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  • by Phil Delves December 14, 2023 3 min read

    In March 2022 Chelsea were described as having been “a success machine for the last 10-20 years” by Gary Neville. Though the months since that quote have been turbulent to say the least (the club are firmly mid-table in the Premier League at the time of writing), it’s impossible to ignore the fact that when it comes to cold, hard silverware The Blues are up there with the very best.

    Most popular Chelsea football shirt

    Though rival fans are often quick to poke fun that Chelsea have “no history” and have only been relevant since the much-talked-about takeover of 2003, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The club are one of just five clubs to have won all three pre-1999 main European club competitions and indeed as we take a look at the most popular nameset choices for Chelsea shirts, #1 on the list is a player from the pre-takeover days…

    1.Gianfranco Zola

    Gianfranco Zola arrived in West London with a tidy collection of honours, and he left with even more having helped Chelsea to 7 trophies in 7 years. He can chalk up another honour to his list as the most popular choice for a Chelsea nameset, with 28 sales.

    The 1997/99 Chelsea home shirt is one of the most memorable kits from Zola’s stint, and the shadow stripes of the Umbro design immediately evoke the era. With yellow trim detailing and the old school Autoglass sponsor this is a collectors item even for those who aren’t diehard Chelsea fans..

    On the hunt for a vintage Zola kit? Click here to see our full collection.

    2.  Frank Lampard

    The aforementioned takeover heralded a new dawn for Chelsea, and one of the faces of this dawn was Frank Lampard. Lampard, just a couple of years into his Chelsea career at the time, would go on to have one of the best careers of the 00s and early 10s, winning multiple personal and club accolades. He clocks in at #2 on our list of the most popular Chelsea namesets with 18.

    Look at pictures of the 2003/05 Chelsea home and you’ll immediately be transported to those earlier years when Lampard found his feet under the tutelage of José Mourinho. The particular shirt pictured above features Chelsea’s cup typeface, which is a style with plenty of character helping to elevate an understated kit design.

    3.  Didier Drogba

    Third in our list (16 sales) is Chelsea legend and hero of Munich Dider Drogba. With 157 goals in all competitions for The Blues, there were plenty of opposing goalkeepers who saw “Drogba #11” as the Ivorian wheeled away in celebration.

    Before he was DD11 though, Drogba rocked #15 to great effect. The 2005/06 Chelsea away is a personal favourite of mine, with a baby blue base colour and quintessentially Umbro details framing the chest portion of the shirt. It’s an underrated look from one of the best manufacturers in the game, and it rarely looked better than with Drogba’s name and number on the back.

    Football shirt index (December 2023)

    Legend

    Number of orders

    Core Club

    David Beckham

    181

    Manchester United

    Eric Cantona

    156

    Manchester United

    Thierry Henry

    134

    Arsenal

    Ronaldo (United)

    59

    Manchester United

    R9 (total)

    45

    Inter Milan

    Dennis Berkgamp

    42

    Arsenal

    Ian Wright

    40

    Arsenal

    Robbie Fowler

    38

    Liverpool

    Zinedine Zidane

    38

    Real Madrid

    Gianfranco Zola

    28

    Chelsea

     

    10 most popular football shirts

    Phil Delves
    Phil Delves

    As Head of Content, Phil is the creative playmaker of the team, covering every angle of football shirt news in our blogs and weekly Newsletter. Whether it's telling your fakes from your authentics, or deep dives into the newest football shirts designs, Phil will have all your football shirt content needs covered.