The Champions League starts tonight, though it doesn’t seem to have the usual pomp and ceremony attached to it.
The presence of Ferencváros lends some 1990s nostalgia and, while Dynamo Kyiv’s absence only stretched back four seasons, their presence does call to mind the glory days of Shevchenko and Rebrov.
The Ukrainian club reached the round of 16 in 2015-16 but that was their only knockout appearance since they reached the semi-finals in 1998-99, knocking out Real Madrid on the way. The season prior to that, they made the quarter-finals and had their journey ended by tonight’s opponents, Juventus.
Since 2018, Dynamo have played in New Balance kits but, like Anderlecht, they will be inextricably linked to adidas in our minds. Conversely, Juventus never wore adidas in my childhood but have become a mainstay of the German firm’s output, even if the kits seem less about the club’s heritage and more about the commerce.
Back in 1997-98, Juventus were still with Kappa, with that season’s home strip the first notable change since 1994, with a new collar style and swirling stripes on the sleeves while black shorts and socks were favoured. In that season’s final, Juve would be able to wear their home strip against Real Madrid while Dynamo Kyiv had worn all-white in the group stage against Newcastle United but in Turin they had their blue away shirt with home white shorts and socks.
A 1-1 draw put Juve under pressure for the return leg and though Filippo Inzaghi put them ahead, Sergiy Rebrov levelled on the night and on aggregate with 36 minutes left. The visitors powered on though and Inzaghi added two more to end with a hat-trick while Alessandro Del Piero also netted.
Dynamo were in their home kit – with the sponsor in English for maximum exposure, as was the practice in Europe – and both sides were long sleeves, as they had been in the first leg. With Dynamo’s shirt constructed from a ‘batwing’ template, i.e. just two pieces of fabric, the lower sleeves were sewn on just above the elbow.
Juventus had a pink away kit that season but the pale shade was too close to white and so they wore their third strip, which was pretty much identical to the away worn in the 1996-97 final loss to Borussia Dortmund except for the use of the updated collar.
In the semi-finals, Juventus would go on to defeat Monaco – who had eliminated Manchester United while wearing a one-off strip – but it was heartache again for them in the final as Real Madrid reclaimed the cup for the first time since 1966.