Great one-offs – Barcelona, 2002

During the 1980s, when Meyba made their kits, Barcelona had change shirts in both blue and red.

Kappa and then Nike began to use different hues such as aqua, orange and silver, while the 2001-02 season saw a gold away top – though with a throwback of sorts to the Meyba era as the same shorts and socks were used for the first and second kits.

In the first group stage of the Champions League, Barça had worn the change kit away to Bayer Leverkusen with a shorts clash allowed and it was also used in the victory over Liverpool in the opening game of the second group stage. Also in that group were Roma, who had a special red and yellow halved shirt for the Champions League with navy shorts and socks.

It made for a perfect storm when Barcelona visited Rome in February. The decision was to wear change grenadine shorts and socks with the away shirts, as they had done against Mallorca earlier in the month. It was something of a mess, however – perhaps it was a factor in the 3-0 defeat.

The fourth side in the group were Galatasaray, to whom Barça travelled for the final game. The Turkish side’s home strip was not unlike Roma’s and so it seems Uefa told Barcelona to come with something else for the trip to Istanbul. So they did, with a blue shirt with red and gold trim – in the same design as Rangers’ away kit that season – paired with the red shorts and socks.

A Luis Enrique goal gave Barça a 1-0 win to ensure they topped the group (they would reach the semi-finals, losing to Real Madrid), but the strange thing was that Galatasaray changed kits for the game too, wearing all-white. It may be that the referee, René Temmink of the Netherlands, felt the red elements on the Barcelona kit might have caused confusion, but Gala often wore white at home that season and may have made the call themsleves without telling their opponents.

Incidentally, Barcelona and Galatasaray were also in the same group for the 2002-03 Champions League, but Barcelona’s new kit had royal shorts and so home kits were worn in both games.

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