A relatively short-lived German tradition in the 1980s and early 1990s was the meistertrikot, or ‘champions’ shirt’, a special edition worn as a team collected the Bundesliga shield.
Vfb Stuttgart and Bayern Munich are two clubs to have worn such a kit, with the practice originated by Hamburg SV in 1983. Showing confidence, they decided to do so even though the league had yet to be clinched.
However, while they were level on points with Werder Bremen going into the final round of games, Hamburg – who had won the European Cup a week a and a half previously – had a five-goal advantage.
With lowly Schalke visiting Volksparkstadion, they were sure enough of victory to swap their usual pinstriped shirt for a unique design.
A 6-2 win over Schalke ensured the retention of the title as Werder could only beat VfL Bochum 3-2. However, Hamburg are waiting to add to their tally of six titles.
Thirty-four years later, the new Hamburg kit for 2017-18 took its inspiration from the previous one-off, paired with the traditional red shorts and blue socks.
Unfortunately for Die Rothosen (‘The Red Shorts’), while the new strip was quite attractive, it couldn’t harness past glories and the club were relegated, bringing to an end the unique distinction of being the only team to have played every Bundesliga season since the league was created in 1962.