A look at the new, radical third kits across Europe's top teams
Europe's biggest clubs unveiled their new third kits for the upcoming season, featuring black and dark blue colors and neon-hued accents. Some teams chose brighter colors for their third kit, using orange, pink, gold and yellow. Other clubs put a strong emphasis on deeper, darker colors, as three of Adidas’ six big-name clubs rolled out black third kits together. Paris Saint-Germain also opted for black while Barcelona went non-traditional with a new electric blue for its third kit.
The Barcelona blue
FC Barcelona decided to modernize the blue in its home kit with an “electric shade” to lead the brand-new third kit from Nike. Of course, not all mention of black goes unnoticed, as the sleeve cuffs, short cuffs and socks fade from blue to black.
The “Night Rising” kit debuted on Sept. 16 when Barcelona played AS Roma under the lights. Along with the club motto “Més Que Un Club” (“More Than A Club”) inside the collar and the Senyera, or the Catalan flag, on the right sleeve, the new kit has a nod to Barcelona architecture with the names and numbers designed in a custom typeface inspired by the sentinel chimneys of Antoni Gaudí’s La Pedrera.
The three-fold release of black from Adidas came for Manchester United, Juventus and Chelsea.
Juventus adds gold lettering and striping to their black, giving it a pronounced look. The Juventus shorts have a distinct gradient that sends the black to white while keeping gold accents.
Manchester United’s black is met with orange for the detailing and a subtle graphic across the chest meant to stand out under night lights. The graphic spilling across the shorts was taken from the early 1990s Manchester United uniform.
Juventus may have gold and Manchester United orange, but Chelsea’s Adidas kit uses white, including a defining white gradient across the chest and on the shorts, as its main accent.
Nike’s Paris Saint-Germain third kit takes a unique view on the City of Light by introducing a black kit full of gray shading and touches. Of course, the new third kit isn’t all black, with bright pink in two shades appearing on the textured typeface used for player names and numbers.
The other blues
A textured navy from Bayern Munich goes dark for the base with a pinkish-red color on the Adidas stripes and numbers.
The “night indigo” blue for the Real Madrid third kit from Adidas plays against the lighter blue detailing of the stripes. A Henley collar—that’s fancy wording for there’s a button—offers another change in the structure of the uniform.
The bright folks
Inter Milan wore yellow in 2004. And they’ll wear it again now, as a solid yellow mixes with black cuffs to brighten up Milan’s third kit.
For those in favor of bright green, take a peak at the Oct. 1 debut of Manchester City’s green kit. Inspired by the green on the club’s jersey in 1999 during a pivotal victory when part England’s third tier, the 2015-16 version goes bright on top and bottom, but with the fade to black on the cuffs as part of the Nike template.
AC Milan offers a touch of fashion style in the Adidas kit, with a green kit bathed in yellow touches, including a brightly colored gradient on the shorts that includes red and blue. There is also subtle striping on the green top to provide texture without clashing against the bright shorts.
At least it isn’t all black.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, sneakers and design for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.