Barcelona unveil new gold away kit inspired by Olympic glory

Barcelona have unveiled their away kit for the 2022-23 season which, like the home jersey, is inspired by the 1992 Olympic Games, but they’ve taken it to the next level.

The design of the new alternate uniform also draws influence from the Summer Games staged 30 years ago, which were held in Barcelona and saw the city undergo a major transformation as a raft of new buildings, venues and public spaces were created.

While the home kit paid homage to the city’s metamorphosis, the away kit is a nod to the ultimate prize on offer to those athletes competing at the Olympics: the gold medals handed out to winners.

As such, the shirt — modelled by Barca stars including Maria “Mapi” Leon and reigning women’s Ballon d’Or holder Alexia Putellas — is a burnished gold colour.

According to manufacturers Nike, this is in testament to the “tenacity, ambition and effort” required to top the podium. It also features the five colours of the famous Olympic rings on trim of the sleeves.

The ruffled texture knitted into the material is actually a map of the city of Barcelona after its Olympic facelift and includes the Eixample, Montjuic and Barceloneta districts.

After finishing 13 points behind champions Real Madrid in LaLiga and ending last season without a trophy, Barca will no doubt be hoping that their new away kit helps bring in a new golden era at Camp Nou.

Many clubs have attempted the same method to manifesting success by releasing gold kits, though not all of them have been able to live up to the audacious approach.

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It made Alessandro Del Piero look like a million bucks but Juventus’ gold away kit will forever be synonymous with an underwhelming season. The Old Lady finished runners-up behind rivals Inter Milan in Serie A while also suffering a club-record streak of seven consecutive league games without a win between April and May. It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, as the veteran Del Piero wore the gold kit as he single-handedly annihilated Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the Champions League group stage.

After finishing runners-up to Manchester United in both the Premier League and FA Cup in 2000-01, Arsenal ditched their silver-medal mindset and opted to step out in a brash gold kit the following season. It certainly seemed to pay off as the Gunners usurped reigning champions United to claim a domestic league and cup double, with Robert Pires among the Gunners who glittered in gold.

An attempt to recapture the glory was then in 2015-16 with a new gold away kit inspired by the exploits of 2001-02 but the old magic could not be rekindled and sure enough the club finished the campaign empty-handed after failing to both defend their FA Cup and keep pace with shock champions Leicester City in the title chase.

Manchester United (2001-02)

Obviously a good year for gold kits, United launched their own dazzling design in the same season which also had the additional quirk of being reversible. One side of the jersey was white and the other was a pale gold hue, thus combining the club’s away and third shirt into one. However, the uniform didn’t deliver Sir Alex Ferguson’s side from a wretched campaign in which they finishing third in the Premier League after also suffering premature exits from the Champions League and both domestic cups.

Unperturbed by the auspicious omens. United brought the gold away kit back for 2019-20 though a modern overhaul saw a metallic snakeskin print added into the mix. The tone was officially referred to as “Savannah,” though it may as well have been bronze given that United finished third in the league while also being dumped out of the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League at the semifinal stage.

Barcelona (2001-03)

Barcelona themselves are no strangers to a golden away kit with the best example — at least from an aesthetic standpoint — being the 2001-02 panelled kit worn by the likes of Rivaldo, Javier Saviola and Xavi as the Catalans finished a meagre fourth in LaLiga. The shiny uniform was then kept but demoted to third kit for 2002-03 when the addition of Juan Roman Riquelme and a young Andres Iniesta to their ranks saw Barca finish sixth in the league — thus signalling the long overdue scrapping of their cursed strip.


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