Barcelona recently unveiled their brand-new shirt for the 2023/24 season – but how does it compare to their greatest kits?
For their latest strip, the Blaugrana have done away with the navy shoulders and sleeves that dominated the 2022/23 kit. Instead, just the traditional blue and deep red combo is present on the shirt.
Red sleeves match up with a pair of thick red stripes down the middle of the jersey. Meanwhile, blue stripes link up with the blue on the shoulders.
One fascinating element of their 2023/24 home kit is that it’s the first in Barca’s history to draw inspiration from the Women’s team. Here, the Catalan giant’s club crest – found on the left side of the shirt – is set in a diamond. This diamond represents the Women’s team and their momentous occasion of playing at Camp Nou for the first time.
Overall, this is an understated, yet solid strip for the reigning La Liga champions. Sadly, though, it does not make our top 5 of the greatest Barcelona kits.
#5: 2008/09 home
Starting our rundown is a shirt that Barca fans have immortalised due to the unprecedented on-pitch success while wearing it.
In 2009, Pep Guardiola’s side completed an improbable sextuple. They won the 2008/09 La Liga, Copa del Rey, and Champions League. Barcelona then followed this up with the UEFA Super Cup, Supercopa de Espana, and the Club World Cup – making the Blaugrana reigning champs in six competitions.
The shirt itself was a considerable change-up from the norm with Barca home kits. Nike removed the traditional stripes for this particular effort, instead producing a slick half-and-half look. The Nike logo and UNICEF sponsor then stood out in gold detailing, which was a classy touch.
Overall, this clean, uncluttered look makes our list for as much the iconic team that wore it as how nice it looks.
#4: 2022/23 away
Now, this is one that will likely grow on fans as the years pass. Just last season, Nike gave Barcelona one of their greatest kits thanks to a sublime, Olympics-inspired number.
A gold base – reminiscent of their alternate jerseys in the 2000s – housed a glorious tapestry of the city. Additionally, this colour was a not-so-subtle nod to the medals that winners receive at the Olympics.
The 2022/23 away shirt celebrated thirty years since Barcelona hosted the iconic games in 1992. As a result, the colours of the Olympic rings appeared on the sleeve cuffs, and on the socks. Nike’s decision to black out all the logos and the club crest also proved an inspired one.
Although this kit made infrequent outings, Xavi led Barcelona to a La Liga title during the campaign where it was used. The only downside is the presence of “Spotify” as a sponsor – nothing against them, it is just that Barcelona shirts traditionally look better without sponsorship.
Regardless, this strip is absolutely top-notch.
#3: 1999/2000 home (Centenary kit)
In third place among the greatest kits in the history of FC Barcelona is their brilliant centenary jersey.
At the turn of the millennium, Barca went to the half-and-half approach once more to celebrate 100 years of the club. And just like in 2008/09, it looked awesome.
A classic, 90s-style collar in navy craftily subdued the Blaugrana-coloured halves of the jersey. Navy then continued down the shoulders and sleeves, framing the rest of the top nicely.
Central crests are always a good stylistic choice, so Nike put their logo, plus the Barca badge, in the middle of the top. Either side of them was “1899” and “1999” – representing the 100 years of the Catalan club’s existence.
Sadly, Barcelona did not pick up any silverware in their milestone season. Still, at least they pulled off a classic kit to show during the campaign.
#2: 1995 – 1997 away
Realistically, any of the Kappa kits that Barcelona wore during the 90s could have made this list, but we think the greatest of them all is their away jersey from the middle of the decade.
This turquoise, geometric-patterned strip is an absolutely iconic part of Barca’s history. Kappa’s brand taping going down the sleeves is an excellent start, as is the collar boasting dark blue trim. The busy, two-tone design – with a hint of red and navy – is then just superb.
During the seasons using this kit, Barcelona claimed a Copa del Rey and a UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup. In addition, Ronaldo made this shirt a classic thanks to a standout 1996/97 campaign in Catalunya.
R9 recorded a monstrous 34 league goals that year, winning the Pichichi trophy. This then earned the Brazilian FIFA Men’s best player honours, as well as a Ballon d’Or. An incredible player for a truly incredible kit.
#1: 2014/15 home
Finally, at number one on our rundown of the greatest Barcelona kits is another treble-winning top. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar earned the Blaugrana their most recent European title while wearing this fantastic shirt.
The beauty of this particular kit lies with Barca returning to their roots. Gone was the garish yellow of the 2013/14 kit, and the ombre style of the one before that. Instead, simple Blaugrana stripes ran vertically down the jersey.
Nike then added a bit of pop to the round collar with a small triangle housing the flag of the Catalunya region – undoubtedly a popular addition amongst fans. “Qatar Airways” sponsorship sat in the centre of the jersey yet did not stand out in a vulgar manner.
All in all, this is just an excellent example of producing a quality kit. To many, this is exactly what the prototypical Barcelona kit looks like; that in itself is a testament to its greatness.
Luis Enrique’s men completed a brilliant treble in the sole season wearing this shirt. Barcelona have not reached those greatest heights since – be it with their kits or on the pitch.
Featured image credit: Getty