A break away from the usual Monday slot for this series but we’re sure you’ll agree that it’s justified.
It might surprise you to learn that only one of the last 15 winners of the Champions League final have been wearing a change kit (Real Madrid against Juventus in 2017) – and it’s not just a case of it being a lucky charm to win the toss as only Manchester United, against Barcelona in 2009 and 2011, have lost finals since 2007 while wearing alternative strips.
By and large over the past decade and a half, the matchup for the decider has been such that no change was needed – the 2023 final between Manchester City and Internazionale will also see both clubs in their favoured colours.
Since the competition came into being as the European Cup in 1955, six finals have seen both teams wear change kits – and three of those instances have happened on May 24.
1989 – Milan 4 Steaua Bucharest 0
Both of Steaua’s final appearances were away-v-away matchups. They had won the competition in 1986 wearing white against a team in blue as Barcelona were beaten in a penalty shootout (1968, when Manchester United beat Benfica, was the first time both finalists changed) and there they were in blue against the white of Milan in Barcelona.
This was Milan’s third title – one of the previous two had been in the famous Rossoneri stripes – but 1989 and the 1990 final win over Benfica helped to create the legend of the lucky white kit in European finals.
1995 – Ajax 1 Milan 0
Six years to the night later, Milan were again involved in a clash where both teams changed (the final falling exactly between 1989 and 1995 – 1992 between Barcelona and Sampdoria was another away-v-away).
It was the third meeting between Ajax and Milan that season as they had been in the same group and it was the third different kit match-up.
However, while Milan had demolished Barcelona on a 4-0 scoreline when wearing all-white in the 1994 final, here the magic failed to work and substitute Patrick Kluivert struck the late winner for Ajax in Vienna.
2000 – Real Madrid 3 Valencia 0
The first final between two teams from the same country remains the last to have had a double kit-change (coincidentally, that year’s Uefa Cup final between Galatasaray and Arsenal was also a double-change).
Madrid had worn a one-off navy kit in the 1998-99 Champions League and their new away for 1999-2000 was similar but it was black trimmed with amber. Valencia had an all-orange kit that reversed the colour-scheme of their home. It was the first and only appearance of Luanvi kits in the showpiece occasion.
Goals from Fernando Morientes, Steve McManaman and Raúl gave Madrid victory in Paris – while Valencia were back in the final the following year, they lost out there to Bayern Munich on penalties.