Real Madrid have completed their 2022-23 collection with a new third kit that is intended as an homage to the changing face of the Bernabeu as the grand renovation of the club’s famous old stadium continues through the season.
The kit is predominantly black with a pulsing lime trim, which supposedly reflects the colours of the stadium on a European match night — the black being the evening sky over Madrid and the bright green being the floodlit pitch.
The rippled graphic on the jersey then picks out the modern waves and lines of the overhauled Bernabeu architecture as it glints in the darkness, with metallic-look crests and badges completing the glimmering nocturnal look.
Real Madrid’s new third kit 🤩🔥 pic.twitter.com/L5SdThfRBR
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 19, 2022
Real Madrid will wear the new gear in LaLiga for the first time vs. Celta Vigo on Saturday (stream live on ESPN+ in the U.S., Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.)
Elsewhere in Europe, some top clubs have proved to their contemporaries that it is still possible to release a svelte, understated and desirable third kit in this day and age, but others have gone a bit a wild in their choices. You be the judge.
It’s a challenge to make rosy pink look good but Arsenal have used the heraldic “ermine” pattern found on their historic club crest as a jumping off point and cranked out a beautiful blushing third kit in pastel shades.
Our Arsenal 22/23 third kit has arrived! 🦩
Available now at Arsenal Direct, https://t.co/OblCU7YfdX and selected retailers 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 29, 2022
Inspired by the colour of playing cards (yes, seriously!), Bayern’s new black strip is accented with contrasting monotone red trim. Exquisitely slinky, the Bavarians’ change kit is almost certain to shimmer moodily under the floodlights while providing an ace in pack on European nights.
Bayern-Herz ist Trumpf! ❤️
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) August 11, 2022
Built different ✨ pic.twitter.com/n8BYLupDcN
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 11, 2022
In fairness, Spurs’ new blue and navy ripple print design is an improvement on their truly, truly horrendous purple third kit from last season, but that really is the definition of damning it with faint praise. Hypnotic for all the wrong reasons.
The shirt is supposed to resemble the famous Mancunian worker bee, but that doesn’t explain why City also chose to throw an aggressively fluorescent shade of yellow and black “spray paint” effect stripes into the equation.
Shop our 2022/23 third kit now ⤵️
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 4, 2022
Manchester United‘s effort is unlikely to turn their rivals green with envy. The jersey is supposedly directly inspired by the fashion culture of the 1990s, though there are also elements of Manchester United’s “graphic identity” which is represented in the all-over geometric print pattern.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 12, 2022
If you hadn’t already noticed, it’s also the colour of a particularly toxic Amazonian tree frog. No wonder Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t quite bring himself to smile after being roped into modelling the hideous thing.