Categories
FC Barcelona Product Reviews

Review: FC Barcelona pre-match top

 

2011-2012 FCB Training Jersey

 

By FC Barcelona ambassador Gerard Banez

 

 This is the jersey that you see Messi and the rest of the FCB gang wear prior to game time. As much I like to identify with those guys, I fall short of putting this shirt on during the pregame and switching to the game shirt once play begins. That said, I really like this jersey and find it a versatile piece of soccer fashion. It’s a good piece of casual wear for activities like running errands or cheering on your kids as they play. The shirt allows me to support FCB in a way more subtle than donning the game jersey. It looks like it may also be a great workout shirt, but it feels too nice for me to use in that way.

 

FC Barcelona pre-match top black

 

The Look

Like all the FCB merchandise I have reviewed or purchased, this jersey is relatively simple in design but stylish. My favorite features are the red & yellow ribbed neck/sleeve cuffs and stripe across the center of the shirt. They contrast well with the black body of the jersey. Also of note is the screened FCB on the back of the jersey. Just in case people don’t recognize the badge on the front, the FCB provides another clue as to who I root for.

 

FC Barcelona pre-match top backside FCB

 

 

The Cut

This shirt fits just like the authentic & replica game jersey. I prefer a slightly looser fit, and the size ‘L’ training jersey fits just like the ‘L’ game jerseys.

 

The Feel

Like the other FCB jerseys, this shirt is made of Nike Dri-Fit fabric. The fabric appears to be thinner and of a lesser weight than the game jersey fabric, but it has substance and seems durable. The fabric will do well in warmer temperatures and is very comfortable.

 

Bottom Line

Another excellent piece of FCB merchandise and a good alternative to game jersey. I can see this one quickly becoming one of my favorites because it looks so nice and is appropriate to wear in many different situations.

 

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FC Bayern Product Reviews

Review: FC Bayern hoody top

Review: FC Bayern hoody top

By MM Sports FC Bayern ambassador Ben Roden

 

Even as Manchester City trudged off the pitch and out of this season’s Champion’s League, it was tough for this Bayern fan not to feel a twinge of envy. I certainly couldn’t covet City’s introduction into the Europa League, the Champion’s League’s awkward yet well-meaning younger brother.

 Nor were the Citizens’ two spectacular goals a cause of my jealousy– I had little hope that Bayern’s team of youngsters and fringe players would stand much of a chance against City’s first teamers. 

Why then, on what should have been a triumphant evening, did I find myself in reluctant admiration of the Citeh? Perhaps it was because, even in defeat, the boys in blue possessed an indomitable flair, a devil-may-care defiance – in short, Man City has Bad Boy appeal.

Desperate to capture the bad-assery, I immediately donned my new FC Bayern Munich jacket. I pulled the zipper to my chin, raised the hood, and surveyed the world around with a new-found swagger.

 

 

FC Bayern zip hoody top

 

 

This hoodie is the perfect piece for the Bayern supporter looking to embrace his inner rebel. Unlike other hooded sweatshirts, this one eschews pockets, leaving your hands free to engage in all sorts of flippantly illicit activity – buying unauthorized tickets to Argentina, making obscene gestures to opposing supporters, lighting your apartment on fire with fireworks – the choice is yours.

Along with the embroidered crest on the chest, the hoodie features two screenprints – a large, gray crest on the side of the garment, and the club name in red and white printed across the back.

There’s certainly function to match the flair – the jacket is thick enough to keep you toasty whether or not you follow your manager’s instructions to warm up.  The jacket does run a bit snug, so if you need to conceal firearms when entering the local nightclub, plan on ordering a size or two larger than your usual.

 If you’re looking to inject some City-esque bad-boy flair into your Bayern apparel, lay your money down for this excellent jacket.   Unlike City’s squad, you won’t need Sheikh-funds to afford it.

 

 

 

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FC Bayern Product Reviews

Review: FC Bayern knitted hat and scarf

Review: FC Bayern knitted hat and scarf

By MM Sports FCB ambassador Ben Roden 

 

Winter in the Rocky Mountains can be awfully bleak. The winds are biting, the snow lies in intimidating drifts, and with the MLS season coming to a close last Sunday, there is an alarming lack of domestic football.  As the mercury drops and the days darken, there are only a few comforts available to me -Christmas, the January transfer window, and of course, my new FC Bayern Munich scarf and hat. 

 

Both officially-licensed items are exemplary pieces of fan gear – simple, classy, and functional.

 

FC Bayern knitted hat and scarf

 

 

The cozy, one-size-fits-all knit hat is black, and features a large embroidered Bayern crest on the folded hem, but is otherwise unadorned. It’s the kind of casual, easy item that looks as home on the street as it does in the stands.

 

FC Bayern knitted hat cuffed

 

 

The scarf is similarly versatile – incredibly attractive whether protecting your neck from frigid winds or brandished above your head in drunken reverie as Bayern bombard the goal of their hapless opponents.  Eschewing Bayern’s typical red and white palette, this scarf is a deep blue with white fringes and accents.  The club name, in white, is printed across the length of the scarf, and is flanked on either side by a Bayern crest, complete with gold stars stitched in metallic thread.

 

FC Bayern scarf logo navy

 

 

This cold-weather duo affords all the warmth needed to brave the impending Arctic fury, and the all the style needed to attract Bavarian beer-maidens like moths to a flame…well, one can hope.

Whether or not these products will actually earn you some post-Oktoberfest companionship is up for debate; however, it’s a safe bet that you’ll be happy to be supporting Bayern in this smart fanwear.

Lastly, a warning: while you’re decked out in your Bayern gear this Holiday season, embittered Schalke fans may mistake you for the Bavarian Grinch who recently slunk down the chimney and plucked Manuel Neuer from under the Christmas tree.

 

Categories
FC Barcelona Product Reviews

Review: FC Barcelona home jersey 10-11

Review: 2010-2011 FC Barcelona Home Jersey

By Gerard Banez

 Why does one buy last year’s model of your favorite team’s game jersey? In this review, I will share some general thoughts on this topic, as well as more specific comments on the 2010-2011 FC Barcelona home jersey.

 

FC Barcelona home jersey 2010-11

 

 

The Cost

Sometimes, but not always, last year’s jersey doesn’t cost as much as the current model. When marked down, the older jersey represents a better value. Jerseys usually don’t change much from year to year, and having the most recent version, especially if a lot more expensive, isn’t really necessary.

 

 The Look

Another reason to buy last year’s jersey is the look. From the first time I saw it, I liked the 2010-2011 FCB home jersey. I have always liked the primary colors, and this jersey features yellow much more than past versions of the FCB jersey. The yellow ribbed collar and sleeves stand out and complement the traditional bold red and blue striping well. Another reason I liked this jersey is that I always admired the fact that FCB did not feature a shirt sponsor and, for several years, actually paid UNICEF to feature their logo. The UNICEF logo is prominently featured front and center on this jersey, which was the last sponsorless jersey before FCB negotiated its current Qatar Foundation deal. Mes que un club (more than a club) is on the left shirt sleeve, and tots units fem forca (all together we are strong) is on the inside of the jersey behind the FCB badge.

 

The Team

A third reason to buy an older jersey is to recognize and honor the team that wore the shirt. The 2010-2011 version of FCB is arguably the best ever Barcelona side (in my opinion, better than the 2008-2009 treble-winning group). Some have even argued that it may have been the best club side of all time. In comparison to the 2008-2009 group, the first under Guardiola’s leadership, the 2010-2011 side played an even better form of the Tiki Taka style that their coach encouraged. This side featured the incomparable Lionel Messi as well as the other two 2010 Ballon D’Or finalists, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta (all graduates of the famed La Masia, FCB’s youth academy). Multiple members of the 2010 World Cup championship team from Spain played their club soccer at FCB.

 

Bottom Line

In sum, the 2010-2011 FCB home jersey is a very good looking shirt, and the team that wore the shirt was one of the best ever. If you like attractive, colorful soccer jerseys and want to recognize one of the winningest sides ever, get one of these before they are no longer available. This shirt is and will be a classic. 

 

Final Words

If you read my review of the 2011-2012 FCB away jersey, it is useful to note that the 2011-2012 jersey was a replica version whereas the 2010-2011 FCB home jersey that I review here is an authentic version. Comparing the two side-by-side, there is very little that distinguishes them. One difference I noticed was that the authentic was shipped in a cardboard box, while the replica came in a plastic bag. The other difference is that the authentic has a vented seam along the sides of the jersey. Otherwise, the fabric, feel, details & colors appear to be the same. The many similarities and few differences suggest that purchasing a replica jersey may provide better value than buying the authentic version. 

 

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FC Bayern Product Reviews

Review: FC Bayern Schweinsteiger tee

Review: FC Bayern Schweinsteiger tee

By MM Sports’ FC Bayern ambassador Ben Roden

 

 As the best and most successful team in German football, FC Bayern München have secured a spot beneath the international spotlight. To the joy of FC Hollywood’s fans, and the dire chagrin of everyone else in Deutschland, Die Bayern have become the face of German club football to the world at large. Like Spain’s Barcelona or England’s Manchester United, Bayern represent the best and brightest their nation has to offer.

 

Bayern showcases the strengths of an impressive football nation, so it’s fitting that their talisman, Bastian Schweinsteiger, does the same. Schweinsteiger possesses the all traditional qualities for which the Germans are known – physical strength, defensive prowess, and an unconquerable work-ethic – but also exhibits the vision and passing prowess that has propelled Die Nationalmannschaft to the top tier of the international game.

 

FC Bayern tee Schweinsteiger

 

 

If you’ve been dying to show your support for Bayern’s very own Vice-Captain-Fantastic, you’re in luck. This official Bayern Munich t-shirt showcases Schweinsteiger in all his glory. The black 100% cotton tee   features a full-color image of Bastian superimposed over the Bayern crest, accented by the player’s signature and kit number.  The print on the chest is vivid and glossy, as is the smaller Bayern crest on the bottom left of the shirt.

 

FC Bayern tee logo close-up

 

 

Since this is an officially licensed item, the Bayern crest is all over the place, from the holographic tags to the collar label – it’s cool to have product directly tied to the club, and it allows for the use of propriety fonts and images unique to FC Bayern.

 

FC Bayern crest 4 stars

 

 

In terms of material and fit, you’ll get what you expect – a standard, comfortable tee. It is 100% cotton, so plan for a bit of shrinkage.

 

My only complaint is a small one; an item of personal taste. While the design is clean and clearly rendered, it does seem a bit too colorful and garish – the kind of image that would look great on a youth shirt, but might be a bit loud for an adult supporter.  Overall, this is a well-made and fun shirt from the official FC Bayern Shop – it’s a perfect match-day homage to one of Bayern’s brightest stars, but I find myself wishing it was better suited for everyday wear. We don’t expect subtlety from Die Roten on the pitch, however, so perhaps it’s a tall order to expect it of their merchandise.  

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Chelsea Product Reviews

Review: Chelsea FC base tee

Review: Chelsea base tee

By MM Sports Chelsea ambassador Ray Pottenger 

 

Chelsea Soccer Tee (Grey) A Simple Shirt for Complex People.

                     

     There are seven days in a week, and society, with their “rules of decorum,” or at least your significant other, necessitates you change and launder daily. Sure you have the home, away and alternate jerseys, but what will you wear on the fourth day while you’re doing laundry? How about the Adidas Chelsea Soccer Tee?

 

Chelsea tee base

 

 

The tee comes in a great heather grey with blue adidas stripes running along the shoulders.  It also has a royal blue ringer collar. No one will forget what side you’re supporting as there is a Chelsea patch stitched onto the left breast and the adidas logo embroidered on the right.

 

Chelsea base tee closeup logo

 

 

The material is 100% cotton and is as soft as Mata’s first touch. Unlike a lot of shirts where the sleeves are attached at the shoulder, these sleeves are attached at the collar, much like the baseball tees that have come into style over the years.  The fabric, the stitching in the seams and the details are very high quality and should last a good long while.

 

Chelsea base tee 3-stripe sleeves

 

 

In case you were wondering about what I mean about the sleeves.

 

                      The shirt fits well but runs a bit loose. If you are on the small end of your normal sizing you may want to order down a size. Also, because of the style of the sleeves, they hit the upper half of the arm a little bit lower than your traditional jersey or tee.  

                      In sum, this is a great addition to my shirt rotation. It’s great for hitting up a pub to watch the match or lounging around the house.   Adidas makes a quality product and, barring unforeseen staining issues, this shirt should last a long time. 

 

 

 

 

Categories
FC Bayern Product Reviews

Review: FC Bayern away jersey 10-12

Review: FC Bayern away jersey 11/12

By MM Sports FC Bayern ambassador Ben Roden

 Thanks to modern technology, football is accessible to a wider and more diverse audience than ever before.  As the popularity of football continues to grow, so too does the need for football clubs to distinguish themselves from one another.  In addition to on-pitch competitions, top-flight clubs must also fight for the interest and support of an increasingly global fanbase. More than bragging rights are at stake; only by building their brand can clubs insure that they’ll have the financial resources they need to remain competitive.

By embracing a unique and striking design, *11/12 Bayern Munich Away Kit seems to represent this effort for distinction in an increasingly challenging market.

FC Bayern away jersey 2010-12

 

The kit is a brilliant white with horizontal stripes in metallic silver. Adidas’ iconic three stripes are navy, along with the name printing and embroidered FCB below the back collar. There are additional red details on the collar and sleeves.

FC Bayern away jersey 10-12 back

 

Unusually, Bayern has different sponsor printing for its home and away kits. While the home kit features the main Deutsche Telekom logo, the away kit showcases LIGA total!, Deutsche Telekom’s Bundesliga TV service.  It’s a little on the large side, but the design is subdued enough not to cause much of a distraction. For me though, the color is a bit of an issue. In pictures, the LIGA portion of the text appears red – a color which would tie-in beautifully with the club crest and the collar and sleeve details. In reality, it’s fluorescent pink.  There’s nothing wrong with the color per se, but it’s close enough to the red that the colors seem to clash – the same can be said of the navy conflicting with the royal blue of the FCB crest. These details don’t ruin the look of the kit by any means, but they do exemplify a niggling lack of cohesion that prevents a good shirt from being truly excellent.

 

Along with the aforementioned coloring issues, there are some design touches that feel out of place. For example, the red sleeve accents, which only extend from the outside portion of the sleeve, protrude from the hem at a sharp angle. While this is an interesting design, it seems at odds with the collar, which is more conservatively tapered.

FC Bayern away jersey 10-12 sleeve

 

Whereas this season’s Bayern’s Home kit exhibits a careful, subtle and unified design, the away kit seems a somewhat haphazard collection of individually impressive ideas.

 

In terms of construction, the shirt is excellent. The badge is brightly embroidered, and the printing is flawless. The shirt I received did not have name and number printing, but as is common with Bayern shirts, did have the club name emblazoned across the shoulders. While this is a nice detail, the back of the kit looks a bit strange with text only at the top – this is a kit that would definitely benefit from the addition of name and number.  

 

In my experience, the comfort of Adidas’ kits is second to no one, and this kit is no exception.  Like the home kit, it’s made using Adidas’ ClimaCool fabric, but seems thinner and lighter.  The addition of mesh underarm vents and a collar notch make this a comfortable and well ventilated top to wear onto the pitch or around town.

FC Bayern away jersey 10-12 Clima Cool Holo

 

On the whole, the Bayern Munich 11/12 Away kit is another good showing from Adidas. If the aim of the design is to stand out, it certainly succeeds; this shirt will definitely start some conversations at the Sunday five-a-side. It’s a shame that more effort wasn’t given to fully integrate the shirt’s disparate elements; with a bit more clarity in the overall design, this shirt could have been iconic. Despite the lackluster summation of its parts, though, this year’s Bayern Away kit still manages to impress.

 

4/5

 

*Note – If you think this shirt looks strangely familiar, you’re right: Bayern wore the same away kit during the 10/11 season.  

Categories
FC Barcelona Product Reviews

Review: FC Barcelona away jersey 11-12

 Review: FC Barcelona away jersey 11-12

By MM Sports’ FC Barcelona ambassador Ph.D Gerard A. Banez, Ohio, USA

 

Introduction:

So, after another year of collecting more domestic and international titles, what does FC Barcelona do to top its most recent successes? On the pitch, the club adds more rising stars, like Sanchez & Fabregas, to ensure that it continues to win titles in the future. Off the field, the 2011-2012 campaign kicks off with another line of stylish & contemporary Barca merchandise. My focus here will be the new 2011-2012 Black Away jersey.

 

FC Barcelona away jersey 11-12 front

 

 

The Look

My first reaction to this jersey was that it looks a lot better in person than it does on the website. I like the color black as much as anyone, but, to me, the black jersey looked boring on the website when compared to the mint, orange, and yellow of past Barca away jerseys. Seeing the jersey, though, changed my opinion. The 2011-12 Black Away jersey is very stylish & contemporary in appearance. The black is sharp. The jersey features a unique and attractive neckline (see photo). The dark grey striping on the sleeves (photo) adds to its sporty appearance. As far as the Qatar Foundation logo, I know that many supporters have strong feelings about Barca taking on any logo. Though I won’t try to change your opinions on this, what I can say is that the Qatar logo isn’t that bad. It is subtle and distinctive in appearance and does not jump out or detract from the overall look. The “good” logo, the Unicef logo, is now on the bottom half of the back of the jersey, beneath the player number. Mes que un club (more than a club) is on the inside of the back collar, and tots units fem forca (all together we are strong) is in its familiar place on the inside of the jersey behind the FCB badge.

 

 

FC Barcelona away jersey 11-12 Xavi 6

 

 

The Cut

This jersey runs about true to size. It fits much like my 2010-2011 Barca home jersey. It is a Nike jersey, and, in my experience, the Nike jerseys are more relaxed and not as fitting as the Adidas jerseys. I personally like their more relaxed fit.

 

 

FC Barcelona away jersey 11-12 chest

 

 

The Feel

The jersey is made in Nike Dri Fit fabric. I have always liked the texture and substance of Dri Fit and prefer that it is not as clingy as Clima Cool.

 

Bottom Line

In a very short time, I anticipate that the 2011-2012 Black Away FC Barcelona jersey will emerge as one of my favorite soccer shirts. It is sharp, and it is sporty. In black, the shirt is more dressy and not as jersey-like, giving it added versatility. I highly recommend this jersey to any Barca fan and to anyone who likes good-looking, well-made soccer merchandise.  It represents yet another FCB victory.

 

 

 

Categories
FC Barcelona Product Reviews

Review: FC Barcelona women's away jersey 11-12

Review: FC Barcelona women’s away jersey 11-12

By MM Sports women’s apparel ambassador Katie Scharra

This season’s Barcelona away jersey is my first women’s apparel jersey, as I usually either wear a youth size or men’s.   I was very impressed with the fit of this jersey, and it has many features that makes it fit with a stylish and comfortable look.  The darts that run up the sides make it flattering to the female figure, and it looks incredibly fashionable.  Sizing does run a bit small since it is a Nike jersey, and I found that it was a bit too snug around my shoulders making it not very useful to work out in.  I would, however, defiantly wear it to my weekly kick-about as the Nike Dri- Fit technology is very impressive and keeps me cool while wearing it.  The style of the jersey is an all black style, which at first I thought I would find to be a bit boring, but with the personalization added to the back the jersey became a whole new look. 

FC Barcelona away women's jersey 11-12 FC Barcelona away jersey 11-12 official name kit

 

As well as added extra value, the personalization was very well applied and withstood the washing machine. I can very easily wear it any day of the week with a pair of jeans or shorts, but as for the lazy weekend at home I would stick to the comfort of a men’s jersey.  The only negative feedback I got from other fans on the new club look was that the design of the sponsor, the Qartar Foundation, on the front seems less exciting than the old Unicef front.  This could be because it is a bit smaller on the front for the women’s style to make it more flattering.  All in the detail I suppose.  As for my opinion on the new look and my newly found love for women’s jerseys?  I am completely sold on the female jersey as the fit is excellent and it is stylish enough to wear everyday while the Dri-Fit makes it great to play in, and although it is a simple black a personalization on the back makes it as exciting as it is sleek. 

Katie Scharra / Michigan State

Categories
FC Bayern Product Reviews

Review: FC Bayern home jersey 11-13

Review: FC Bayern Munich home jersey 11-12 +12-13

By MM Sports FC Bayern ambassador Ben Roden, Utah, USA

 

 “The price of success is sometimes suffocating expectation. So it seems to be with Bayern München. After a disappointing finish in last year’s Bundesliga campaign, and a heartbreaking exit from the Champions League, questions are being raised by pundits and fans alike: how can a team with so much history and so much talent fall short? After a busy transfer period and some strong signings, Die Roten now hope to quiet their critics and appease their restless supporters with a strong campaign.

 

 With Bayern challenging for silverware on multiple fronts, Allianz Arena will need to become a fortress for Bayern to succeed; appropriately, they will take to the home pitch in a kit that represents the legacy of Germany’s most successful club.

While previous kits have paid tribute to Bayern’s historical kits in literal terms, (the red and white stripes of the 10/11 home kit, for example) this year’s Adidas kit utilizes a simple design and important details to create a more spiritual successor to previous classics.

The color template is red and gold – the bright red of recent years has been replaced with a deep cardinal, accented with subtle stripes and gold details.  The color, while a slight deviation from the norm pays tribute to tradition, while the gold stripes and lettering represent FCB’s numerous trophies, both past and future.

 

 

FC Bayern Munich home jersey 11-12

 

 

The quality of the garment itself is excellent. The kit features Adidas’ ClimaCool fabric and vent panels for comfort, and a fairly traditional fit. The sponsor, crest, and name/number are of top quality and are integrated perfectly into the kit. The text on the back of the jersey is printed in metallic gold, and a small Bayern crest is stamped into each number. The club’s name is printed across the shoulders, while the player’s name is printed just below the number in the same distinctive font.

 

FC Bayern home jersey 11-12 + Schweinsteiger 31 printing

 

As is common with many Adidas designs, Bayern’s kit features a number of unique and impressive details that are unique to the club. Bayern is known to many as “Rekordmeister,” or in English, “Record Champion,” a title which refers to their numerous cups and titles – this nickname is emblazoned in a gold strip on the back collar of the kit.

 

 

FC Bayern home jersey 11-12 collar Rekordmeister

 

On the inside of the collar is the club’s motto – “Mia san mia,” a Bavarian phrase roughly translated as “We are who we are,” a further symbol of the club’s identity.

 

 

FC Bayern home jersey collar inside Mia San Mia

 

Even the vertical stripes on the front of the kit echo the checker of the Bavarian flag found in the team’s crest.

These details are small but well executed, enriching the overall design of the kit rather than distracting from it.

Overall, this is one of the best Bayern Munich kits in years –elegant, timeless and powerful.  Striking a perfect balance between simplicity and character, the kit perfectly captures the current aim of FC Bayern –drawing on the strength of Bayern’s legacy while looking ahead to the future.

Overall Rating: 10/10″