Top Five Calcio Shirts: Emmet Gates

We at The Gentleman Ultra are fascinated by football shirts, especially Italian football shirts. Many of the greatest jerseys ever made originated from Serie A.

Next in our series is site Editor, Emmet Gates, who has picked his top five shirts.

5. Parma 1995/97 Home

Parma 1995/97

This is peak Parma to some people, when the side from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy regularly traded blows with the biggest sides not just in Italy, but across Europe.

It was also in this jersey that they came closet to winning Serie A. In 1996-97 they eventually finished second, behind Marcello Lippi’s Juventus side. However, they did secure Champions League football for the following campaign.

Emmet: Growing up in the ‘90s, I became infatuated with sponsors on shirts. Even now I could rattle off sponsors from most teams from that era without giving much thought, but could sparsely name you a few from a decade ago.The Parmalat sponsor on the Parma shirts became almost mythical to me. I had no idea what Parmalat was then. But the design of their logo always stuck out to me. Parma’s shirts, pretty much like the team in the ‘90s, could do no wrong. It was a toss up between this one and the 1998-99 home, but I plumped for this one. I have this shirt with Zola on the back. I’ve always loved Parma’s colours – the blue, yellow and white.

Modelled by: Gianfranco Zola, Hristo Stoichkov, Massimo Crippa, Enrico Chiesa, Dino Baggio

Parma in 1995/97: Serie A, 6th & 2nd. Coppa Italia, second round (x2). Cup Winners’ Cup, quarter finals. UEFA Cup, second round.

4. Fiorentina 1997/98 Home

Edmundo and Batistuta

Despite winning next-to-nothing in the 1990s, it was a decade that’s fondly remembered by fans of La Viola. Gabriel Batistuta was at his destructive pomp, scoring goals for fun and reducing usually unflappable goalkeepers to wilting messes once they locked eyes with Batigol.

Batistuta, sprinkled with touches of class from Manuel Rui Costa and the unpredictability of Brazilian Edmundo made Fiorentina many peoples’ netural side during the decade.

Oh, and the purple shirts didn’t do any harm neither.

Emmet: Does anything scream more ‘90s than Fiorentina + Nintendo + Gabriel Batistuta? Many prefer the 1998-99 shirt, but I’ve always favoured this one. I think it’s due to the yellow patterns around the shoulders and sleeves, plus the name and number set for this season was superior. Many of La Viola’s shirts from the 1990s were home runs, but this one stands top of the tree for me. It’s on my shopping list, but the prices for it in recent years have skyrocketed, so it may just be out of reach. Nevertheless, it’s still glorious.

Modelled by: Gabriel Batistuta, Manuel Rui Costa, Edmundo

Fiorentina in 1997/98: Serie A, 5th. Coppa Italia, quarter finals.

3. Napoli 1987/88 Home

Giordano, Careca and Maradona

Ma-Gi-Ca. The glory years of both Diego Maradona and Napoli, when the Argentine genius transformed Napoli into the best team in Italy, and upset the status quo.

Kit manufacture NR could do no wrong with their simplistic shirt designs in the ’80s, and this was no exception.

A stylish, but simple shirt that remains among the finest not just of the decade, but of all time.

Emmet: Peak Napoli, and Diego at his unparalleled pomp: Simply a beautiful combination. The Azzurri blue is marvellous here, and the anorak in me always loves when teams in Italy do the domestic double and get both the Scudetto shield and the Coppa Italia Coccarda to wear the following season. Luckily I have one of these shirts, thanks to Damien of’s great collaboration with NR. Napoli didn’t win anything this season, sadly. But they should’ve won an award for best shirt.

Modelled by: Diego Armando Maradona, Careca, Ciro Ferrara.

Napoli in 1987/88: Serie A, 2nd. Coppa Italia, quarter finals. European Cup, second round.

2. Sampdoria 1992-94 Home

Platt and Gullit

You really can’t go wrong with a Sampdoria shirt from this era, or any era. The club was at its peak, having won an unlikely Scudetto in 1990/91, and reached the final of the European Cup in 1991/92.

A team that had stars right through the spine of the side. They might have sold Gianluca Vialli to Juventus in the summer of 1992, but they still retained a very good group of players.

They also secured their last piece of silverware wearing this shirt, the Coppa Italia in 1994.

Emmet: The most beautiful shirt of all time? Probably. When we talk about the ‘blue’ in shirts, surely there’s no finer shade than Samp’s? Many like the Scudetto-winning season shirt, or the following campaign, but I’ve always liked this one, when Samp had a swashbuckling side mixed with young players and battle-hardened veterans. This shirt is also on the ‘list’, but it’s ultra rare to find in very good condition.

Modelled by: Roberto Mancini, David Platt, Ruud Gullit, Sinisa Mihaljovic.

Sampdoria in 1992-94: Serie A, 7th & 3rd. Coppa Italia, second round & winners.

  1. Juventus 1995/96 Away
Juventus in the final of the Champions League

One of the most iconic shirts of the Football Italia years, and the shirt worn the last time Juventus won the Champions League.

Juve had won the domestic double the season before, but had meekly surrendered both by concentrating on winning a second European crown. They eventually saw off Louis Van Gaal’s young Ajax side on penalties in Rome.

It was also Fabrizio Ravanelli and Gianluca Vialli’s last games in a Juve shirt, as both were let go that summer.

Emmet: The one and only away shirt on the list. This choice is more sentimental than looking at it through the cold eye of aesthetics. Juve of course won the Champions League in this shirt, and the two stars on the shoulders became iconic over the next several years. From 1994 to 1999 they embraced this template, mostly on their away shirts. Like I said earlier, I’m a sucker for Scudetto and Coppa Italia badges on the one shirt, and Juve wore them both this season after the double in 1994/95. In truth, it was a tie-up between this shirt and the 1997/98 home, but this got the nod due to Juve actually winning a European final, for a change.

I love shirts from the ‘90s, what can I say?

Modelled by: Alessandro Del Piero, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Gianluca Vialli.

Juventus in 1995/96: Serie A, 2nd. Coppa Italia, third round. Champions League, winners.