Twice as Nice *and* one-off – Bayern Munich, 1996
It shouldn’t seem possible, that a shirt was worn only once and also twice, but of course there’s a technicality which we have to exploit.
Bayern Munich began the 1995-96 season with their yellow and green change kit being retained for a third campaign – this allowed the launching of new home and away strips to be staggered in alternate years.
On March 9, 1996 Bayern wore the yellow as they lost at Freiburg – for the third straight season since their hosts had worn promotion – but their next away game, ten days later, saw a change as they reverted back to basics.
This was a Uefa Cup quarter-final second leg away to Nottingham Forest, with Bayern leading 2-1 from the first leg. Any hopes Forest had of turning the tie their way were soon quenched as Bayern put on an exhibition, scoring five goals before a late Forest consolation.
They did so while resplendent in an all-white kit with subtle shadow striping and three red stripes around the ends of the sleeves in the style briefly popular in the mid-1990s. However, while the matching shorts style was used on the blue-and-red-striped Bayern home kit, these shorts were plain.
Back in the Bundesliga, Bayern wore the yellow as they won at Bayer Leverkusen four days later, but the white kit was again used for the next round in Europe, the Uefa Cup semi-final against Barcelona.
After a 2-2 draw in Munich, Bayern won 2-1 at the Nou Camp wearing white, sending them through to the final against Bordeaux.
Given that the white shirts had only the Opel wordmark due to Uefa rules on sponsors’ logos, it would have been logical to assume that only set existed, but for the penultimate league game, away to Schalke, they appeared in a variant which had the car manufacturer’s lightning bolt and circle motif.
However, it gets even stranger – as that game against Schalke featured another variant, too:
Just why Emil Kostadinov would have had a version with traditional adidas striping is anybody’s guess, as is whether or not he was the only one on the Bayern team to have them.
As with the quarter-final and semi-final of the Uefa Cup, Bayern were at home in the first leg, putting themselves in command with a 2-0 victory at the Olympiastadion.
The expectation might have been that the white kit would again be seen at the Stade Chaban-Delmas against Bordeaux, but instead they used the opportunity to promote the new change kit for the coming season, a throwback to a style previously seen in the 1970s.
A 3-1 win in the second leg secured a first European trophy since the 1976 European Cup (when all-white had been worn against another French side, Saint-Étienne).
For 1996-97, a black version of the new kit was produced, but unfortunately Bayern never got a chance to wear it.