50 Worst Football Shirts of All Time

Brace yourselves, everybody. This is going to get rough. We’ve already covered the ​50 greatest football shirts here at 90min, so now it’s time to take a look at some of the shirts that the world would rather forget. The only rule that applies: one shirt per club or country. Let’s get started. You’d think that designing a ​Juventus home shirt would be a fairly simple process. After all, it shouldn’t be difficult to mess up black and white stripes, right? Wrong. It’s bad enough that the stripes are non-existent, but the bizarre pink stripe down the centre of the shirt is completely unforgivable. It has no place belonging on a Juventus shirt, no matter which way you look at it. This one genuinely looks like someone took a plain white shirt and just sprayed ketchup and mustard across it in an a failed attempt to generate some 90s nostalgia. adidas’ retro approach to international kits has been pretty successful in recent years, but Spain’s Euro 2016 away shirt was pretty dreadful. Pink can work – take a look at some of Palermo’s home shirts – but pink that is this lurid is a no-go. I mean, just take a look at it. ​Everton’s alternate strip for the 2010/11 season was certainly memorable, but it’s not exactly what you would call subtle. First rule of fashion: red and green don’t go together.  Okay, so maybe I made that up, but it doesn’t detract away from the fact that Lokomotiv Moscow’s 2007/08 kit was an eyesore, to say the least. What you can’t see from this picture, is that the entire back of the shirt is green too *shudder*. *​90S MONSTROSITY KLAXON* The first of many horrific kits from the 90s to feature on this list, ​Huddersfield’s 1991/92 away kit was something of a tie-dye fever dream. For some unthinkable reason, the Terriers recreated this effort for their debut season in the Premier League and it wasn’t a whole lot better. ​The kit is a divisive one amongst ​Bristol City fans – some love it, some want to kill it with fire. From an objective standpoint, it’s not great, is it? No one has ever dared to combine purple and lime before and, judging by this effort, it would be a surprise if anyone ever did again. ​​A ​Milan shirt on this list!? Blasphemy, I hear you cry. But just take a look at that sponsor. Pooh jeans. Call me immature, but that’s just really funny. Brazil’s 1994 home shirt was bad enough in itself, but the fact that they went on to lift the trophy in this mess makes it that much worse. Umbro opted to place an unnecessarily large superimposed image of the Brazilian crest onto the torso, making this shirt iconic for all the wrong reasons.  ​It’s difficult to get your head around this one. Why did adidas feel the need to plaster ​Schalke’s 1992/93 home kit with seemingly random squiggles that had no place being there? We’ll probably never know. Good grief, Puma got ​Tottenham’s home kit horribly wrong for the 2009/10 season. An otherwise plain white shirt was marred by garish yellow highlights, which were clumsily integrated into the design of the shirt, which probably brought about more than existential crisis amongst supporters.  ​40) Inter – 2016/17 Gradient designs are a common design trend these days, but that doesn’t mean that any of them actually work. ​Inter’s 2016/17 third strip falls guilty of the same trend that has beset countless alternative kits over the past few years (including another kit which will be discussed shortly) – it just looks like a Microsoft Powerpoint slide. ​39) Nigeria – 1994 Nigeria entered the 1994 World Cup with a home shirt that remains one of the greatest in the country’s history and an away shirt that looked like it had a bunch of one dollar bills strapped to it. When you pair it with those matching shorts, it only gets worse. Every heard of the phrase ‘less is more’? Marseille clearly hadn’t in 2011. Apparently, the shirt is a nod to the to the inside of the bomber jackets that Marseille fans wore in the 80s as a sign of collective ‘rejection of intolerance’. It’s intolerant, alright. So it’s official: all of the worst Arsenal kits are blue.  Other Arsenal away kits may have been more off putting, but this one has been pretty much forgotten, which tells you everything you need to know. It’s impossible not to picture this kit without seeing John Aldridge being restrained by Jack Charlton whilst directing every swear word in his vocabulary at a poor FIFA official at the 1994 World Cup. Don’t let that admittedly hilarious memory fool you, though. Ireland’s away kit for the 1994 World Cup was absolutely all over the place. ​Okay, so the shirt is bad enough in itself, but the sponsor to go along with it? Poetry. Sorry ​Brighton fans, but ‘Nobo’ is funny. I’m being immature again, aren’t I? ​Warrior’s brief spell as ​Liverpool’s kit manufacturers led them to create some bizarre designs, with this effort being the pick of the bunch. They’ve tried to pack in as much as possible, combining colours that shouldn’t ever be combined in the process. It’s not too obvious, but there’s also a weird tribal pattern on the shoulders to complete the look. A controversial choice, perhaps, but really take a look at this one. The German colours work, so long as they are paired with a white canvas – not a bottle green one. It wouldn’t have been so bad if Germany stuck with the classy 1990 design either, as that was a whole lot more subtle than what was produced for the 1994 World Cup. The second ‘Powerpoint’ design to crop up comes courtesy of ​Barcelona, who really should have spent a little more time consulting their 2012/13 away kit with Nike. Not even Lionel Messi could make this look passable. To be fair, if you are called Kansas City Wizards, then you’d expect to be wearing a rather extravagant design. It made a go at including all the colours of the rainbow, but stopped short after adding a random green line in the middle of the torso, for some reason. On initial reflection, this isn’t that bad. Not deserving to be on this list, anyway. But look closely at the shoulders. Really closely. Yes, the shirt is covered, intentionally or not, in Swastikas. It was removed from sale, with kit manufacturers Lotto claiming that it was an ‘accidental optical effect’. ​Middlesbrough had a plethora of exciting talents at their disposal during the 1996/97 – just a shame they didn’t have a kit to match. The cross is bad, the pattern within the cross is bad and the giant ‘BORO’ symbol emblazoned on the shoulder? Yep, you guessed it. Bad. Carlisle took inspiration from *checks notes* ah yes, the upholstery from a bus seat for this one. That would be the only explanation, anyway. The indecipherable red and white blotches were placed seemingly at random and, coupled with the contrasting shades of blue made for a god-awful mess. You have to laugh at this one, because it’s such a weak effort. Before the days of Powerpoint, designers had access to WordArt (remember that?) and ​Stoke clearly though the best plan of action would be to use that to let every know exactly who they were playing. Good for you, Stoke. Good for you. One of the most infamous kits of all time, ​Manchester United players literally went missing when they put this one on against Southampton in 1996. The Red Devils shipped three goals shipped three goals in a dreadful first-half against the Saints and Sir Alex Ferguson claimed that his players couldn’t see each other on the pitch. The changed into a different kit for the second-half, but still went on to lose 3-1. Some hold this ​Aston Villa shirt in high regard because of its quintessentially 90s aesthetic, but it’s just too 90s to work. Green and black stripes would be fine, so why did they feel the need to try and include Villa’s home colours as well?  Oh look, another shirt that is taken straight off a bus seat.  Scunthorpe’s hideous shirt gets bonus points for the ‘Pleasure Island’ sponsor and the matching shorts. I’ve refrained from including too many goalkeeper shirts on this list because they are, by nature, usually pretty dreadful. That was especially true during the 90s as kit manufacturers did their best to make the very best custodians look like complete muppets. Here’s Peter Schmeichel asking Hummel what they were thinking for the Danish keeper shirt back in 1998. ​This is unique as it was used as the world’s first ‘continental’ kit, acting a third strip for 12 African football national teams sponsored by Puma in 2010. The colour gradient was supposed to act as visual metaphor for soil to sky, which is a lovely sentiment, but brown doesn’t belong on any football shirt. ​Subtlety has never been something you normally would associate with USA and they did nothing to change that sentiment when they took to the field in this faux-denim number at the 1994 World Cup. It’s just very…’Murica. That’s probably the best way of describing it. Very little information exists about Sierra Leone’s 2010 shirt, so it’s not exactly easy to contextualise. All you need to know about it is that it somehow manages to superimpose an image of a mountain and a lion all in one shirt. A* for effort. It was bad enough for ​Newcastle supporters to have to watch their team play in the Championship, but then the Magpies made things 100x worse when they lined up in this vomit-inducing away kit. The individual who signed off on the idea of two shades of yellow needs to take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror. Kansas City Wizards couldn’t quite complete the rainbow effect, but Germany outfit VFL Bochum achieved the look with, ahem, flying colours.  They probably would have been better off going the full mile, as the half and half design is just confusing.  Lower-division European outfits trying to make a name for themselves with bizarre kit designs is one of the weirdest trends of the past decade. Third-tier Italian side Reggina went with the ‘naked torso’ approach for both of their kits in 2011/12. Which one was worse? The red one, why not. Ah yes. ​Nottingham Forest’s marker pen shirt. There really is no other way of explaining what’s going on here, because there is no semblance of organisation when it comes to the ‘design’. It really does look like a toddler was let loose to come up with whatever they felt like. If this list has taught us anything, it’s that no one in the 90s was just able to stick to a simple design and roll with it. ​Chelsea opted to go with this orange and grey abomination and it’s no wonder why it is considered to be one of the worst Premier League shirts of all time.  Everybody has a gimmick these days. Cultural Leonesa’s gimmick was to make their players look like high-profile waiters by sending them out in tuxedo-printed shirts, which looked ridiculously naff. It was made to celebrate the club’s 90th anniversary, which is even stranger – why 90? Abstract, yes. Stylish, no. Australia were looking to make a statement in 1990 and what that essentially boiled down to was making a kit which looked like someone had thrown up the contents of their lunch all over it. Controversy reigns, as ​Norwich’s ‘bird poo’ kit narrowly misses out on a coveted spot in the top ten. It has all the markings of a terrible 90s kit. An underwhelming sponsor, unnecessary collar and a bonkers design which made you want to go and have a wash. It’s bad, but things are only going to get worse from here. Broooooown. Disgustingly brown, in fact. Coventry’s 1978 shirt isn’t just brown. It is chocolate brown. A colour that should never be used for anything, especially football shirts.  You know those campy horror films that do nothing but make you laugh? This is the football shirt equivalent of that. Basque artist Dario Urzay grimly designed this Athletic Bilbao shirt to evoke a blood splatter (not too dark then), but it instead looks like someone managed to spill jam all over themselves. Saucy. I’m not even going to try and dissect this one because, quite frankly, what would be the point?  Just look at it. It’s a car crash of a shirt. Let’s be real here. Anniversary or commemorative shirts are rarely a good idea, no matter what the occasion is. Take 1860 Munich’s 2010 Oktoberfest design, which superimposed images of the club’s most historic moments all over the shirt. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time. There’s taking your club’s nickname seriously and then there’s this. ​Hull City, known as the Tigers, went bonkers in 1992 and decided that the best course of action was to create a tiger print shirt that has not stood the test of time. Kat from Eastenders might like it though. Somehow, David Seaman’s England kit was even worse than the turgid away kit the Three Lions were forced to wear during their painful Euro ’96 exit at the hands of Germany. It’s punishment enough to get knocked out of your home tournament on penalties, but to do so in a kit as bad as this makes you wonder why Seaman didn’t hang up his gloves there and then. Jorge Campos didn’t just want to wear Mexico’s 1994 goalkeeper shirt. He designed it himself, the lunatic. To revisit an old saying – goalkeepers are crazy. So letting them do what they want in the kit department is probably the worst idea anyone has ever had. On first glance, there is nothing too terrible about this one. It’s a sweet gesture from the Bolivian side of 1930, who opted to celebrate the host nation of the 1930 World Cup, Uruguay. But think about how that might translate on the pitch. Players would have just been running about with random letters on their chest. Oh and, as you can see, one of the only pictures of the kit sees them line up with a player missing, to spell ‘URUGAY’. Unfortunate. ​​CD Palencia saw Reggina’s shirt from earlier on in this list and thought, “nah, we can easily top that, just you watch.” And thus, a shirt only a mother could love was born, which featured an oddly graphic outline of the human body’s muscle structure for reasons that are yet to be explained. It’s pretty funny, but it’s also kind of gross. A deserving number two. ​​Here it is then. Looking like a rejected outfit from the Village People, Colorado Caribous come flying in at the number one spot with the single worst shirt any football team has ever had the misfortune of wearing. It has beige tassels, for crying out loud. BEIGE TASSELS. It’s not a good look, which ever way you look at it, it has to be the winner.

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