Pretty much every other football club on Earth would be just fine with their first trophy-less season since 2007-08. Not FC Barcelona. Since the Pep Guardiola era began in ’08, Barca have rattled off five straight seasons with some form of hardware. This includes 4 La Liga titles, 2 Copa del Reys, and 2 UEFA Champions League wins in 2009 and 2011. It’s an understatement to say this group of players and fans have gotten used to being world-beaters. However, now they are coming off a season where they failed to win at home vs. Atletico with the league title on the line, and a loss in the Copa del Rey final vs. eternal rivals Real Madrid, thanks to that mercurial goal from Gareth Bale.
If they win those two matches, things could have been different. But they didn’t. Barca was not the Barca we are used to last season. Manager Tata Martino resigned after just one season due to the lack of usual success. A couple days ago, they signed Luis Enrique, former Barca captain who played 207 matches for them from 1996-2004. It was the move of a team trying to instill club pride by bringing in one of their own, as opposed to Martino, who had no previous Barca experience. With a new coach and new goaltender in former Borussia Monchengladbach keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Barcelona will be coming on strong next season, despite the aging core of star players (Puyol just retired, Xavi and Iniesta are both north of 30). In addition to the new blood arriving, they will also be sporting a fresh home kit next season from Nike.
While the overall look is strikingly similar to last season’s, this isn’t a bad thing. First of all, it looks sharp and possibly a bit more old-fashioned with its wider stripes of blue and red. The color tones are also slightly darker this time, and the collar is a dark blue instead of the bright yellow collar of the 2013-14 shirt.
Nike have also designed the home jersey with an open V-neck collar that has the Senyera flag inside. What is this Senyera thing, you ask? It’s the flag of Catalonia, the Spanish autonomous community, whose capital is Barcelona. The colors were used quite obviously on last season’s away jersey. On this home strip, the bright yellow and red of the Senyera collar complements the crest just as well as it contrasts the darker colors of the jersey.
Inside the back of the neck is the classic FC Barcelona motto, “Mes que un club” (More than a club) with their founding year of “1899″, right next to it. Rounding out the kit are blue shorts with a thin red stripe, as well as blue socks with a red band at the top. Nike’s patented high-quality apparel technology is built into the shirt too, making this another excellent addition to the Barcelona jersey canon.