It is that time again. Just as we have started to get used to the look of the current FC Bayern München Trikot, a new design is already out. After this year’s hit-and-missed stripy effort, the look for 2018/19 is a lot more classical, but with a retro twist.
The current FC Bayern München shirt will not go down as the best-loved design. Ostensibly modelled on the classic design first sported the 1970s, the addition of all the labels and the black-outlined sponsor logo made it look far too busy. Messy, even.
The 1990s, revisited
For 2018/19, the designers have consulted their history books. Gone are the bold white stripes. It is place, a memorable design that takes its cues from the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Back then, geometric patterns were all the rage. Nobody can forget the green Auswärtstrikot by die Mannschaft worn at Italia 1990. Or the distinctive orange Netherlands shirt sported at Euro 1988. This kits that will be worn by the German team at this summer’s World Cup has taken its cue from these designs. The green away shirt, while different from its 1990 equivalent, is more than a clear nod to the eye-catching garment worn by Lothar Matthäus and co.
It is the same with the new Bayern home shirt, a dark red number defined by a regular yet satisfyingly random pattern. First, it looks like a series of peaks and troughs. Then, you can see triangles. Then a series of rhombuses that resemble the Bavarian flag. Sort of.
Neuer Trikot Bayern München 2018/19 bei Adidas. ESPECTACULAR. 😍 pic.twitter.com/cMIlyoPqLl
— MinutoFinal (@MinutoFinaI) May 8, 2018
After that (and usually after a few beers), you can see a design that looks like your Opa’s old tank top. That distinctive Argyle pattern that was usually complemented with a pair of matching socks.
Sometimes it takes a while for a new design to grow on me, but with this, I liked it from the start. I am a massive fan of this retro style, as it offers plenty without going over the top. Like most Adidas designs, it has that perfect symmetry about it.
I am not massively keen on the red collar not matching the dark blue sleeve edges, but this is just a minor quibble. It is not a bad design at all, and a definite step up on the busy 2017/18 version.
After many years sporting the same name and number font, there is a very small change. Anybody who is not a font geek (or simply does not have the time on their hands to worry about such nonsense) will not notice the difference. Then there is the club name on the back, which sees the addition of “FC” before “Bayern München”.
A case of the blues
Some Bayern fans have expressed dismay at the the choice of dark blue shorts to accompany this new red shirt. For these traditionalists, it should be red all the way. As designs go however, dark blue shorts are not new. Back in the early 2000s, Bayern sported this same colour combination.
— Sky Sport News HD (@SkySportNewsHD) May 13, 2018
Interestingly, both new coach Niko Kovač and his brother Robert (now is assistant in Munich) were Bayern players at the time.
I do not think that fans need to be too worried about the dark blue. Teams are no longed wedded to the advertised colour combinations, and it will not be long until we see this new red shirt teamed up with matching shorts. (The socks are also red, with dark blue tops).
For me, perhaps the most disappointing part of the shirt is the secondary sponsor patch on the sleeve. Previously, this was an additional option, but now it appears to be standard. There will be those fans who do not wish to advertise Qatar Airways, and one can only hope that there will be an option to buy the new design without it.
All Bundesliga clubs are now wearing sleeve sponsor patches. Qatar issues aside, one has to hope that this will end there. Part of the charm of a well-designed Trikot is its simplicity, and the last thing anybody wants is to have it end up looking like a billboard.
You just need to look at the kits sported in the French Ligue Un or the Austrian Bundesliga to see just how bad this look can be.