A Fashion Show Even Men Can Enjoy: Football's 20 Most Iconic Kits

Bryan SakakeenyCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2010

A Fashion Show Even Men Can Enjoy: Football's 20 Most Iconic Kits

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    You want proof that today's world is one big, commercialised party run by corporate big-wigs? Look no further than the modern-day football kit.

    The beautiful game remains the same, but advertisers have turned its best players into walking billboards and adverts in case you have the sneaking impulse to purchase something in the middle of the match.

    Let's jump back into the good old days, where a kit was something used for representing your team and showing pride, not for selling things.  A time where the colors and patterns were simple, bold, and invoked a rush of fear or a swell of pride just by catching a glimpse of them.

    These are the 20 most iconic football kits of all time.

20. West Ham United 1960s-1970s

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    The Hammers captured the FA Cup and the European Cup Winner's Cup in successive years donning this odd, but creative little getup. 

    The reddish-maroon color came courtesy of a suggestion made by superstar triumvirate Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, and Geoff Hurst that the club change to a more patriotic color after England's defeat of West Germany in the 1966 World Cup Final. 

19. Fiorentina

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    Not many players can say they rocked the solid purple and still looked like the man.  Although it's tough not to look sexy when you're bagging goals like Gabriel Batistuta, Giancarlo Antognoni, and a host of other Fiorentina idols.

    Barney the Dinosaur salutes you.

18. AC Milan

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    One of, if not the most successful club in the world, AC Milan has not changed its colors since the club's inception in 1899.

    While the club considers its white away kits to be lucky in the Champions League Final, the intimidating red and black stripes will forever be the face of this storied club.

17. Arsenal 2003-2005

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    Trademark of the Invincibles, Arsenal's "O" on their jersey serves less as a sponsorship and is more akin to the expression one's mouth formed while watching this club play. 

    Oxygen never looked so scary.

16. Barcelona

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    The jersey has remained the same throughout the eras of Maradona, Cruyff, and the now-legendary Messi. 

    The color pairing and vertical stripes were ripped off by Crystal Palace in 1973.

    Don't worry though, nobody was confused.

15. Hungary 1950s

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    Puskas and Hidegkuti dismantled England twice wearing these old-fashioned jerseys en route to becoming one of the most dominant national teams of the 1950s.

    Hungary always claimed that the Germans were on drugs during das Wunder von Bern, however, the kits were a faded purple color, so any psychedelic excuses made by the German players have to be taken with a grain of salt.

14. France 1984

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    Les Bleus were at their finest during the mid-1980s.  Michael Platini spearheaded a sublime attacking football club to their first-ever major championship title in Euro 1984, only to fall short in subsequent World Cups.

    Their 1984 kit showcased the true blue of the French, sporting the cute little F.F.F. rooster as well.

13. Inter Milan 1960

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    The Nerazzurri are another Italian club that has retained their original colors since their founding.  This classic blue and black striped shirt is the poster child of La Grande Inter, led by Helenio Herrera and his catenaccio philosophy.

    The defensive-oriented tactics may have put some supporters to sleep, but hey, at least the players were looking fresh.

12. Newcastle United 1969

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    The Fairs Cup win was the Magpies last tournament victory and signified the end of the golden years for Newcastle United.  The newly promoted Newcastle maybe should give this simple, but iconic kit a second look in order to return to success.

    A stirring jersey combination for any English soccer fan, but a rather funny sight for any American sports fan as the team looks like a bunch of back judges in an NFL game.

    Hey, look there's Ed Hochuli!

11. England 1960s

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    Before England's kit design went downhill after the 1960s, the Three Lions stood alone on a plain white canvas of a jersey.

    Simple. Elegant. Iconic.

10. Argentina 1978

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    Argentina captured their first World Cup title in 1978, but let's be serious, how could you bet against them with those jerseys?

    The sky blue and white pinstripes, coupled with the old school AFA logo were a winning combination and such beautiful gear translated into on-field success as Argentina sank fellow iconic jersey-wearers the Netherlands on their home soil.

9. Bayern Munich 1970s

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    Franz Beckenbauer may be a pain to deal with off the field, but he was a sight to behold on the pitch with Bayern Munich in the 1970s as they stormed through Germany and Europe, painting the town red in their kits that sported the same solid color.

    You've got to love the old school Adidas logo as well, is that Arial font?

8. Celtic 1967

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    The timeless bhoys in the green and white striped jerseys became the first British club and only Scottish team ever to win the European Cup.  They earned their name the Lisbon Lions that night as they sunk Inter Milan 2-1 in Lisbon.

    The shirts were unique as they had no jersey numbers or names printed on them. Luckily for Celtic, the whole 1967 roster was born within a 30-mile radius of Parkhead, Scotland.  Safe to say that everyone literally knew everyone.

7. Ajax

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    Simple, unique, and easily recognizable.  Ajax is one of the most storied clubs in Europe and their jersey has served as the face of the club for decades, not deviating much from it's original design.  A testament to what football jerseys should be.

6. Liverpool 1960s

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    Bill Shankly theorized that adding red shorts and socks to Liverpool's already-red jersey would make his players appear more imposing.  Well, I don't know if "imposing" is the right word to use, but the club's success helped make these all red get-ups one of the most iconic kits of all time.

    Would you look at that, not a Carlsberg logo in sight.

5. England 1966

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    "Plenty of teams have worn red shirts and white shorts.  Only one has ever won a World Cup Final."

    -Nick Szczepanik

4. Holland 1974-1978

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    The Oranje fell short in two World Cup Finals despite having assembled a great team worthy of showcasing total football. 

    The teams may have walked away second-best but Holland can hold their heads high knowing that their orange-wash out kits were second to none.

3. Italy 1970

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    There have been minor variations, of course, but the iconic all-blue shirts of the 1970 World Cup that saw Italy get through to the final will forever represent the pinnacle of Italian football.

    Italy comes in high because you always know what to expect out of their jerseys when the World Cup rolls around, the national federation knows where their bread is buttered.  As a result the Azzurri always turn out in true, blue form.

2. Real Madrid 1960

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    Not a logo, slogan, or anything else for that matter besides the timeless Real Madrid crest graced this kit.

    One of the top clubs in the history of the game, the 1960 jersey shows supporters what a kit is supposed to look like, clean, simple, and proud.

    The white kit of Los Blancos has withstood the test of time, as the color now strikes fear into the hearts of all opposing clubs and their players. 

    Marveled by all, ripped off by many, but only pulled off by one.

1. Brazil 1970

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    The bright yellow, green, blue, and white medley that made up this kit was representative of the Brazilian team that donned it so well in the 1970 World Cup.  Each player stood out on their own and demanded attention, but they all somehow made it work, and made it work beautifully at that.

    Few teams could have looked better than the Brazilians even if they hadn't raised the trophy that year, but hey, every kit looks good placed next to some World Cup hardware.

    It's a shirt so iconic I don't feel even remotely qualified to attempt and explain why, or want to for that matter.

    That's when you know you've got a winner.