The definitive list of the best football shirts you can wear away from the five-a-side pitch
If Drake can do it, so can you
For years skateboarding has influenced fashion, as it will continue to do. The past couple of years, however, have seen the pendulum shift somewhat. More and more, football is influencing the collections of acclaimed streetwear brands – Gosha Rubchinskiy being a notable recent example.
But if you're gonna be rocking football inspired clobber, why not just stick on an actual football shirt? I know there's a risk of looking a bit Wavey Garms (*shudders*), but with the copious amounts of fluids – bodily or otherwise – knocking about in a night club, there's no more practical piece of clothing than a lovely, breathable football jersey.
Without further ado, here are 15 of the best, past and present:
1) AIK Stockholm 2017/18:
Swedes do it better (okay, Nike are American, but ignore that). Scandi chic as a trend has swept across Europe, and AIK are showing that it's not only furniture they can nail.
2) Ajax – 1989/90:
So good that Patta released their own version last year. One of the more rogue kits on the list – also available in a fetching long sleeve to hide those spaghetti arms.
3) Argentina – 1980:
Worn by a 20 year old Diego Maradona. Your 20 year old self may not quite match up to the achievements of Diego, but a stylish baby blue top and love for narcotics will at least give you a couple of conversation starters should you ever find yourself with the big man from Buenos Aires.
4) Grasshopper Club Zurich – 1992/93:
Why indeed? Football shirts as Social tool ! – who'd of thought ? come and see this at the Art Of The Football Shirt Exhibition World Tour next year – Dates to be announced soon #aotfs #exhibition #football #grasshopper #justsayno #footballshirt #soccerjersey #adidas #futbol #futebol #gcz #aotfs #soccer #streetwear
Mostly in the list as a counterbalance to the previous paragraph, so I don't get in trouble for promoting illegal activity. Keep yourself safe from those bad eggs in the club.
5) Juventus – 2015/16:
Couldn't leave him out could I? Assuming you've not got a deal with Jordan brand, you'll also have the added bonus of an Adidas logo on your version, so it doesn't look like you bought it off a stall in Tenerife.
6) Napoli – 1989/90:
Diego Armando Maradona (1960) the king of Napels broke the world record transfer fee for the second time when he moved to Italy for about €8 million. When he was presented to the world as a Napoli player he was welcomed by 75,000 fans at the Stadio San Paolo. At Napoli, Maradona reached the peak of his professional career as he quickly became the captain and the most adored star among the club's fans. During his time at the club he lifted the team to the most successful era in its history. Led by the legendary number 10 they won their first ever Serie A title in 86/87 and the celebrations were tumultuous. A rolling series of impromptu street parties and festivities broke out contagiously across the city in a round-the-clock carnival which ran for over a week. The world was turned upside down by this little man for Argentina. Maradona. #Maradona #DiegoMaradona #MaradonaNapoli #MaradonaNapels #ElDiez #Pelusa #Argentina #BuenosAires #Napoli
Napoli do nice kits – this is a fact of life. This one's lifted to legendary status both by its sponsor, and its inhabitant. With Dries Mertens and the boys doing bits in Serie A at the minute, there's no better time to embrace your inner Napolitano.
7) Tokyo Verdy – 1994/95:
You may recall me saying that the Swedes do it better. So do the Japanese. The J-league may not be renowned for its football prowess, but they don't half do a good shirt.
8) Soviet Union – early '80s:
Yes they had their flaws, but no one can question the USSR's aesthetic. Their entire 80s collection knocks it out the park – particularly worth checking out is their 1988 Euros ensemble.
9) Manchester United – 1990/92:
FABRIC OF FOOTBALL EXHIBITION – Sunday 11th March 2018, 10am-5pm, National Football Museum, Manchester We'd like to invite everyone to join us at the National Football Museum where we will be displaying over 500 of the greatest shirts of all-time. Make sure you don't miss it! This event will celebrate the start of a smaller permanent exhibition space at the National Football Museum
Look, I hate them as much as the next man, but it's a good kit.
10) Boca Juniors – 1981/82:
Pros: iconic, adidas trefoil
Cons: sweat patches
I assure you I'm not obsessed with Maradona – I prefer him to Pele, but that's just because he didn't count Subbuteo goals in his career tally – he just happened to wear many a nice kit.
11) Japan – 1993/94:
Whilst I may not be obsessed with Maradona, I am a bit obsessed with Japan. They consistently nail their kits – see '98 for some lovely flame detailing reminiscent of a primary school disco.
12) Inter X Nowhere F.C:
Looks a bit like when you used chalk in art at school. Lovely stuff. Yellow quarter-zip optional.
13) Germany – 1990:
Couldn't have a list of smart football kits without this cliche little beauty could we? Much better than those short sleeve Adidas tops with the trefoil 'lads' wear on nights out already.
14) Fiorentina – 1998/99:
Can't go wrong with a Fiorentina shirt really. I went for this one so the gamer types can pretend they're sporty and avoid being bullied by the 'jocks' on campus (I've watched far too many American sitcoms).
15) France – 2011/13:
I've a list on my phone with many more than 15 shirts, but I wasn't backing attention spans to last much longer than this.
Bit of a rogue choice to finish. Whilst you do risk looking like you work in Pizza Express, if done right the snobby Frenchman look is always a winner.