Umbro French goalkeeper shirts are a 90s feast

FSC Approved – 2021 Caen, Reims and Guingamp GK shirts

I never expected to be talking about set of Umbro goalkeeper shirts, but here we are.

Umbro are perhaps the best manufacturer in world football for retro inspired designs which utilise patterns and ideas from the past, and the latest evidence of their pedigree comes from an unexpected source.

A series of goalkeeper shirts for French clubs Caen, Stade de Reims and Guingamp have exploded onto the scene, and there is so much to enjoy. Each club has been given a different aesthetic to play with, but the quality levels across the board is consistently high.

Starting with Caen, Umbro have treated the club to a luxurious black and gold affair with a pattern resembling the sort of intricate design you’d expect to see on an elaborate, tiled floor or ceiling. A sharp collar and cuff look complements the body, as touch a small but well chosen French flag callout at the centre of the neckline.

Things are just as good over in Reims, where a yellow and green sunburst designs takes centre stage. The same fantastic collar and cuffs are present, as too is the French flag detailing, but the bespoke graphic separates nicely from the Caen look. Though part of me would love to see these Reims kits let loose a little bit more with a wider range of colours within each shirt, there’s no mistaken the quality of the look, not least for the way the sunburst graphic extends onto the shoulders.

Alongside Caen and Reims, Guingamp are swooping it with the boldest collection of the trio. Their three designs all boast a pattern heavily inspired by the 90s, and in fact there is a resemblance between these shirts and the magnificent 2019 Chapecoense third shirt, which was one of my favourite kits two years ago.

There’s something for everyone here, with blue/pink, green/yellow and yellow/black colourways to choose from. In each, the Guingamp keepers will be some of the best dressed men on the pitch no matter who they face.

The only thing I would’ve liked to have seen each across all these Umbro goalkeeper shirts was some long sleeve options. It’s quite possible we’ll see long sleeve variants come matchday 1 of Ligue 1, but a few teasers now would’ve whetted the appetite further still.

We’ve got a lot to forward too this summer with the Euros and all that comes with that, but once the dust has settled and the Henri Delaunay Trophy is safely brought home (sorry), the Caen, Reims and Guingamp goalkeeper shirts will be high on many collector’s season wishlist. 

Impressive work, Umbro.

What is FSC Approved?

What makes a football shirt good? It’s a purely subjective question, right?

Whilst there are indeed a lot of subjective elements when it comes to shirts, there are still factors to consider. Sometimes, a design is notable for its unique aesthetic. The colourway, pattern or construction may have gone where no shirt dared to go before it, or it might simply be a particularly good utilisation of a classic approach. Other times, a legendary player elevates a design to immortality, even if the design in question would’ve been hard to pick out of a crowd before.

Our series FSC Approved will be a lovingly curated list of shirts that deserve to be in the conversation as good, possibly even great football shirts, no matter who you support or what your taste in shirts is. Old classics, new contenders, if it’s FSC Approved it’s as close to a certified banger as you can get.

Phil Delves

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