Last week, when Barcelona met Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at the Nou Camp, both sides wore their change kits, as decreed by UEFA.
It was a development slavishly reported by outlets too numerous to mention, without much original comment. Absent from the minimal debate was a) why Atletico didn’t have a suitable third kit – which we had always thought was a UEFA requirement – and b) whether there was a better answer than this nuclear solution (as an aside, Atletico had to wear their away kit at home to Benfica earlier in the campaign, when the Portuguese side only had their red home and white away to choose from).
In their domestic meetings this season, both sides wore their home kits, but that was far from ideal, primarily because Atletico’s shorts were blue and Barcelona’s were red. The situation came in for a lot of criticism on social media.
What we have termed the ‘overall clash’ is a situation whereby two teams’ shirts don’t necessarily look like each other, but the shorts and socks contribute to a greater confusion. That’s the problem here, the shorts are making a manageable situation bad.
Our suggestion would be that Atletico would wear their change home shorts, as they did against Espanyol at the weekend, with Barcelona in their blue away shorts (thanks to Martin LeRoy for the graphic work below).
It works far better, in our view, and still allows both teams to wear their home shirts. Unfortunately, we’d be very surprised if it were to come to pass tomorrow night in the second leg.