We’re a whole World Cup and more than a month from the start of the 2018/2019 football season and Manchester United has already revealed the club’s third kit for the upcoming year. Inspired by the colors the Red Devils wore during their iconic 1968 European Cup success, the kits are a lovely blue shirt with gold trim and a gold United badge to match. Fortunately, fans won’t have to wait until the start of the Premier League to see their favorite players don the kits. Mourinho’s men plan to debut the new shirts during July’s United States tour.
In the Premier League era, kits have long been associated with the winning trophies acquired that campaign. Over the last couple decades, United have revealed some rather lovely home shirts and some—just like Alexis Sánchez’s second-half shots on target— that have missed the mark.
2015-2016: Just like old times
Faithful supporters can’t always agree on who their favorite number 7 is, but most could unanimously insist that Adidas and Manchester United is a match made in kit heaven. After Nike ended its 13-year partnership, the German giants signed a 10-year, £750m deal at the beginning of the 2015-2016 year. As it was the most valuable sponsorship in history, the new shirts could not disappoint. Adidas revealed a smooth design, a return to the iconic three stripes resemblance of their logo.
If only that pesky sponsor’s logo weren’t there, it would be a near perfect execution. But just like closing this year without a single trophy, everything in football isn’t meant to be fair.
2012-2013: Fergie’s Last Run
There was no avoiding how much of an eye sore this kit was at first glance. It looked like a glorified picnic cloth. Yet, the optical illusion as a result didn’t matter come May when United lifted its 20th top-flight title in Sir Alex’s last season as manager. You weren’t particular impressed watching the Red Devils perform in them, but in a season filled with sensational Fergie Time winners and accompanying memorable goals, the uniform reminded fans that anything was possible. Separating such a terrific season from a unique kit is unnecessary.
1996-1998: Peak 1990s Umbro
What a time to be a United fan in the 90s. Not only were they the team of the decade, each kit design was synonymous with a legendary player from those formidable years. United recycled the 1996/1998 design for two years in a row, and Umbro’s design was peak 1990s football fashion. The patterned sleeves were loud and probably fine on their own. But in an effort to remind us all what decade we were truly in, the Manchester-based company added gradients along the collar as contrast.
This powerful nostalgia that accompanies this kit is enough to earn a spot on this countdown. We’ll never see a design quite this busy again, but the memories of those two years are unforgettable.
2009-2010: Throwback to Old Trafford’s grand opening
Unpopular opinion: but these kits were lovely. The thick, black chevron across the chest at first glance was interesting. But, it echoed the same pattern from the 1909-1910 campaign, which was coincidentally Old Trafford’s inaugural year. When asked about the significance of the strip, Nike said it recognizes “both United’s glorious history at Old Trafford in the ground’s centenary year and enhances their ability to continue to strike fear in to visiting teams.” Given the history behind the upcoming year’s kit, its no surprise tradition is important to Manchester United. While it was a sharp turn from the traditional look fans were used to seeing, it nonetheless was a fitting look to celebrate the 100 years of the Theatre of Dreams.
1992/1994: An end to the drought
As far as sensational kits go, the Red Devils’ 1992 shirts to mark 100 years since Newton Heath FC first entered the Football League tops this list. From the lace collar to the perfectly placed badge, there is a mark of sophistication with an air of intimidation that comes with donning this gleaming red kit. Upon closer look, you could see “MUFC” printed on the shiny fabric. No detail was sparred in the construction of this shirt. It was appropriately exquisite for the squad who ended United’s long league title drought. As far as greatest home kits of all time across the Premier League, this one, like the Class of 1992, is in a league of its own.
Which of these home kits is your favorite?
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