Italy take on the Netherlands in the Uefa Nations League in Bergamo tonight so it’s a handy excuse to recall a game from 20 years ago.
While the Euro 2000 semi-final between the countries took place in the Amsterdam Arena, Italy were the ‘home’ team judging by the order of the flags underneath the Dutch crest. The game failed to produce any goals over 120 minutes – the Netherlands missed two penalties – but there were two top-class kits on show.
Having switched to Kappa the previous year, Italy had a new strip in a lighter shade of blue and, for the first time, their on-field kit featured manufacturer’s logos, though on the shirt these were limited to the sleeves rather than the chest.
Nike had reintroduced black trim to the Netherlands kit in 1998 and here there was a return for the 1974-style black shorts. Other than the reversed stitching which was popular at the time, both shirts were exemplars of restrained elegance.
The Netherlands’ penalty woes continued in the shootout as they converted just one of four, with Italy scoring three to advance to the final. There they would lose out to France, wearing all-white while their opponents donned a fifth different kit combination in six games.