International Classics – Spain, 1993

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  • More Spain-Albania stuff here

It’s unlikely that anybody knew it at the time, but a trip to Tirana in September 1993 proved to be the end of an era in terms of Spain kits.

After the end of the Spanish civil war in 1939, it was decided that the country’s primary colour should be blue as red was associated with the defeat republican side.

However, in 1947, General Moscardó, who held the ultimate power for sporting affairs in Spain, decided to reinstate red as the main colour and it was paired with blue shorts and black socks, with blue retained as the back-up colour.

In the 1980s, as governing bodies sought greater contrast for major finals, white kits would be used as ‘tournament aways’ but blue would continue to be used in friendlies and qualifying campaigns, worn with the same shorts and socks as the home kits.

For example, this was worn against Wales in 1985:

After a spell with Le Coq Sportif, Spain returned to adidas at the end of 1991 and initially wore a short-lived placeholding set of kits, with a blue version used in a friendly against Portugal in January 1992.

While Spain hadn’t qualified for Euro 92, they received a new kit in the same style as that premiered by France and the CIS in Sweden that summer, red with two sets of yellow stripes over the shoulders.

The new kit was first worn in the 3-0 win at home to Albania in the country’s opening game of the qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup.

After that, Spain were away to Latvia, who had worn a pink and maroon kit away to Ireland but this time they wore white, meaning Spain didn’t have to change.

It wasn’t until the 1-0 loss away to Denmark in March 1993 that a new change kit was required and it followed the previous formula, with the shoulder stripes representing the Spanish flag.

In September, Spain wore the same kit as they triumphed away to Albania and they secured their spot at the finals in the USA with wins over the Republic of Ireland and Denmark in their final two games.

Come the summer of 1994, adidas had changed the classic Spain kit format, introducing navy shorts and socks instead of the respective blue and black sets.

All-navy change kits would be used in tandem with the new approach, but white was gaining primacy as the second-choice colour. Of course, the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands was won in all-navy.

While royal blue shorts would return in the 2000s, and black socks were back for Euro 2016, change strips of blue shirts, blue shorts and black socks appear to be a thing of the past.

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