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.
Often it’s a combination of both those things and an extra, unexplainable ‘x-factor’.
At Football Shirt Collective, we’re obsessed with football shirts both new and old, and though we can’t (and indeed no one else should) claim to be the sole authority when it comes to judging whether a shirt is good or not, we’d like to offer up our two cents to the discussion.
Our series FSC Approved will be doing exactly that. We’re putting together 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.
This frankly ridiculous return belonged to Romário de Souza Faria during his PSV Eindhoven days. With a small handful of seasons in his native Brazil under his belt, Romário blazed a trail that would go on to be travelled by many others moving to Europe.
Goals defined his stint in the Eredivisie, and if you were to sum up the clinical finisher’s time with one shirt in particular, the 1990-92 home shirt would do it best.
This is an adidas shirt at a time when the manufacturers were the undisputed king of kits. They could do it all; geometric masterpieces like Holland’s kit in ‘88, patterned beauties like what Liverpool wore at the turn of the 90s, and classy pinstripe efforts like what we saw at PSV.
The chunkier pinstripes on this particular kit were so popular that the club stuck with a broadly similar look for 4 seasons; it was a great call.
When you have a sponsor as iconic as Philips, and a colour scheme as timeless as red and white, you don’t need to do somersaults to create something special. But what makes this particular PSV shirt so good was that it struck a balance which few PSV shirts had achieved before. We’d seen predominantly red shirts with thin pinstripes, red shirts with a white band across the middle and even a barcode-like effort, but the 1990 design stands tall as the pinnacle.
Romário was mercurial in the shirt, racking up the goals whilst laying the groundwork for a certain Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima. What’s more, PSV’s 1990 home shirt even bears a resemblance to one of the shirts R9 wore during his brief Dutch stint, the 1995 home shirt, despite being made by rivals Nike. In that sense, the 1990 shirt is something of a spiritual link between Romário and Ronaldo.
Romário enjoyed some special moments wearing the colours of Barcelona, not to mention the Brazil national team, but from a shirt perspective he never wore anything as well crafted as the PSV 1990 home shirt.
We have a 1990 PSV home shirt with Romário’s famous number 9 on the back on our marketplace. Snap it up before someone else does. Pick it up here.