Review for the Jerseys of the 2012/2013 Football Season
The 2013/2013 has officially ended and now with the Confederations Cup rolling and other summer competitions surfacing, the latest kits, fan products, and collectibles are making their way into the market. Nevertheless, what is there to say about the season that has ended, what is the overall thought on the jerseys that graced the field among champions and minnows alike? Courtesy of MMSports, I’m here to leave the last touch on the past season’s jerseys; which ones were among the best, and which were… better left unmentioned.
I will be taking a look at some specific jerseys and making references while putting MMSports’ “Jersey of the Year” article to good use. Real Madrid’s 12/13 Home jersey was voted as the jersey of the year. What are the positive aspects of the shirt?
2012/2013 Jersey of the Year
Fan Voted Top Ten
I believe that the designers of Real Madrid’s jersey made sure to play it safe, sticking to the base white design that has been iconic of Los Blancos for over a century. The little details are what make it stand out. The thin lines that run vertically throughout the shirt, the sleeve rings, the a-symmetric collar; refining the classic Real Madrid jersey gave them an on-field look that brings out the history of the club, yet keeps it from straying too much in the past. It is modern, it is clean, and it is simple: Real Madrid’s jersey has every reason to be among the best jerseys of the 2012/2013 season.
Just behind Real Madrid in MMSports Jersey of the Year ranking is, unsurprisingly, Barcelona. Barcelona’s 12/13 home jersey is fantastic for opposite reasons than that of Real Madrid. Where Real kept a recognizable, traditional shirt, Barcelona’s designers were brave and made another new jersey that brought a design typically unseen in modern football, and for that, I applaud them. Keeping true to the Barcelona colors, they used a calm gradient over a typical striped design. I think it looks elegant and manages to grasp what makes Barcelona… well, Barcelona. The yellow accents on the sponsor, Nike logo, and the Barcelona crest itself mean that though they have another very different looking jersey, they still have a grasp on the soul of Barcelona’s visual style. I like when brands are courageous in design, and I think it is a very regal jersey.
To finish off the podium, the third place selection in the Jersey of the Year voting is Liverpool. Switching to Warrior brought fear to the minds of all Liverpool fans, and in a way, they have reasons to be afraid. However, Warrior stood their ground and hoped to produce a home jersey worthy of the great English club. And so they did. The 12/13 home jersey for Liverpool is incredibly simple, but that is what it is supposed to be. Never in the history of football has a jersey looked so right when so… untouched. Like Chelsea in blue, Real Madrid in white, and Manchester City in sky blue, Liverpool is expected to have a rather undamaged single color shirt. Some clubs are so symbolic in their kits that it is expected that the kit will always be undoubtedly familiar, and Liverpool is exactly that. You could be 1,000 kilometers away with poor binoculars and you would know that Liverpool was playing with this jersey.
I will be rounding out MMSports voted top ten with my brief comments on each.
#4 Manchester United 12/13 Home Jersey
I was absolutely, positively not a fan of the pattern design when I first saw it. It is one of those cases where I thought “Oh my, I must wake up now, this is a NIGHTMARE!”, and yet… now it is pretty good! I do not think photos do it justice. Seeing the jersey on the field and seeing it on a couple of my friends made me realize it is just not that bad at all. It is another design that is aware of the club’s history and knows that it must keep true to a certain look. The black V-neck caught my attention most; I like darker collars and accents. Though I still feel like I need to drape the jersey over a table before a picnic; that design just calls for kitchenware and a nice green hill.
#5 Chelsea 12/13 Home Jersey
Chelsea is another club where you can expect a very similar home offering year after year. In the 12/13 season, they chose to go with darkened gold accents rather than bright white. I think it was a good change from the typical Chelsea format but I also think that there was more that could be done. My only gripe is that all of the gold touches made the crest’s white details look a little out of place, but it is not really a big deal once you get used to it.
#6 AC Milan 12/13 Home Jersey
Some of you may know that I am an AC Milan fan; I have reviewed several Milan jerseys for MMSports. Taking that into account, I have looked at this jersey more than any of the others. AC Milan’s 12/13 home jersey is great! It captures the historical look of AC Milan with its neat black and red stripes, outlining the black with thin white lines. The strong and proper use of white on the collar, Adidas shoulder stripes, and logo/sponsor make sure that the jersey comes off as very neat and organized. They sported it well on the field and I am happy with what Adidas and Milan had to offer in their 12/13 home jersey.
#7 Paris Saint-Germain 12/13 Home Jersey
PSG’s Nike home jersey for the 12/13 season is a sporty, athletic shirt. It was one of the simplest designs of the year but it captured fans with a very clean, almost Parisian use of the three colors (blue/white/red) and a comfortable, wearable design. The exact colors from the clubs crest were used in the side stripes as well as the white sponsor and Nike logo. Overall an incredibly modest shirt that does not fail to please, though it could have benefited from more features or details, in my opinion.
#8 Manchester City 12/13 Home Jersey
City’s last shirt under the Umbro brand does not necessarily blow anyone away, but it is a nice final touch on Manchester City’s favored sky blue design. The thin black collar as well as the black trim on the club crest and Umbro logo made it appear a bit darker than in recent years, but I think that this attributed to the more aggressive approach City seemed to have on the field. Umbro finished their Manchester City run with what I think is a cool blue shirt, nothing too much, nothing too little.
#9 Borussia Dortmund 12/13 Home Jersey
Borussia Dortmund’s 12/13 home jersey, a yellow and black Puma design, represents another club where the color scheme is too delicate to mess around with. This is actually my least favorite of the top ten, and I am saying that with my favorite color being yellow. But you see, I really like that happy, tropical sort of yellow, this… it looks too dark. I like the black ring sleeve-ends and I do like the technical aspect of the neck/collar design, but I think that more should have been done to keep the sponsor and all the elements as a whole, working together. Not a horrendous shirt, but for me, just not among the best this year had to offer.
#10 Arsenal FC 12/13 Home Jersey
The last jersey in MMSports Jersey of the Year top ten list is the 12/13 home jersey of Arsenal. This Nike shirt is very cool, the red, navy blue, and white palette works very well together and I like what the designers did with the sleeve segments. The sponsors and logos are also paired well with the jersey’s summarized colors. However… I have never gotten used to that white sleeve thing Arsenal has always had. I understand that it is meaningful and iconic to the club, as are Juventus’s black and white stripes or Atletico Madrid’s red and white stripes, but I have never learned to like them. It makes the whole jersey look like a basketball shirt; it looks sleeveless. In addition, the red and white overall scheme makes it seem very empty in its greater areas; it just feels like its blank. I do prefer it to Borussia Dortmund’s jersey, but I think it could have been improved with a wilder approach. They should have made it blue… Okay, that was a joke! Not blue, I swear!
Five Bad Jerseys
So, now that we have looked at the top ten jerseys, as voted by football fans worldwide, it is time to take a look at some of the jerseys that make you cringe. I have created my own list of five poor jerseys. This is purely my opinion and it does not necessarily represent what I think are the five worst, just the ones that made me look over a cliff and ponder the thought of leaping.
#1 Russia 12/13 Away Jersey
I am sorry, I am a big fan of the Russian national team, but I am not a big fan of their 12/13 jerseys. I own Russia’s 11/12 home and away jerseys because they are classy and have great colors, at least the home one in particular. However, the colors on the home jersey for the 12/13 international season are just too strong. Even worse, the away jersey made me want to by an axe and chop down the most precious tree I could find, and then kick it into a river. That bright white, with a light gold on the emblem that makes it seem like part of it is missing, and the diagonal stripe designed to show the colors of the Russian flag, it just does not work when the jersey itself is one of those colors. Think about it, if they had just made the jersey black, it would have looked fantastic. It is just too much contrast, too bright, my eyes, my eyes!
#2 Marseille 12/13 Home Jersey
Here is another strange case where the designer had a simple set of colors to work with and just totally messed it up. The jersey is white and sky blue, why does the sponsor need to be a completely different blue, and a completely irrelevant red? The club’s crest is sky blue and gold, the sponsor should have just given in and made the sponsor’s colors match. If you cannot do that, at least make the shirts Adidas stripes and other elements match the sponsor. Otherwise, it just looks like someone pasted a sponsor onto the shirt after designing it. Forget for a moment that the jersey is way, way too simple and that it needs more colors or features, it is just that lack of color coordination that makes it look incomplete. It is unfortunate because it was done properly on the away shirt.
#3 Chelsea 12/13 Away Jersey
If you are starting to get the feeling that I am being hostile to jerseys with way too much white, it is because I am. Chelsea’s 12/13 away jersey is the perfect, and I mean perfect demonstration of too-much-boredom. So, you have a completely white shirt and then you thought “I’ll just splatter a light blue stripe from one corner to the other!” No! It does not look good at all. It is a waste of what could have been a perfectly good jersey. It is such a shame because Chelsea’s 11/12 away jersey is, in my opinion, magnificent. Nice and dark with a clever design touch and a great use of the club’s colors. This? This is just an illegal violation of universal color matching laws. Why would you put such a hideous shade of blue when you have a perfectly good one sitting in the middle of your club’s crest?
#4 Juventus 12/13 Third Jersey
Whenever I saw Juventus grace the field with this pink jersey and a huge, misaligned black star that did not even fit properly, I always thought about a cute girl at home, showing her father some wonderful pictures of unicorns, rainbows, and such. Her father smiles lightly, chuckling at her revealed imagination, and then he sees it. She has drawn a man in a pink shirt, and he has this big black star on the side of it. The father gets up and he is like, “This is it! This should be Juventus’s new alternate jersey!”, and then he goes to work and submits his official design for Nike’s new Juventus lineup. This thing is so uncoordinated and brightly colored that you could drop it in the middle of a candy store and nobody would be able to find it. Even better, nobody would want to. Honestly, what is it? It must be a new life form or something. To top it all of Juventus wins the Serie A title (twice) with it in their jersey selection. Now you have to deal with the Scudetto patch, which has even less to do with pink, right on top of it. Really? I mean really? You just have to giggle when Andrea Pirlo, world-renowned playmaker, walks onto the field in this. All he needs is another set of legs and a horn and maybe a band of adventurers can go and hunt down this fantastical creature, Unicorn Pirlo. I do not even know what to say.
#5 Barcelona 12/13 Away Jersey
This shirt takes the cake. I mean, it takes the cake, and the whole birthday party with it. Their home jersey was such a calm, new showing. Then this “Sunset Paradise” shirt comes out of nowhere and throws us all off our feet, and not with good reasons. First of all, I have to squint my eyes whenever I see this in anticipation of the rising of that great celestial body we call the sun. Then it is all like, oh wait, it is just Barcelona’s new away jersey. Whoever thought that making the shorts and socks yellow was also disturbed when they created this… this abomination. This is the sort of color set you find on sweets, sugared pastries, and that girl drawing unicorns from before. In fact, I wonder if Barcelona’s jersey designer and Juventus’s designer got together to make this My Little Pony color set. Once again, it is like none of the appropriate colors from the crest were used. It makes me think of Africa, the Lion King, and things that are just orange and yellow and on and on. Whenever I am playing FIFA 13 on the PS3 and I load up Ultimate Team, there is always a team with this jersey as if it is going to make them win or something. Now, after all of these things I have said. Let me make it clear… it is much better than their new away jersey!
My Top Three Jerseys
All right, all right, I am calm now. I am relaxed. Those jerseys just bring the worst out of me; my dog is giving me this strange face because he understands my pain. I know that this is all a matter of opinion, but those last two jerseys in particular make me feel ill inside. Now I will move on.
I will finish this look back at the 12/13 season with my personal favorite three jerseys of the season and why I liked them so much. They are in reverse order so the best is last. Remember, once again, that this is a matter of personal taste and opinion. You may not agree at all, or you may think that maybe I am right in one or two of my suggestions. That is why there is a comment section; you should note down your three favorites and show the world there. Here we go.
#3 Bayern Munich 12/13 Third Jersey
It is black with unique features and it radiates intimidation. Munich’s third jersey is an eerie black shade with a bright orange trim that brings the best out of the whole look. The total black design makes the crest and sponsor stand out just as they should. No need for unnecessary underlying colors or patterns. The slick design that graces the top area of the chest is cool and unique; it adds a sort of aggressive flair to the jersey. I have heard people refer to it as Vader-like, in reference to the legendary Darth Vader from the Star Wars saga. I see what they mean. It’s not going to sweep you off your feet or anything, but it is a great new look that Adidas has made that I believe brings out the machine-like style of Bayern Munich’s players and their work rate. Bravo.
#2 Spain 12/13 Home Jersey
Yeah, yeah, I know, I am Spanish. Let us ignore that for a minute. Many Spanish jerseys in recent years have put me off. I hated that bright blue they used in 2010, and the World Cup Winner’s jersey? That was just too much. For EURO 2012, Spain reverted to their simpler touch. The Spanish red base is complemented by the smooth dark blue shades. The yellow stripes work well too and it is all finished with a clever gloss effect that Adidas smothered diagonally on the front of the jersey. I had the pleasure of reviewing this jersey for MMSports and I have enough jerseys to say that I liked this one a lot, and so it’s number two for my 12/13 favorite jerseys.
#1 Lyon 12/13 Third Jersey
I have only good things to say about one of the first 3D shirts to appear on field. First of all, 3D totally flopped in the technology industry. 3D glasses, televisions, and movies just do not sell. Okay, now let us put that away for a moment. This jersey is cool! I have only had the experience of seeing it in person once and it is a testament to Adidas’ quality. The build is brilliant, the color depth and use is fantastic too. It is a courageous move, and since it is a third jersey, it does not threaten to displace the clubs standard set of home and away kits. The 3D effect without any 3D gadgets alone is cool and clever. It is such a dark and elegant use of black and silver. I consider this my best not because it is actually my favorite as is, but because of the use of colors, imagination, and great design elements. It is great because it was made with greatness. This is my number one.
As the 13/14 season arrives after the summer, we will get into a brand new wave of products and replicas for all of our favorite clubs. Thank you for taking the team to read my analysis of the past season’s jerseys. I enjoyed giving my take on the best and the worst of the 2012/2013 season. I hope you had some great jerseys you liked too! Look forward to another great season of football and another great season of kits! All right, now go watch the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, you can never have too much football!