It’s been a while since the last entry in this series, but given the pun involved in the title, we’d better add one for the time of year involved.
It’s a change from the norm in that the four meetings involved just two kit match-ups, but the odd circumstances made the situation notable.
Meetings between Atlético Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga are not considered clashes, despite both having red stripes on their first-choice shirts, as there is enough differentiation elsewhere.
Atlético often wear red sorts at Camp Nou, but for 2015-16 Barcelona’s home strip had grenadine shorts, adding to the overall colour mash. As an aside, if asked to guess, I would have assumed that Nike’s design feature with stripes down the sides of the shirt and shorts began in 2016, but that’s probably down to the eye-catching nature of the Vapor range.
In September 2015 in Madrid and January 2016 in Barcelona, Barça won 2-1 with the following kits up against each other:
There were a few comments from viewers on social media at the time…
…and, so, when the clubs were due to meet in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Uefa decided that the kits clashed. However, Atlético’s away kit was navy trimmed in red and they didn’t have a third kit that season, making things problematic for the first leg at Camp Nou.
The solution was that, for both games, the two teams would change, with Barcelona wearing the alternative yellow shorts for their second kit.
It solved the issue but it was something of the sledgehammer-to-crack-open-a-walnut variety. Far easier would have been for the teams to wear their primary shirts with change shorts – Atlético had already worn their red shorts against Astana that season while Barcelona’s away shorts were blue, albeit a lighter shade. A pair of shorts in the same colour as the shirt – i.e. what is usually the case – would have been better again.
Instead, Atlético wore blue and red at Camp Nou and Barcelona had red stripes at Estadio Vicente Calderón – the back of their away shirt was intended to represent the senyera flag of Catalonia, though for European games there had to be a gap for the number.
While Barça won the first leg 2-1 again, Atlético turned things around in the second leg to win 2-0. They went on to meet city rivals Real in the final for the second time in three years – while both home kits would be allowed, as they had been in 2014, their 2017 semi-final saw the away teams wear change kits.
Later in the season, Atlético would wear the away shirts and shorts with home socks against another blue-and-red side, Levante (thanks to Olli for making us aware of this).