Barcelona’s ‘Croatia inspired’ home kit for the new season ruffled a few feathers on its release.
The idea of tinkering with one of the most iconic and recognisable kits in world football using a patchwork square shirt had traditionalists hammering their keyboards in despair.
However, there will be no gnashing of teeth over Barca’s new away kit which draws inspiration from one of the club’s greatest designs and has indelible links to a magical time in the club’s long and glorious history.
A striking yellow shirt with a red and blue sash, the new Barca away kit was officially released today after months of leaks most of which - thankfully - proved to be pretty accurate. Barca - especially with Nike - have never shied away from a bold away kit. Their peach effort last year was one of the most eye-catching of the season and the club have shown a liking for some of the lesser used shades of the kit palette such as turquoise, aqua and mint green. Rumour has it that the club’s third kit will be turquoise again and feature the original Nike logo - a trend which will be continued with more experimental third kits from the likes of Spurs, Atletico Madrid and Chelsea this summer.
This latest design will be on sale from Tuesday and its timing is to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the founding of La Masia, the club’s famed training academy which has produced so many talented players.
La Masia product Sergi Roberto commented: “It is not an accident that La Masia has given the world so many great players. It is a special place with a unique philosophy and I am pleased this new away kit highlights the academy. Forty years of work at La Masia really is something worth celebrating.”
This design has been used in the past by the club in 1979 but these days has to facilitate the sponsor ‘Rakuten’ sponsor and Nike Swoosh.
As with many of the Nike kits for Barca in recent years, the Catalan flag is featured on the back collar. Complemented by yellow shorts, there is also a blue option depending on who the opposition is.
Pete Hoppins, Nike's football apparel senior design director said: “Barca’s away kit from ’79 is a cult classic and with us wanting to pay homage to La Masia, it made perfect sense to use a kit from its founding year as the starting point. What you get is this beautiful vintage Barca design merged with all the benefits of modern technology. La Masia has produced so many iconic players and it remains an honor to produce kits for them.”
A spokesperson for Barca adds: “La Masia symbolizes the past, the present and, above all, the future of FC Barcelona. It is where the Barça Way, admired worldwide, is developed. It is a unique place that has also kept true to the club’s multi-sport roots, bringing through players in several professional disciplines besides football.
“On La Masia’s 40th anniversary, Nike and FC Barcelona wanted to pay homage to this symbol of the club, where some of the best players in history have honed their craft and served as examples for future generations.”