It’s hard to dispute that this season Nike have outdone themselves when it comes to the Nerazzurri. The home kit, while initially raising a few eyebrows with its inclusion of diagonal stripes, is likeable and fresh. And speaking of freshness, the gorgeous mint shade of the away strip brings a new colour to the Inter palette accompanied by familiar golden detailing. Not bad, Nike. Not bad at all.
But in the extravagant world of modern football two kits isn’t enough. Sure, it makes little practical sense. Just try to find a Serie A team with whom both the new strips would clash - Lazio is perhaps the closest if one really pushes the definition of ‘kit clash’ to the limit.
Putting aside utilitarian frustration, the bonus of this is some stunning shirts down the years. And with recent leaks suggesting a popular black-yellow scheme is set to return alongside retro Nike branding in an upcoming release, there’s no better time to do what all football hipsters love to do; stare in amazement at outrageous third kits from the nineties, forever bridging the gap between shock horror and unbridled beauty.
Where the madness truly began. For better or for worse. This was the third kit of choice for Inter right up until the end of the 1994/1995 season. Sure, it might look like an IKEA uniform crossed with a 3D chessboard, but at least it’s unique, right guys? Guys?
It’s everything you aren’t meant to do with a football shirt. The dear-god-Umbro-what-were-you-thinking green with the uncomfortable textured stripes. The blinding yellow detailing with the contrasting drab grey collar. It shouldn’t exist. It makes zero sense. IT. IS. AMAZING.
Yellow takes centre stage again, this time to greater success. The two black stripes adorned with gold words of ‘F.C. Internazionale’ in the fanciest font imaginable almost gives off ancient Egyptian vibes. It definitely divides opinion, but you won’t risk blinding anyone at five-a-side by wearing this one like you would with the *shudders* 1991 shirt.
Now we’re talking. Some say that Alessandro Nesta still shivers at the sight of hula hoops after the mercurial Ronaldo bullied him wearing this hooped number in the 1998 UEFA Cup Final. There’s no surprise it’s a much sought-after piece for collectors and Interisti alike. Just look at the thing.
Enter Nike, and my word what an entrance. One of the cleanest Inter shirts in recent history, donned by everyone’s favourite ponytailed trequartista. The darker, more muted shade of blue compared to the home kit works a charm. Potentially one of Nike’s greatest contributions in the 20-year partnership so far.
If we’re to believe the leaks, the newest addition to the dysfunctional but lovable family of Inter third kits should be inspired by some of these past examples, particularly the sacred 97/98 shirt:
Once it’s official, we have the finishing touch to our array of Inter outfits for this crucial campaign. How often will we see it in action? Scarcely. Is it necessary? Not at all. Am I going to buy it on release? Of course.