Something we always find pleasing is when a club’s change kit follows the style of the primary strip – for example, Arsenal with contrasting sleeves, Queens Park Rangers in hoops or Chelsea with socks in a different colour to their shirts and shorts.
For Barcelona, the 2013-14 second kit ticked that box, while supporters will also have approved of the fact that it was style like the Senyera flag of Catalunya.
During the season, it was worn with all four possible combinations of change shorts and socks.
On October 19, yellow shorts and socks (featuring a vertical Senyera on the back – these were the back-up set from the 2012-13 black third kit) were used at Osasuna. Then, four days later, the shirt’s only outing in the Champions League – with a yellow panel on the back for number legibility – was away to Milan, with the change shorts again called upon.
The trip to Atlético Madrid in January saw the alternative socks used with the red shorts – when the clubs played in the Supercopa de España in August, Barça had played in the default away kit. Then, in the Champions League knockout stages, Uefa would mandate that Barcelona played in the black third strip, carried over for such an eventuality.
But there was another mashup too, one that did not involve the switching of shorts or socks.
You’ll note above how there is a yellow-to-red effect on the sleeves and socks, achieved with stripes of varying widths. The red at the end of the sleeves meant that the long-sleeved shirts, as favoured by Gerard Piqué, had red on the forearms – at the time, Fifa’s rules said that a baselayer should match the long-sleeved effect and, for most of the season, red undershirts were worn with the away kit.
However, for the game at Athletic Bilbao – red and white stripes, black shorts and socks – on December 1, referee Juan Martínez Munuera was not fully satisfied with the contrast that the Barcelona change shirts provided, and so he asked that the players wearing baselayers use yellow versions.
Why he didn’t also ask for the yellow shorts and socks to be worn, maximising the contrast, is unknown.
However, Barcelona, undefeated in the league until then, lost 1-0, and the yellow baselayers were not seen again.