Puma’s 2021/22 third kits have been causing controversy online, with some fans saying they look unimaginative (Photos: Puma)
At the start of a new football season, each team’s reveal of their new kits can often be the most exciting aspect of the game - at least off the pitch.
Fans clamour to see what their chosen club(s) will be (hopefully) hammering home goals in over the weeks and months to come.
Will they be sporting a modest take on a classic design from the club’s glory days? Or will they throw out the usual colour scheme entirely for an abstract kit that’s likely to become a collector’s item in years to come.
A team’s third kit is often where most experimentation takes place. These kits get the least frequent outings throughout the season, and are usually dragged out under the unlikely circumstance that both teams’ combinations of home and away kits clash in all configurations.
As such, designers are more free to take risks with their creations, knowing that if anything doesn’t quite stick, at least it won’t be seen all too often throughout a campaign.
But Puma’s designs for the third kits of the 10 clubs across Europe that it supplies strips for has caused division among the footballing community.
Here is everything you need to know.
What do the kits look like?
Somehow merging simplicity with an overhaul of what is expected from a football kit, Puma’s designs manage to give us clean designs, while delivering shirts that don’t really look like anything that’s come before.
They’re all fairly uniform between them, with each of the clubs’ kits following a template.
As such - at least in this writer’s mind - some of the kits are more pleasing on the eye than others (Shaktar and Valenice, we’re looking at you).
Each team’s name is emblazoned across the front in surprisingly large lettering, with the club’s badge not positioned in its usual heart-adjacent spot.
Instead, each badge is subtly replicated multiple times across the shirt. To top it all off, the Puma logo sits proudly above each shirts’ centrepiece.
"It is your crest that may change over the time, but it is your name that leaves a legacy," is the idea behind the designs.
What it all amounts to are shirts that look pleasingly retro, while also looking like something the developers of the FIFA games would be forced to include upon missing out on a big club’s licence.
Which clubs will wear them?
The 10 European clubs who will have the new kits on standby are as follows:
What have fans said about the new kits?
Being the subject of such debate and scrutiny, it’s not surprising that the new kits have ruffled a few feathers among football fans.
One Twitter user described the new strips as looking “like a six-year old’s pyjamas”, while another said they looked like “someone’s online school design project” which was “due the next day”.
“This is like when Penneys/Primark does unauthorised t-shirts for the Euros or World Cup that are just ‘ITALIA’ or ‘BRAZIL’ across the middle,” said another fan, who branded Man City’s third kit the worst of 2021/22.
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