Russian football gets a facelift with these class RPL concept kits

Currently in the middle of a three-month Winter break, the Russian Premier League is shaping up to be a title race between three of the countries most successful teams: Zenit St. Petersburg, CSKA Moscow and Spartak Moscow.

While their on-pitch activities are currently paused, off the pitch their fans – and of course us shirt lovers – can still enjoy some Zenit, CSKA and Spartak content courtesy of @emmegraphic and his collection of concept shirts for the teams.

Let’s take a closer look at these RPL concept kits!

The designs

Beginning with league leaders, Zenit, at first glance this concept seems fairly in-keeping with recent Nike efforts for the reigning champions of the Russian Premier League, with an electric blue covered by bright flowing lines – a perfect look for a team sponsored by energy giants, Gazprom. 

But on closer inspection, @emmegraphic’s easter egg becomes clearer. On the shirts bottom right, an image of The Bronze Horseman – a statue of Peter the Great, located in the Senate Square of St. Petersburg – has been indented over the pattern. This subtle but significant touch mixes the modernity of St. Petersburg’s energy-backed football team with the medieval history of the city. 

CSKA currently lie in second place, just 4 points behind Zenit. Historically one of Russia’s ‘traditional clubs’ since their founding in 1911, it is fitting that the capital-based team are given a concept shirt paying homage to Russia’s past. 

While keeping the usual blue and red stripes, the shirts sleeves include patterns drawn in a traditional Russian style which fade up the arm and add to the striped pattern of the shirt. It is yet another effective historical touch, though it is a little hard to overlook the (albeit realistic) swathe of sponsors on the shirt’s front. 

Our final Russian concept is also not helped by it’s sponsor being ever-so-slightly overpowering, but luckily Spartak – currently third in the table – are saved by their white band and central crest, which are used to stunning effect by @emmegraphic

But once you’ve taken your eyes off the central band, he has yet another Russian easter egg for you. The top of this Spartak shirt is covered with flower patterns which are inspired by the Moscow Flower Show. Floral patterns often work well on shirts, but giving an added meaning to their inclusion always makes the designs that bit more effective.

Which shirt are you backing?  

With the season not set to resume until mid-March, it will be sometime before the Russian title race is concluded, but until then we can use these beautiful concepts to decide who we will be backing in the title race. 

Which shirt from @emmegraphic are you choosing? Let us know in the comments below!

Who is @emmegraphic? 

@emmegraphic is an Italian designer who creates concept shirts for a variety of sports, and always brings an engaging theme with his designs, as with these RPL concept kits. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with his latest work.  

Matt Leslie

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