro Almeida.

Never has a cool sponsor fit so perfectly with a cool shirt, but that’s peripheral. French Ligue National outfit Red Star FC x adidas have brilliantly incorporated flea market antiquities and 123 years of club history in a striking ‘Toile du Jouy’ pattern. This shirt deserves far more TV coverage than it will receive.        

- Kevan Thorpe, FOOTY.COM.

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11. South Korea - Away

south korea 2020-21 away kit

South Korea’s new away shirt was released much earlier this year, but it still has me shaking my head in disbelief. It’s just fantastic: the Joe Exotic x Korea crossover we all need in our lives right now. 

Nike used this shirt to make a statement back in March, giving us an early glimpse of what their template-free world could actually look like. It’s bursting with the kind of unique creativity we’d usually associate with Nigeria, and we’re already seeing other teams benefitting from this insane imagination. It’s wonderful to see. 

The white tiger (definitely not zebra) stripes are just incredible, there’s not really any other way to describe them. The gold crest looks great, the cuffs and collar are relatively smart, but absolutely none of it takes my eyes away from that marvellous all-over pattern. I almost feel like I’ve been hypnotised by it, which might be why I’m desperate for the matching hoodie and socks. 

- Ben Hyde, FOOTY.COM.

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This is Part 9 of 10. Explore the rest of the countdown:

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

Ben Hyde

Rubbish FIFA player with an addiction to buying football shirts which are way too cool for me.