The 2010s have served up a plethora of jerseys for FC Bayern fans. Some will be remembered with glory, both in style and success. For example, who could forget the stunning gold trimmed red home shirt of 2012/13, which the team wore to the treble? Or the dynamic zigzag diamond pattern on the 2018/19 home shirt that basked in the glow of a domestic double?
But alas, there are a few shirts that are not remembered so fondly. Shirts that may have made you do a double take before deciding to purchase them (or not).
Of course, football jerseys are meant to be worn on the pitch, first and foremost. But nowadays, they have also become an important part of street fashion, and the 2010s have seen design take up a big role in jersey production. Sadly, not all of them were golazos. BFW takes a look.
#5. 2012/13 away
I know what you’re thinking. How dare I disrespect a jersey from the legendary 2012/13 season? It was a tough call, but ultimately this shirt takes fifth place on our list.
The worst part about this shirt is the neon orange trim on the sleeves and the collar. Yes, this wasn’t the only time that a neon color was used in a Bayern shirt. But in other cases, neon colors were paired with a dark background, such as the black/pink of the 2015/16 Champions League kit or the navy blue/orange of this season’s Champions League kit. This was the only time in the past decade that neon was paired with white, making for a flashy, cheap look that resembles something you might see your Sunday League friends wear in the sandlot rather than in front of thousands of fans in a Bundesliga stadium.
Plus, this was the only shirt of the season to have the LIGA total! sponsor on the chest, and I’m not sure if it’s just because I’ve become accustomed to the giant T on most Bayern shirts, but this other sponsor just didn’t cut it. Remember how bad it looked when we had MAGENTA TV on our shirts last season for a few weeks? Same story, different sponsor.
#4. 2009/10 home
The 2009/10 season was a success for the Bavarians, winning a domestic double and just finishing two Diego Milito goals away from a potential treble. However, the shirt that mostly represented that season was a far cry from any sort of success.
The shirt itself may seem like a typical Bayern red shirt, and it doesn’t look too bad, save for one prominent detail: the splash of white on the chest. Who knows what the designers were intending with that white spot, but it looks like someone spilled a bowl of cereal on an otherwise clean jersey. A detail that is just too big to overlook, the bib-like design was probably made to complement the white patches on the sleeves, but all it does is fixate the viewer’s vision on it, overshadowing what few other details the jersey has to offer.
Now, before you start thinking, “well, wasn’t 2010 still a bit too early for people to be thinking about jerseys as street fashion?” let me tell you this: one of Germany’s all time greatest kits, the sleek jet black away kit, came out in the same year. If only adidas had spent as much consideration on Bayern as much as they did on the national team.
#3. 2010/11 home
It’s sad that we’ve had such horrid home shirts in back-to-back seasons. This shirt took the “too much white” theme to the next level by slashing it all over the shirt. Now I’m not against having a striped jersey; in fact, one of my favorite jerseys in recent years was the thin white-striped home kit of 2017/18. But this is too much. Because of the curved lines on the flanks, the stripes look uneven, and they become even worse when they get inevitably rumpled up during games.
Moreover, the sleeves make it worse. They have their own stripes, so whenever the wearer turns or uses his or her arms, those stripes end up clashing with the original stripes, and the jersey becomes a messy sea of red and white that seems more like a Cat-in-the-Hat theme park souvenir. And yes, of course, we haven’t even mentioned the traditional adidas three stripes on the shoulders. This shirt has more stripes than a herd of stampeding zebras, and that’s not a good thing.
2010/11 was a tough time to be a Bayern fan, mostly because the team finished a whopping ten points behind league winners Borussia Dortmund, and got a second beating by Inter Milan in the Champions League, but this time way before the final in the round of 16. A 0-1 defeat to Schalke in the DFB-Pokal semifinals meant that the team would finish trophyless, and look ugly while doing so. A year to forget, it was.
#2. 2018/19 Champions League
We come to more recent years for our finalists. This travesty of a shirt was decked out in one of the most depressing colors to ever touch a Bayern jersey: gray. Not a light gray that could be seen as white, not a dark gray that could be seen as black, just plain gray. One could make a slight argument for silver, but that would be stretching it. Add that to the dark uneven spots on the shirt, and it looks like a raincloud that’s only minutes away from a thunderstorm. What a downer.
This was actually one of adidas’ Parley project shirts, with the jerseys being made of recycled plastic from discarded bottles in the ocean. Each big team sponsored by them got the same template, but in different colors. Sadly, Bayern got stuck with the worst color. If you think about it, since the jersey was made from plastic, and since it’s just that shade of gray, it’s nothing more than a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again. If I was the designer for this shirt, I really would have wanted to start again.
Thankfully, the shirt was only worn four times in the entire season, against Benfica and Ajax in the Hinrunde and against Dusseldorf and Leipzig in the Rückrunde. Surprisingly enough, Bayern were undefeated in those four games, with two wins and two draws.
#1. 2018/19 away
Remember when I said it was sad to have two bad shirts in back-to-back seasons? Well, try having two bad shirts in the SAME season. After the plastic bag comes something even worse.
Was there ever any doubt as to which shirt would be No. 1? I don’t know why in the world the designers thought mint green and Bayern would be a good combination, but here we are. Here’s the thing, though: it is perfectly possible to make a mint green kit that doesn’t look half bad. Arsenal and Real Madrid have sported mint green jerseys that look cool and refreshing, for both the fans and the players. But this particular shade of mint is something that looks sickening rather than refreshing. It’s not green, it’s not gray, it’s not white, I can’t think of a color to describe it. If you take split pea soup and put way too much water in it, you might get an idea of what I’m talking about.
Ever since it came out, the shirt has been infamously called the “FC Hospital kit,” and for good reason. Its hue heavily resembles something that you would see in an infirmary rather than on a football pitch. The white shorts that were worn with it made the shirt look even more washed out, and the dark gray trim did nothing to boost its aesthetic element. Depending on what kind of light it was under, it could look worse, but never better.
The team never looked good in this kit in the seven games that it was worn in. The results were not pretty either: two wins, three draws, and two defeats. Among those two wins, only a 4-0 win over bottom-placed Hannover was convincing, the other one being a hard fought 2-1 win against Mainz. Perhaps the team really did feel sick when they had to pull on this hospital gown.
What do you think? Do you agree with these choices, or did we miss a few? Let us know!