There are certain shirts and teams that will forever be synonymous with one player. For some, this bond may have been created over a career spent in the colours of a club, while others can gain that same cult status from just one spectacular season. And for the most maverick of players, it only takes one moment of brilliance to earn such status, and forever imprint themselves in the minds of fans, wearing that shirt, in that game, for that club.
Last week, clothing brand Offside Outlet evoked that connection between player and shirt with the release of their debut Legends capsule collection. The collection features five shirts – England home ‘04, Juventus home ‘18, Napoli away ‘16, Barcelona home ‘96 and Real Madrid GK home ‘13 – which are each linked to a legend of that particular club or country. Those commemorated on the shirts include David Beckham, Paolo Rossi, Ronaldo Nazario, Diego Maradona and Iker Casillas.
And these shirts do not just look great, but they are also a more sustainable option for the environment. The shirts have been upcycled, meaning new graphics, stickers and paints have been added to the shirts, giving them a new, and very unique makeover.
So let’s take a look at each of the upcycled shirts, their designs and the legends they pay tribute to!
England, Home ‘04 – David Beckham
If you’re taking an England shirt from the 2000s and paying tribute to a player who wore it, there is really only one choice you can make: David Beckham. Across his 118 caps, Becks led England at multiple major tournaments and his relentless wing-play supplied a host of strikers, from Alan Shearer and Teddy Sherigham, to Wayne Rooney and Emile Heskey. But no moment was more iconic than his free-kick winner against Greece in a 2002 World Cup Qualifier.
20 years on from that glorious, curling strike, Offside Outlet have taken England’s 2004 home shirt and added elements of the shirt Beckham famously stretched out in celebration in that 2001 qualifier. The front of the jersey is largely left untouched, but the graphic down the left-hand side mimics the straight-line of the 2001 jersey, with its wavy shape the perfect fit for Beckham’s trademark deliveries.
The back of the shirt, meanwhile, features a graphic of Beckham stepping up to take a corner and the logo of Offside Outlet.
Juventus, Home ‘18 – Paolo Rossi
Sadly, in amongst the numerous difficulties of 2020, the football world also lost Italy legend, Paolo Rossi, at only 64 year of age. A World Cup winner with Italy in 1982, Rossi’s greatest club spell came at Juventus, as he won multiple Scudettos, the UEFA Cup and a European Cup across four seasons with I Bianconeri.
So it seems fitting that Offside Outlet would choose Rossi to embellish in their Juventus makeover. The front of the jersey is once again kept simple, with an elegant ‘Per Paolo’ written across the centre of the top. On the back, however, full tribute is paid to Rossi, as his name, image and signature shaggy hair appear embossed on the shirt. The retro font is also the perfect call back to ‘80s shirt style.
Napoli, Away ‘16 – Diego Maradona
From one fallen star, to another, as the Napoli shirt in Offside Outlet’s collection commemorates the services of Naples greatest adopted son, Diego Maradona. The chosen shirt is from Napoli’s 2016/17 campaign, which saw Maurizio Sarri’s team wear a sashed shirt, completed by golden Kappa arm taping.
After his passing in November, we saw Maradona appear once again on the back of Napoli shirts, but this upcycled version changes the design slightly, using a drip effect that perfectly encapsulates the free-flowing, unexpected nature of Maradona’s play. The Argentine’s portrait is featured on the back of the shirt in such a style, alongside his name running vertically down the shirt.
Barcelona, Home ‘96 – Ronaldo Nazário
Offside Outlet continue their collection with another Kappa shirt, this time throwing it back to 1996 and taking us to Barcelona to pay tribute to the glorious one season wonder (In Barcelona, anyway) that was Ronaldo’s 1996/97 season in Catalonia. The Brazilian scored 47 goals in 49 appearances that season, wearing one of Barça’s classic Kappa shirts. Featuring the ‘Barça’ graphic and Kappa logo running through the shirt’s stripes, this a fun jersey.
This design is complemented by reflective additions, such as Ronaldo’s ‘O Fenômeno’ nickname and a minimalist portrait on the shirt’s front and back, which change colour and complexion as you view it from different angles.
Real Madrid GK home ‘13
For the final jersey in the collection, Offside Outlet pick a slightly left-sided – but equally deserving – player to pay tribute to in the form of Iker Casillas, and his tenure as Real Madrid’s number one. To do this, they use Madrid’s goalkeeper shirt from the 2013/14 season – when, ironically, Casillas only played twice in La Liga – which features a purple base that fades into a dark blue.
While some of the upcycled jerseys were understated in their designs, this Casillas jersey goes in the opposite direction. The former Madrid ‘keeper is upgraded to saint-hood, as ‘Saint Iker’ is sprawled across the front and back of the shirt, and this theme is progressed even further with a portrait of Casillas adorned with a halo and cross appearing on the back of the shirt. For a player who played 725 games for his boyhood club, there may certainly be some Madridstas who view their former goalkeeper and captain in this light.
After releasing the collection on March 31st, Offside Outlet sold out the entire collection by April 4th, and it is easy to see why. The individuality of each jersey is a clear draw for collectors, and these sort of upcycled shirts are becoming more popular, as seen by the love shown to the likes of Hard in the Paint and Diana Al Shammari.
Let us know what you think about these custom shirts and which one is your favourite in the comments below!