You might have seen some of the furore around the fact that Atlético Madrid are to wear red shirts at Celtic Park on Wednesday night in the Champions League.
On a practical level, it’s something of a perfect storm.
The striped home is ruled out by Uefa – the solid red back means it would probably work, but colour-blindness considerations come into play – the domestic third/continental second is green and the other alternative is blue and white halves, again with too much white when compared with the hosts.
The solution is to recall the commemorative shirt worn in 2021-22 to mark the club’s 75th anniversary, updated with the current sponsors. Incidentally, the shirt and shorts have the old, soon-to-be-new-again crest.
So far, so normal and sustainable, but there is a backstory. In 1974, Atlético got the better of Celtic in the European Cup semi-final, having three men sent off in a scoreless but dirty game at Celtic Park. On that occasion, they wore red as it was their away kit – a situation that pertained until Spain tightened clashing rules in the 1990s and indeed why they wore stripes with Bayern Munich in white for both the drawn 1974 final and replay.
By using red again this week, they are of course honouring a famous night in the club’s history but some of a Celtic bent are insulted by it. Still, better to have John Hartson gain media attention for talking about kits than making up stories from his Arsenal days.
Incidentally, they’re not the first club to wear red as a memorial to a previous match against Celtic – Rapid Vienna did similar in 2009.