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The worst kits of the decade

The 1980s and early 90s will forever be synonymous with awful football kits and the noughties has done its best to be mentioned in the same breath as the two decades that preceded it.

After trawling through the photo archives we eventually came up with the following ten atrocities that have left their indelible mark on the last decade.

Jorge Campos - "The Grand Farewell"

Who better to kick-off with than king of the bad kits, Jorge Campos? The Mexican goalkeeper famously designed his own strips, finding inspiration from surfing in Acapulco and the flambouyant silks of horse jockeys.

So famous did his creations become that in 2001 the world's best selling football computer game, EA Sports' FIFA Football, produced a patch specifically to allow players to add Campos' most popular kits into the game.

It's probably safe to say that Campos' creations were an acquired taste and the strip he wore at France 1998 was so flambouyant that the opposition complained and he had the change it.

In 2004, Campos marked his retirement with a match between Mexico and Brazil - billed as "The Grand Farewell" - in which all his team-mates wore one of his creations.

Italy go skin-tight for Euro 2000

If you are an athletic, bronzed Italian it is possibly not such a bad idea to show off your physique in a tight fitting lycra kit and that is exactly what the national team's shirt sponsor Kappa decided to do.

They supplied the Azzurri with a skin tight Supplex fabric technology that certainly got people talking and provided the company with more than enough column inches, but Kappa overlooked one important thing.

While lycra might look good adorning an Adonis it does not look good on the average football fan, who has not been at the peak of physical fitness for his entire working life and may have had one pie too many over the years.

The likes of Wales and Tottenham Hotspur subsequently adopted similar ill-fitting jerseys and so did their fans ... some things should remain unseen.

Cameroon introduce the "UniQT"

Not to be out done by Kappa and the Italians, Puma and Cameroon combined to push the boundaries of taste further and provided the Indomitable Lions with sleeveless figure-hugging green vests.

They proved good enough for Cameroon to defend the African Nations Cup in 2002 but when it came to the World Cup, FIFA deemed them illegal and ordered them to add sleeves.

Puma reluctantly added virtually invisible black sleeves and then, possibly in a fit of pique, decided to further develop the vest and again test FIFA's patience.

First they added 'lion claw tears' on each side of the vest, along with oblique muscles, then capped it all by producing a controversial one-piece strip, branded a "UniQT".

Cameroon were warned not to wear the singlet in the African Nations knock-out phases but went ahead anyway. As a result, FIFA's fashion police deducted six points from the Lions' World Cup qualifying campaign - which were later restored - and that was the end of that.

Deportivo Wanka - the joke's on us

No list would be complete without Peruvian side Deportivo Wanka. It's not so much for the awful kit, although the 2003 offering was a particularly bad one, but for the fantastic insignia emblazoned across the chest.

The club are actually named after the Wanka tribe which once occupied the town of Huancayo where the club is based, but the moniker has totally different meaning here in the UK.

More than 1,000 British fans bought this particular offering, including one opponent in Soccernet's five-a-side league, as a result of the alternative meaning that bemuses the Peruvian club.

"Everyone in Britain seems to think we have a funny name," a Deportivo spokesman told The Sun. "It is very strange."

Athletic Bilbao's centenary kit

Athletic Bilbao may play in the Spanish league but they are a fiercely Basque club, who only employ Basque players - no foreigners, no other players from Spain - and see the club as a symbol for a free and independent Basque country.

During the club's centenary celebrations in 2004, president Jose Maria Arrate said: "Athletic Bilbao is more than a football club, it is a feeling. And as such its ways of operating often escape rational analysis."

And the football shirt that famous local artist Dario Urzay designed to mark the club's 100th birthday certainly escaped rational analysis.

Inspired by pictures at the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, Urzay interpreted Athletic's usual red and white stripes into some kind of blood splatter. It is a perfect example of why art should never make it onto a football shirt.

Fortunately the club only emerged clad in their artistic offering during the club's mercifully short UEFA Cup campaign and then consigned the shirt to a museum (the Dali Museum) where it belonged.

Werder Bremen - The Parrot II

The youth of today are responsible for many things and up there with the worst of them is the addition of a hideous orange hue, officially mandarin, to Werder Bremen's traditional green and white strip.

The club's 2003-04 sponsors, Young Spirit, provided clothing for the "younger" generation and wanted to add the vibrant colour to the club's strip to appeal to its target audience. But then something really terrible happened.

Following the temporary addition of the orange the Bundesliga club went on to win the double and subsequently adopted the motto: "Never change the winning colours."

Consequently shirt manufacturers Kappa produced a brand new Papageizwei (parrot two) strip for the 2005-06 season as the successor to the double-winning green shirts with orange arms.

The orange still adorns Werder's second and third choice kits.

Palermo in the pink

There has to be at least one pink kit in this type of list and because Juventus' 1997 offering (it's worth a Google if you haven't seen it) falls outside of this decade the dubious honour of the worst Rosa shirt goes to Palermo.

To be fair to the Sicilian club they have had some great strips, the 2004 to 2006 away kit and the current home strip is very tasteful, but the club's Lotto-designed shirt for 2006-07 left a lot to be desired.

The combination of shocking pink and black lightening strikes really doesn't work. It no surprise that it only lasted for a single season.

Palermo originally played with red and blue but switched to the current choice of pink and black on February 27, 1907, after count Giuseppe Airoldi, a prominent founding member of the club suggested the "colours of the sad and the sweet" reflected the club's ups and downs.

Getafe shirt unmasked

Just to prove it's possible to take shirt sponsorship beyond the boundaries of good taste, Getafe and Burger King combined to deliver a truly hideous offering in 2009.

The duo exploited the fact that players pulled their shirts over the heads during goal celebrations - Fabrizio Ravanelli-style - and plastered a picture of the "Burger King" on the inside.

In effect, the headshot on the reverse of the shirt meant that goalscorers would be wearing a mask of equally disturbing and demeaning proportions.

The "lucky" Getafe fans who purchased the shirt also received a handy leaflet that instructed them how to score a 30-yard screamer and the correct way to pull the shirt over their heads to celebrate.

A Burger King spokesman said: "Burger King's values of fun, fidelity and authenticity identify with the spirit of Getafe and their unconditional passion." Er, what?

Newcastle's yellow peril

A series of disastrous decisions at St James' Park over the past year few years culminated in Newcastle United's relegation from the Premier League and the powers that be extended the questionable adjudication to the design of their away kit for the 2009-10 season.

The Toon Army began life in the Championship with a delightful canary yellow and orange stripped kit that made it all too easy for opposing fans to tease the relegated side about the yellow streak down their back.

Gags about looking like lemon sherbets followed, but at the time of writing Newcastle are sitting in first place in the Championship and look set to win promotion, in fact you could say they are the top bananas (sorry).

The away kit also proved to be a marketing disaster and on its first day of official sale, it was being offered at a 20% discount.

Partick Thistle go camouflage

Partick Thistle found themselves as the recipients of "Scottish football's first ever camouflage kit" when manufacturers Puma and designers Genesis combined to create a strip of dubious taste for the 2009-10 season.

The reason, of course, that no other team has had a camouflage kit in the 120-year history of the Scottish league is that one of the key requisites of football is that you can see your fellow players.

Back in 1997, Sir Alex Ferguson famously blamed Manchester United's 3-1 defeat to Southampton at The Dell on the fact that his players couldn't see each other in their grey kit and made them change at half-time.

The previous season's strip proved to be something of a lucky charm for Partick and so the designers retained the grey and pink to produce this camo catastrophe. And if you are going to have a camouflage kit at least do it properly, like Racing Club de Strasbourg.


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