La Liga: Atletico Madrid unveil special 120th anniversary kit

Atletico Madrid have officially revealed a one-off kit that they will wear to commemorate the club’s 120th anniversary.

Atletico was founded on 26 April 1903, so Wednesday’s La Liga fixture on the same date makes for a perfect time to celebrate the milestone.

The Spanish side’s new jersey draws inspiration from the original shirt of the club. As a result, kit manufacturer Nike has done away with Atleti’s typical red and white stripes. Instead, this Atletico Madrid anniversary kit comes in a 50/50 design. One half of the shirt is blue, meanwhile, the other is white.

Nike have continued the blue onto the shoulders of the top, as well as on the shorts and socks. These come in a simple yet stylish block colouring. Another element that nods to Atletico’s infancy is the use of their original badge.

However, the kit makers have maintained some 21st-century touches to the strip. For example, it uses Nike’s 2022 template, with the US marque’s logos present on the kit, too. Similarly, Atletico’s shirt sponsor Whalefin still resides on the chest centre of the shirt.

The historical cues from the club’s origins are prevalent throughout the strip.

Why are Atletico Madrid wearing a blue and white anniversary kit?

The reason behind the atypical colourway comes from the club’s founders. A group of Basque students, who lived in Madrid at the time, joined forces to create a team in the Spanish capital.

Initially, these students from the Basque country founded the team as a subdivision of Athletic Club, otherwise known as Bilbao. Therefore, they adopted the colours of their beloved Basque side, which back then were blue and white.

Other elements of Atletico Madrid’s early kits reference Athletic Bilbao as well.

“Our first crest – valid until 1917 – was made up of a belt surrounding a football,” explained a statement on Atletico’s website. “On which the initials of Athletic Club could be read intertwined.”

Interestingly, Atletico Madrid did not adopt their famous red and white stripes until 1911. Of course, they did not look back after doing so – until now.

The likes of Antoine Griezmann, Alvaro Morata, and Memphis Depay will now line up in the original blue and white on Wednesday. But who will Atleti face at the Wanda Metropolitano?

Los Colchoneros take on Mallorca

In amongst all the anniversary celebrations and special kit, Atletico Madrid have a La Liga match to win.

Diego Simeone’s side take on Mallorca. Currently, the island side sit tenth in the division – arguably exceeding expectations. Mallorca come into the match on a four-game unbeaten run, including back-to-back wins.

Meanwhile, Atletico saw their unbeaten streak come to an end on the weekend. Leaders Barcelona defeated the Madrid side 1-0, ending their run at 13 matches. Despite the setback, Simeone’s men have recovered from an early season slump to control third place in the table.

Atletico Madrid will still want to take victory in their retro kit in order to not put a dampener on the anniversary party.  

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