It wouldn’t be Christmas without a tacky Christmas jumper and here at The Kit Rail we’ve scoped out the best one from Classic Football Shirts.
Their take on the 1999/2000 is a winner in my eyes as it features the print of Batistuta in the pattern along with Buon Natale (Merry Christmas in Italian) just goes together brilliantly along with the famous ‘Viola’ colour that Fiorentina have made so famous over the years. The Nintendo logo featured in the middle of the jersey has also been replaced with a festive Ho Ho Ho.
On the back we’ve obviously got none other than ‘Batistuta 9’ who was Fiorentina’s talisman for the 99/00 season as he bagged 23 goals in the Serie A and 5 goals in 10 appearances in the Champions league, scoring in games against both Arsenal and Manchester United.
FC Schweinfurt 05 are a fourth division German side that currently play in the Regionalliga Bayern and just missed out on promotion into the third flight of German football by means of playoff after finishing second but being crowned champions after Türkgücü München were top of the league for the 19/20 season before it was cancelled, due to the pandemic, was removed from the league and placed into the division above and the rest of the league continued without them.
FC 05 were a regular in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga divisions in Germany from the 1930’s to the 1970’s but now mainly yo-yo between the 3. Liga, Regionalliga Bayern and the Bayernliga Nord which is the third, fourth and fifth divisions.
This jersey comes from a one time match between FC Schweinfurt 05 and Motherwell FC at the end of the 01/02 season with the well’ travelling over to the town of Schweinfurt in a friendly as North Lanarkshire in Scotland is said to be its twin town and both teams wanted to celebrate this fact. Twin town meaning that both towns share planned activities and visits.
Unfortunately for Motherwell, the Germans beat the Scots 3-2 with most of the steelmen’s players being brought straight out the youth academy. As this was a council trip, Motherwell also had a trip to a local vineyard planned but with most of the team being made up of young boys, most weren’t old enough to take part in the tasting.
The player in question today is journeyman midfielder Igor Budiša who has racked up appearances at 16 different clubs, starting and finishing his career with Croatian side NK Osijek also playing for teams in Germany, Hungary, Greece, Russia and China.
This top is different to most as it does not contain a badge anywhere with the only branding being the name of the team along the back above the number. Hummel have obviously tried something very different in using a zip on the collar instead of using buttons or just a flat collar.
Also the Hummel branding being used on a diagonal replicates the blue hazard stripe design on the sleeves. All the lettering and numbers are made from felt which looks fantastic with the 3D style numbers.
Current Serie B side Chievo Verona have usually been punching above their weight in the Serie A for a few years before eventually being relegated in 2019 and being unable to bounce back up.
Only playing their first season in the Serie A in 01/02, they were favourites to go back down after finishing 3rd to gain promotion. However, Chievo would shock everyone by finishing 5th and qualify for the UEFA Cup but would be eliminated in the first round to Red Star Belgrade.
After finishing 5th, the club would finish a respectable 7th and 9th then in 2006, the flying donkeys would be awarded a champions league spot due to the teams above them being involved in a scandal which would see them banned from European competition.
Getting eliminated from both Champions League and UEFA Cup in the qualifying rounds in the 06/07 season, Chievo would sack their manager in October and would be relegated on the last day of the season. In the 07/08 season they would win the Serie B, by a single point, and bounce back up into the Serie A.
Being established in the Serie A until the 18/19 season they would be put back down into the Serie B and are currently there after finishing a disappointing 8th finish in the season. Whereas rivals Hellas Verona currently sit 10th in the Serie A.
French midfielder Patrice Grillon would only play in Verona from December 2001 to July 2002 with this jersey coming in the pre season of the 02/03 season before Grillon left the club.
This away top comes from their second season in the Serie A when they finished 7th and were put out the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Cup.
This would also see the final season of Oliver Beirhoff’s career as he played one season scoring seven goals.
This shirt is simple as it is the one light blue throughout while using a darker blue for the sponsor, name, number and team name at the bottom. Also using this darker blue as a trim for the collar and the sleeves which helps to finish off the top.
Probably one of the most obscure kits in the world, FC Jokerit have a very small history of just five years but in those five years they managed to bring in a Finnish Cup and a Second division title. Based in Helsinki and starting the 99/00 season in the Second Division, the club managed to win the Finnish Cup in their first season, with help from a young Corrigan who played 13 times for the club after signing from Falkirk in the middle of the season.
After winning the Finnish Cup, Corrigan would sign for Lanarkshire side Motherwell FC, in the 00/01 season, where he would spend seven years of his career and rack up 243 appearances while also representing Scotland B on two occasions.
As for FC Jokerit, their last season would be in 2003 where they finished 10th and after that they were bought over in March 2004 by rivals HJK Helsinki and were renamed to Klubi-04 which is used as a reserve team for HJK.
Former Dutch fullback Jan Everse also managed the team for a few months.
Naturally a right back, and what a right back he was, Corrigan would play there, centre back and right midfield when called upon. An extremely hard working full back that used his stamina and aggression to get him through games, which is shown by the 02/03 season Martyn would play all but the final 16 minutes. Due to his favouritism with the fans, Martyn would gain the nickname “Kaiser”.
This top really has a lot happening with all the sponsorships, the Karelia coat of arms, Adidas badge and stripes of the cleverly created badge. The collar reminds me of the old Welsh 76′ jersey that uses the Admiral logos on the collar.
A tidy finish too with the front of the collar blending back into the top. The shimmer throughout the small stripes really bring this to life.
The badge features a jester on top of a football with the primary colours, red, yellow and blue, along with the team name, location and year founded.
Englishman Michael Higdon started his career at Crewe Alexandra before making his move to Scotland where he would play with Falkirk and St Mirren, scoring 15 and 18 goals respectively before finding his form for with Motherwell.
It is with The Steelmen where Higdon would become a cult hero as he would score 13 goals in his first season and then a massive 26 league goals in the 12/13 season, where he would become Motherwell’s top goal scorer in a season since the Second World War. As a result of Higdon being so important to Motherwell’s 2nd place finish in the league, he was voted PFA Scotland’s Player’s Player of the Year.
After leaving the Scottish side on a free, Higdon would move across the English Channel to Dutch side NEC Nijmegen. The Scouser would only play in Holland for one season but he would continue to be as prolific abroad, scoring 14 goals but this was not enough to keep Nijmegen in the Eredivise. After the season, Higdon would get his move back to England with a bid coming in from Sheffield United.
As for this beauty, Jako have produced an instantly recognisable kit for NEC Nijmegen as the use of their classic three colours are used through this iconic shirt, with the main torso being split in two with the contrasting red and green while using the last colour, black, as the sleeves. The clubs double headed eagle is replicated from the badge and can be seen spread out over the bottom of the jersey.
At the bottom on the back, there is also a skyline of the city of Nijmegen, which is also the oldest city in Holland. This cityscape features the Nijmegen Railway Bridge, which was demolished twice during the Second World War, once by the Dutch to defend against the attacking German’s which was then rebuilt and destroyed again by the German’s as they fled the American’s. The bridge was nicknamed “Little Omaha” due to the casualties suffered on the bridge.
Ex-Yugoslavian international Radovan Krivokapić would start his career with Serbian side Vojvadina before making his move to the most successful club in Yugoslavia, Red Star Belgrade (Crvena zvedzda). During his time at Red Star Radovan would win the First League of Serbia and Montenegro in 03-04 and in 05-06 which is the season which featured this kit.
Red Star are the current champions of the Serbian Superliga having beaten rivals Partizan to the league title, winning their 7th league title since the league was founded in 2006. Since the leagues inception, Partizan and Red Star are the only teams to have secured the title with Partizan on 8 league titles, one ahead of their fierce rivals.
During the currents season, Red Star broke the league records of most points won in a single season (108), most team goals in a single season (114) and the highest goal difference in a single season (+94). This had helped them gain the ranking of 50th in UEFA’s current team rankings as of April 2021.
It is also to be remembered that Crvena Zvedzda also won the 1991 European Cup in Bari after beating Olympique de Marseille 5-3 on penalties after 120 minutes without a goal.
The kit features the famous red and white stripes of the Belgrade side along with Adidas branding on the front of the shirt and also a small Adidas logo on the sleeves instead of the famous three stripes. The right sleeve also features the old Serbian and Montenegrin league badge before the current league began.
The back of the top features the name, number and a sponsor on a bit of fabric that has been sewn on to the top separately instead of the more modern approach of names and numbers being pressed onto tops.
Scottish midfielder Paul Lambert grew up in Glasgow where he would sign his first professional contract with St Mirren. Lambert would go on to make over two hundred appearances for St Mirren, helping them lift the Scottish Cup in 1987 before making a switch to Motherwell for £250,000.
In his time at Fir Park, Lambert would make one hundred and three appearances over three seasons with four starts in the 94/95 UEFA Cup, after the Well finished third in the league under Alex McLeish, where they were drawn against Faroese side HB Torshavn and more notably German side Borussia Dortmund.
Lambert would leave Motherwell at the end of his contract in the 95/96 season and move to Borussia Dortmund which would be a massive coup for Die Borussen as they would win the UEFA Champions League, eliminating notable opponents such as Auxerre in the quarter finals, Manchester United in the semi-finals and finally Juventus in the final where Dortmund would lift the trophy after a convincing 3-1 victory.
After just over a year in Germany, Lambert would return to Scotland with a two-million-pound bid coming from Celtic in November 1997. Leaving in November was no issue due to transfer windows not being made compulsory until the 2002-03 season. He would end up playing for the Glasgow side for a total of seven seasons, winning two Scottish Cups, two League Cups and four Scottish Premier League titles. Lambert would also captain his side to the 2003 UEFA Cup Final, losing to a very talented Jose Mourinho Porto team who would go on to lift the Champions League the following season.
This jersey is from Lambert’s second season at the Westfalenstadion where their only trophy would be the Inter-continental Cup, now known as the FIFA Club World Cup. A disappointing league campaignwould see Dortmund finish tenth in the Bundesliga as FC Kaiserslautern lifted their fourth top division title. They were without Lambert for most of this campaign after Lambert left for Scotland. Dortmund also lost the Super Cup to the Winner of the Cup Winners’ Cup, Barcelona, 3-1 on aggregate. They would also be beaten by the other Spanish League giants Real Madrid 2-0 in the semi-finals of the Champions League, Real Madrid would go on to lift the trophy.
While that season may not have been a success for Borussia Dortmund, this jersey is a masterstroke from Nike, mainly due to the yellow and black that makesthis Dortmund kit so instantly recognisable but also from just how simple the kit is. Mainly down to the thin white stripe under the collar neatly separating the black and bold yellow. The black, yellow and grey trim around the collar is also copied around both sleeves with the same grey at the front of the neck forming a ‘Y’ shape keeping everything coordinated and overall a beautiful kit with a beautiful history.