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Love letter to Genoa's jersey

Hours before the Derby della Lanterna

Love letter to Genoa's jersey Hours before the Derby della Lanterna

Football shirts are something that you have to take seriously. Especially is the shirt in Genoa’s and since you can remember, you’ve been trained to “love and honor her all the days of your life”. Because yes, supporting the oldest football club in Italy is something very similar to being married, and it’s not a case if one of the most popular sayings among Rossoblù (red and blue) supporters is “The more you betray me, the more I love you”. No Genoa fan, in fact, deceives himself believing that his love story with the Grifone could be painless. Nevertheless, you won’t find supporters just as much bonded to the team of their city in any other part of the world.

And even if the Genoa supporters keep saying that their loyalty only belongs to “Genoa’s shirt”, they also are attached, as every other supporter in the world, to the players, coaches, victories, and traditions that wrote the history of the club. The history of Genoa’s shirt begins before any other - at least in Italy - a passes through the characters that left an indelible mark in the memories of the Rossoblù supporters. Also the memories of whom, just like, couldn’t live some of the legendary stories of the oldest club in Italy on their skins. And so, hours before the 115th Derby della Lanterna against Sampdoria, the most beautiful shirts, for various reasons, of Genoa 1893.


1991/92, Home and Away


1992 represents a milestone in the history of every Genoa supporter, prescinding from when he was born. The luckiest lived it on their skins, while others, like me, lived it through VHS, DVDs, Youtube or through the words of parents and grandparents. On March 4 an 18, 1992, in fact, the Grifone defeated two times in a row Ian Rush and Steve McManaman’s Liverpool. First with a 2-0 win at Luigi Ferraris (or “Marassi”, you chose), with goals by Valeriano Fiorin and Claudio Branco - a free-kick that become a legend, just like another one against Sampdoria - and then a suffered 2-1 win in Anfield Road, with a double by Pato Aguilera. That game, in particular, is probably considered as the best and most important ever played in the history of Genoa, that also became the first Italian team to win a game in Anfield Road in an official match.

So, that shirt made by Errea, with the iconic red and blue quarters, holds a special place in every Genoa supporters’ hearts. For the great sports achievements, sure, but also because of we all picture it on our beloved captain Gianluca Signorini, passed away to soon because of ALS, but always in our hearts.


1982-88, Home


About the teams that played between 1982 and '88, I’ve no particular memory, nor interesting anecdotes, but the shirts made by adidas for those years are still some of the most gorgeous ever made. Maybe because of my generation - even if, of course, “every Genoa’s shirt is beautiful” - lived an era of aesthetic poorness. That adidas shirt, though, is a proper gem that I hope I will have someday.


2008/09, Home


In the history of Genoa, there’s a particular season that is considered by the younger supporters as the modern 1992 (read above). Of course, we’re talking about the season that is called “the year of Thiago Motta and Diego Milito”, and that says it all about who were the protagonists of that championship. Actually, for that season when we almost qualified for the Champions League many other people deserve some credit, like coach Gian Piero Gasperini and many other players that played a marginal but important role.

But the front cover - that is the reason why this shirt holds a special place in my heart - has to be for Diego Milito’s game against Sampdoria in the derbies. Four goals, six points, the city supremacy and those who don’t remember Sky commentator Maurizio Compagnoni’s “Two against… Zero”, can’t call themselves Genoa supporters.


2015/16, Third


In the aesthetic poorness that I mentioned early, there still is a light that shines brighter than the others. I’m talking about the third shirt that Lotto made in 2015, celebrating the first Scudetto in the history of Italian football, won by Genoa on May 8, 1898. For that occasion, Lotto realized a uniform based on the first sentence of Genoa’s anthem: “Coi pantaloni rossi e la maglietta blu / With red shorts and blue shirt”. In my opinion, one of the best jerseys of the last 15 years.


2005/06, Home

This shirt has to provoke mixing feelings for us, as is the one Genoa used to have for the season in the third tier, after the judiciary procedure that got us relegated after we were promoted to Serie A. The shirt itself is one of the many produced by Errea for the Grifone, with the only particularity of having the watermarked symbol of the Lanterna (the symbol of Genova) on the front part. For me, though, this shirt represents a moment of proud, because I’ve never felt so close to my team as I’ve felt in that moment.

That year I signed up for my first season ticket, I was part of the 12 thousand that went to the old Delle Alpi in Turin for the game against Pizzighettone and I also was among the ones that sighed of relief after the playoff final win against Monza. An infernal year, among disqualifications, defeated by forfeit, and never-ending sufferings. Classic Genoa season. 


Bonus: 2004/05, Home / 110 and 120 Anniversary Celebratory shirts


A little extra to add some particular shirt of the Rossoblù history. The first, the one used during the 2004/05 season when Serse Cosmi led us to the promotion to Serie A (then relegation, see above) is one of the most particular worn by Genoa in the last years, as Errea chose for a particular color palette, darkening both red (almost garnet) and blue. I don’t have vivid memories, but I’m sure a lot of people would’ve protested.

The other two are celebratory shirts, respectively for the 110th (2003) and 120th (2013) anniversaries, inspired by old Genoa’s jerseys. For me, they are gorgeous, and in fact, I have 2013's one framed at home. To “lover and honor her all the days of my life”.