Yet again, there is a sense that this addition to the series is overdue but we will once again aim for more regular output. Going forward, each part will focus on a single season and this one carries on from Part 12 by looking at the 2001-02 season.
With no major finals taking place in the summer of 2001, it meant that national teams largely retained their styles from the previous year but adidas’s club roster had new outfits for their goalkeepers.
The most common design saw a high crew-neck and the utilisation of the three stripes in a unique way, stopping short of going the full length of the arm while they were thicker than usual, with the middle stripe thicker than the outer two.
A number of bespoke colourways were offered. In the Premier League, Newcastle had gold/navy and purple/black, Tottenham Hotspur had green/navy and Premier League new boys Fulham, who had signed Edwin van der Sar had yellow/black. Germany’s Oliver Kahn did appear in a similar one to that.
At club level for Bayern Munich, Kahn had had bespoke offerings in the couple of seasons before that, he was given a two-tone grey version. Bayern also had an orange version that was seemingly only used in friendlies by back-up goalkeeper Stefan Wessels (thanks to Rodrigo Lara Weisson for making us aware of that one).
Fred Grim, van der Sar’s previous backup at Ajax, had two shades of blue as he marked the final year of his career with a fourth league medal, the first as first-choice.
Most versions of the shirt had the secondary colour on the back – and Grim’s shorts were also darker blue on the reverse side – but one exception was the black/silver outfit worn by Benfica’s goalkeeper, the late Robert Enke.
In addition to that style, though, there were two other distinct, albeit lesser-seen, designs.
As with their previous two seasons wearing adidas, Spurs marked their final season in the three stripes with an alternative goalkeeper shirt that was different to the first-choice. This was gold and black, the colours changing in a halftone effect, while Schalke 04 goalkeeper Oliver Reck had the same in grey and black.
Another, simpler, shirt was similarly sparingly used, with Ajax and Real Madrid the most notable proponents. It was largely similar to the uncluttered 1996 design, featuring a crew neck and three stripes down the arm, though there was a 90s-style three-stripe motif in the fabric.
The Ajax version was dark grey, just short of black, while Real’s – worn as the club won the Champions League for the ninth time, sans sponsor as they celebrated their centenary – was green.
The 2002 World Cup was just around the corner, meaning that a new intake of designs was in the offing.