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If there’s one thing that Manchester United have delivered since the start of the Premier League era, it’s top-quality football shirts.
Whilst many of United’s home shirts began to dip in quality alongside United’s poor form in the 2010s, our time in the Premier League has still produced some undeniable bangers. On that note, and with there being no clear date on when our next set of shirts will be released, it’s time to look back at the best home shirts the club has produced over the years.
5 - 2000-2002 - Bald Becks and His Free-Kicks:
Some shirts simply look good. Others bring you back to better times just by a picture alone. Some however…some are made brilliant by the players that wore them, the 2000-2002 home shirt is absolutely the latter.
A simple shirt by design, it kicked off the Vodafone era of Manchester United shirts. Yet despite this, it’ll forever be remembered for David Beckham and those unbelievable free-kicks. Head shaved, goal scoring and crosses curling, Becks would slot home eight of his twenty-six Manchester United free-kicks in this shirt.
Truth be told, if it wasn’t for Beckham, this shirt would perhaps be less fondly remembered. It came at a point where United were not necessarily at their best, still managing to win the Premier League in the 00/01 season, but in a post-treble period, the foot was starting to come off the gas.
4 - 1998 - 2000 - Umbro’s Finest Hour:
From the Umbro trim running down the sleeves to the zip collar, design wise this was a masterpiece. A shirt worn at arguably the very peak of Manchester United’s Premier League tenure, across the two league seasons, United would lose just six games, winning the title on back-to-back occasions.
One of two of Paul Scholes’ career hat-tricks would be scored in this shirt, as United beat West Ham 7-1 at the start of April, 2000. A special performance from a special player, the win would place United within touching distance of the title they’d eventually win.
A shirt made fit for a king(s), it was cruelly denied the right to be worn in the Champions League during United’s finest hour due to UEFA’s rulings on sponsorships. It was however, worn in both United’s Premier League-winning match against Spurs on the final day of the season, as well as the FA Cup final victory against Newcastle.
3 - 1997 - 2000 UCL - ‘The Treble In Spain…’
And speaking of United’s finest UCL moment, that night in Barcelona against Bayern may well never be topped. We all know how it played out, the late drama from Sheringham and then Solskjaer signing off on a truly special Champions League run.
Truth be told, the final was just the tip of the iceberg though, as United fought off the very best in world football. Across the group stage and knockouts, United would play the reigning champions of Spain, Italy & Denmark in Barcelona, Juventus & Brondby, aswell as top sides in Inter Milan and Bayern; yet United remained unbeaten from start to finish in the competition, looking stylish whilst doing so.
Arguably the shirt visually isn’t as nice as our fourth-placed entry. But, shirts are often made by the moments they’re worn in, and with few moments quite as special in football history as the 1999 Champions League, it’s hard to argue with our placement of this one.
2 - 2007 - 2009 - ‘That Night In Moscow We Were Champions Again’:
Quite possibly the last time Manchester United had a truly great home shirt, the 2007-2009 shirt also marked the last time the club would use the same home shirt for two years in a row.
The shirt was worn as United reached back-to-back Champions League finals, including in 2008 as the club dramatically defeated Chelsea via penalties to secure their most recent Champions League trophy.
The shirt will also be remembered as the last home shirt that Cristiano Ronaldo would wear before his then world record departure to Real Madrid. Ronaldo’s efforts when wearing the shirt would win him a Ballon D'or, the first time a United player had won the award since George Best in 1968.
A decade and a half on, it remains till this day one of the finest shirts the Premier League and Manchester United fans have ever seen.
1 - 1994 - 1996 - Old Trafford’s Finest, Cantona and Those Collars:
When it comes to the 94/96 shirt, the reason it tops our list can be broken down into three simple reasons.
The first reason is simple, Eric Cantona and those rolled up collars. The coolest player to ever walk onto the Old Trafford turf deserved an equally cool shirt, and wearing the 94/96 home shirt Cantona would score iconic goals against Manchester City and Arsenal just to name a few.
Secondly, the look of the shirt alone would easily send it straight to the very top of any list. With the image of Old Trafford on the shirt, the aforementioned smart collar and the iconic Sharp sponsor. It’s 90s kit design at its very best.
Finally, as has been a theme for many of the shirts on this list, a great shirt needs special moments to make it truly iconic. The 94/96 shirt has these big moments in spades. Whether it’s five-nil wins over Manchester City, and Nottingham Forest (the latter of which secured the 1995 Premier League title), or the record-setting nine-nil win over Ipswich Town.
Whether it’s home, away, third, or goalkeeper, the 94/96 home shirt is unquestionably Manchester United’s finest shirt since the Premier League began.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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