- Previous instalments in the series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12 and Part 13
It’s been a while, for a number of different reasons, not least the fact we changed our kit illustration template last summer. It means that there are at least three distinct styles on show on the site and in this, the longest-running series. There are plans to redo all of the previous parts in the newest style, but that will be alongside new chapters.
By the end of Part 13, we were up to the end of the 2001-02 season and it seems quaint to think that that summer’s World Cup featured four different adidas designs. Probably the most memorable of these is the gradient style which appeared in a few different colourways.
Oliver Kahn was the winner of the Golden Ball as Germany finished runners-up to Brazil and at international level and for his club Bayern Munich, he wore a blue and black version.
There were three other colourways that we know of. Milan would go on to win the 2002-03 Champions League with Dida wearing a black and green kit, while Newcastle United’s Shay Given had black and orange (also used by Sweden’s Magnus Hedman) and Daniel Zitka of Anderlecht appeared in black and grey. While the Bayern, Germany and Newcastle shirts had the ‘normal’ adidas striping, the others only had the front-most stripe travelling fully down the arm, with the others curtailed at the forearm.
A shirt available in three different colour-combinations was one which had a lot of exposure at the World Cup. When Argentina lost 1-0 to a red-shirted England, their custodian Pablo Cavallero was unusually wearing a maroon shirt with black panelling and infra-red trim; rather than his usual black, France’s Fabien Barthez wore a gun-metal grey edition; and there was also a bluey-green style with aqua accents, illustrated here with that worn by Bayer Leverkusen’s Hans-Jörg Butt.
Spain’s Iker Casillas wore a contrasting-sleeve design in light blue and this one also experimented with striping as the outer two didn’t go down past the elbow. A little-seen design, Zitka appeared in an orangey-red one for Anderlecht while Marseille’s Vedran Runje – who often used outfield shirts – had a pink version.
The other adidas goalkeeper design at that World Cup was unusual in that Japan were the only side to have it. Fairly unremarkable, it was all-black with gold trim and white stripes (though the adidas logo on the socks – sans wordmark, as will be the case next year – was in gold).
Alone among the various goalkeeper designs, its striping was the closest to that used on the outfield kits at the time, while the placing of the Japan flag and the World Cup patch below the stripes was interesting but not displeasing.
Aside from that quartet, there were two other adidas goalkeeper shirt offerings that appeared in their European roster in the 2002-03 season. Real Madrid, Ajax and Leverkusen, among others, had one that called to mind the mid-90s experiment with horizontal rather than vertical stripes on the arm. It was a solid if unspectacular look.
The last one that we will look at in this article is almost as rare as the Japan one, with Fulham’s Edwin van der Sar the most notable wearer. Light blue with navy as the secondary colour, it had a v-neck like that seen on the outfield kits while there were flashes down the arm and on to the torso.
As far as we can see, the only other example – in the same colours – was worn by Schalke’s Frank Rost. Given that Schalke wear royal blue, it’s unlikely to have had much airtime there.
It was to prove to be Fulham’s last season with adidas and they were in Puma for 2003-04 – but there were some nice three-stripe goalkeeper tops on show that season and we will look at them in Part 15.