Tonight’s (February 25) Champions League last-16 first-leg game between Chelsea and Bayern Munich at Stamford Bridge will see the visitors’ goalkeeper Manuel Neuer wearing a mix of two kits, with the socks from his black strip joining a grey shirt and shorts.
The explanation would seem to be that the grey socks might cause a clash with the white of the Chelsea outfielders, but, looking at the available options and preferences, we do wonder why Chelsea don’t use their grey goalkeeper kit with Bayern then using green or black – presumably, Uefa consider both to clash with blue.
Both goalkeepers in grey would work fine, in our view, too, but it doesn’t tend to happen much nowadays that both custodians wear the same colour, albeit with a few exceptions in the current Premier League season.
Given the modern craze for making every kit choice a meaningful nod to the past, Bayern could make the case that Neuer is paying a kind-of tribute to the style worn by his predecessor Oliver Kahn two decades ago.
Nowadays, it’s very rare to see a goalkeeper kit where the shirts, shorts and socks don’t all match, but occasionally the Champions League tends to throw up a mashup.
In the 2018-19 group stage, Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen had to use green shorts with black shirt and socks at PSV due to a clash with the home side and then last autumn saw an impromptu mix.
When Manchester City went to Atalanta, Ederson was forced off injured and his replacement Claudio Bravo was sent off, forcing Kyle Walker in goal for the last few minutes. While his shirt and outfield shorts were pink, the shades were different. Matched with the yellow third socks, it made for quite a look.
Edit: Just after this was published, we became aware that ter Stegen was once again wearing a mashup as Barcelona took on Napoli in Italy. Like Neuer, he was in grey and black but it was the shorts that were the borrowed items, from the marvellous multicoloured kit that has yet to see game-time.