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Football clubs and their kits share a unique bond passed through the ages. They represent fans’ attachment with the teams, history-making moments on the pitch and is a celebration of visual artistry steeped in heritage. Well, it used to be like two days ago. PUMA has launched a new range of third kit for some major European clubs.

PUMA, one of the most recognised shirt makers in the game, dropped off their third kit designs for 10 clubs, including Manchester City, AC Milan, Valencia- and suffice to say… It’s unique.


The design is one of its kind and there are a lot of details that take some time to digest. Given how the crests of the teams are embossed on the jersey all across the front, the manner in which it shifts away from conventional designs is stark.



Manchester City were one of the first to unveil their third kit and the response was overwhelmingly negative. The team name in the middle with the PUMA logo on top and main shirt sponsor name below will find few takers. Since then, with the official launch of the rest of the ten jerseys, it became clear that they had done the same with every other team.


“The third kit is the shirt where we really want to go out there and show what we can do, show something different that has not been seen yet,” Puma designer Ulrich Planer stated and one has to wonder whether this was needed at all.


PUMA’s major rivals- Adidas and Nike have all been trying to make radical never-before-seen jerseys each year which might have forced the brand to go this way. However, it is clear that so much shift from years of one more-or-less consistent style has taken fans by wonder.


Many have likened the kit to “training” kits or jerseys that one may find in cheap knockoff stores which are copies of the original. Football kits are supposed to be for everyone involved with the club and not just the players or sponsors themselves. The fact that PUMA brought out the same design for 10 separate teams across Europe is staggering.



After some tasteful home and away kits by the same maker, fans have made their feelings clear on this new concept. Social media has been abuzz with how poor the shirts look and why nobody is in a rush to buy it anytime soon.

However, one club was conspicuously absent from the third kit barrage. Borussia Dortmund’s supposed design was leaked early this year which had triggered protests by supporters. The ultras even unfurled banners stating how the logo and crest is not something to play with. Fearing backlash if it was to be made official, it now seems clear that the club will be going a different way in conception of their third kit.


This begs the question- could the other clubs have done the same? Supporters will be less than happy with this kind of oversight in these matters. Furthermore, this kind of new concepts will take getting used to for the players themselves as witnessed during Fenerbahce’s match last night.


“It is easy to play safe, but we want to change perceptions of a conventional football jersey,” said Carl Tuffley, senior head of design manager at Puma Teamsport. If by playing safe, they meant that the normal designs would return, then a lot of fans would like PUMA to take this awful concept back and never bring it out again.


Especially since Ajax and Adidas dropped off a gorgeous ‘Bob Marley theme’ inspired third kit. The 10 clubs are stuck with this at least for this season and the impending feedback will surely put off any more crazy thoughts the executives might have in the future.

Ratul Ghosh
His name means Red and a fan of devilish food, which equals to his favourite team being Manchester United. Can be found sleeping or in front of the TV otherwise. Hates waking up early but loves staying up late for football.

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