While their decision to wear white at home in this season’s Champions League has drawn some ire, historically Paris Saint-Germain’s colours have been fairly fluid.
Having had white primary strips in the late 1980s, PSG had moved towards blue in the early 1990s and by the end of that decade had landed upon something approaching stability for them – blue shirts with a large red central stripe, blue shorts and red socks.
However, for the 2000-01 season, Nike experimented a little. A darker shade of blue was introduced as an accent on the shirt and as the main shorts colour, while the socks were now white. As a lot of visiting teams tended to wear white, it caused some interesting mashups, with two notable Champions League examples during the kit’s two-season lifespan.
In 2000-01, PSG and Bayern Munich were drawn in the same group. While Bayern had reverted to a primarily red home kit, there was sufficient dark blue to clash with PSG and so they turned out in their change shirts and shorts and home socks.
There was an added layer, though, as both clubs were sponsored by Opel at the time and Uefa’s rules forbade competing teams from having the same message on their shirts. When the sides met in 1997-98, Bayern carried ‘Sportler für Organspende’ (‘Athletes for organ donation’) on their chests, but this time they promoted the Opel Agila car.
While the Opel lightning-bolt logo had been permitted on kits in European competitions at the start of 1999-2000, PSG didn’t bear it on their shirts in the Champions League during these two seasons, despite having it domestically.
Oddly, it seems that Opel weren’t too strict on brand guidelines for the ‘replacement sponsor’ shirts – at the Olympiastadion, PSG’s silver change jerseys had ‘Corsa’ rendered in a rather un-Opel-like font, as seen here on a young Laurent Robert.
Those PSG shirts would be needed again in 2001-02 as they found themselves paired with another Opel-sponsored team, AC Milan. Once again, it was a case of white shirts and shorts with dark socks (from their all-red third kit) and a modified sponsor for the visitors to Paris.
For 2002-03, PSG’s white socks were jettisoned and they were in an all-navy Nike kit (though sometimes in adidas, too). Uefa kept the ‘sponsor clash’ rule until the end of 2009-10, but there were to be no more all-Opel meetings, with all three clubs switching sponsors during the decade.