The flurry of European soccer kit reveals has subsided in the past week or so since major domestic leagues kicked off their 2021-22 seasons, but some continue to trickle in as clubs run up against opponents with clashing colors. Recent unveilings include several third kits from England’s Premier League, plus long-awaited away kits from Spain’s La Liga, a tribute to health care workers from France’s Ligue 1, and even an homage to a legendary reggae artist from a Dutch team.
CHELSEA – Third
2020-21 Champions League winners and Premier League powerhouses Chelsea complete their 2021-22 set of kits with a third kit made by Nike that features a brush stroke pattern all over the front and back in tones of green and turquoise. The back of the collar and the side stripes, along with sponsor logos and the monochromatic club crest, are in “bright crimson,” the same color as the accents on rival Liverpool’s home kit. The logo of telecom company Three UK remains on the front of the jersey (it’s not a number font).
AFC AJAX – Third
Perennial Dutch Eredivisie contenders AFC Ajax pay tribute to reggae artist Bob Marley and his song “Three Little Birds” with their adidas-made third kit for 2021-22. The kit is predominantly black, with adidas shoulder stripes and sleeve cuff trim in traditional Rastafari colors of green, yellow and red. Sponsor logos and the monochromatic club crest appear in red.
“Three Little Birds” became an anthem for Ajax supporters in 2008, when the club played a preseason friendly against Cardiff City in Wales. After the match ended 0-0, Ajax fans were kept in the stadium while the Cardiff fans made their way out. The Cardiff City stadium announcer played “Three Little Birds” over the loudspeakers, and the Ajax fans started singing along. Since then, the song has become a staple at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, and Bob Marley’s son Ky-Mani even attended a match in 2018 to lead the crowd in the song at halftime.
The back collar of the kit features a graphic of three birds, each in a different Rastafari color and each perched on an X from the Amsterdam city flag.
UPDATE (Sept. 13, 2021): According to Footy Headlines, UEFA has forced Ajax to remove the graphic of the three birds from the back collar of this kit for Champions League play. Apparently UEFA only allows club logos and sponsor logos as identifiers on jerseys, and the three birds is a “different expression” that does not fall under any of those categories.
ASTON VILLA – Third
Premier League upstarts Aston Villa are looking to rip up the competition in their 2021-22 third kits, made by Kappa. The base of the jersey is dark blue, with tonal claw mark graphics — presumably a nod to the lion in their crest — on the front and back. The sponsor logos and monochromatic club crest are light grey, as is most of the collar and the trim on the sleeve cuffs.
WOLVERHAMPTON – Third
Premier League side Wolverhampton is keeping things relatively simple with their 2021-22 third kit, made by Castore. It is predominantly white, with jacquard vertical stripes. Stripes in the club’s signature shade of amber taper as they run up from the shoulder toward the neck. The collar and sleeve cuffs feature black and amber striping. Sponsor logos appear mostly in black.
WATFORD – Third
Watford looks to electrify their fans with their 2021-22 Premier League third kit, made by Kelme. The jersey is mostly turquoise, with a tonal lightning bolt pattern running over top of narrow tonal horizontal stripes. A broad stripe of solid turquoise runs from the shoulders down the sleeves, while panels featuring a lighter shade of turquoise appear under the arms. The collar and sleeve cuffs feature turquoise and gold striping. The monochromatic club crest and sponsor logos appear in gold.
GRANADA – Away & Third
With a match this weekend at Rayo Vallecano, another club that primarily wears red and white, Granada CF of Spain’s La Liga were pressed for time to unveil their Nike-made new away and third kits for 2021-22. But they did so this week, including a white away kit based on Nike’s Strike II template. The sleeves feature a fingerprint pattern in shades of grey, while the Nike logo and monochromatic club crest are black.
Granada’s third kit is green, with tonal diagonal stripes and a gold monochromatic crest. It uses the same template that Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin is using for their 2021-22 third kit.
CÁDIZ CF – Away
Spanish La Liga side Cádiz CF unveiled their 2021-22 away kit this week, made by Macron. It features a dark blue base, with tonal blue brush strokes all over the front, back and sleeves. Over top of the brush strokes are dark blue V-shaped pinstripes. The collar and sleeve cuffs are dark blue with turquoise inserts. The club crest is rendered in dark blue and turquoise, while the Macron logo is solid turquoise.
ES TROYES AC – Third
The 2021-22 third kit for French Ligue 1 side Troyes is based on the same Le Coq Sportif template as their home and away kits, but with a mosaic pattern on the left side panel and sleeve cuff instead of horizontal lines. The base of the jersey is pink, with a faint heather pattern, while most of the V-neck collar and the mosaic pattern are blue. Sponsor logos also appear in blue.
The kit is Troyes’s tribute to health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the club has altered the shape of their usual crest and included a heart alongside the club name and year of foundation.