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When Kappa was making Manchester City's jerseys

Two crazy seasons through relegations and promotions

When Kappa was making Manchester City's jerseys Two crazy seasons through relegations and promotions

Manchester City has not always been covered in gold, even before President Khaldun al-Mubarak's miraculous strikes such as Grealish or Haaland, the Citizens - like all teams - have had many ups and downs throughout their history. This was in the 1990s, when the Manchester blue were going through one of their moments of decline, bobbing up and down the Premier League like a spinning top gone mad, never managing to find continuity in terms of results. And in this ups and downs from one category to another it was Kappa that accompanied the now the Pep Guardiola coached team. The Italian brand born in Turin in those years had a prominent role both on the field, sponsoring the likes of Barcelona, Ajax, and Juventus, and off, more specifically thanks to the hottest fringe of organized English fans, who were obsessed with the aesthetics of Italian sportswear brands. 

Unfortunately, in spite of the great jerseys delivered by the Turin company, the collaboration between Kappa and Manchester City did not go beyond two seasons, breaking off soon after promotion to what is the English lower division, the Championship. In fact, in 1997, the year the Citizens abandoned the iconic English brand Umbro to switch to the italian brand, Manchester experienced one of its most disastrous seasons, slipping unexpectedly into the English third division. If, however, sportingly the players did not actually shine on the pitch for their results, at least aesthetically Kappa did an impeccable job, delivering five jerseys that remain in the history of every Citizens fan.

As with Barcelona, Bilbao, and the other teams sponsored at the time, for Manchester City, Kappa had made a light blue jersey with side bands with what would shortly thereafter become the brand's most iconic template. A template also used for the blue and white away jersey and the two goalkeeper jerseys, respectively, yellow and orange with blue inserts.

In the second and final season, however, everything changed, and the Citizens thanks to a victory streak returned to the English second tier. The first jersey, including the one worn by the goalkeepers, remained the same, faithful to the template that already began to be a big hit even with England fans. What changed was only the away jersey, on which Kappa used the Milan-inspired stripes, but transformed the usual red with a bright yellow. That in fact will be the only year in the club's history where Manchester City will adopt stripes in this unusual color scheme.

A design that PUMA just these days brought back into vogue, proposing it in the away jersey for next season and exploiting it with the other top team sponsored by the German brand, AC Milan. The following year, however, Kappa will give way to Reebok, a brand on the rise during those years, capable of signing various English teams and footballers, and which will accompany the Manchester team until its definitive return to the Premier League and the historic change of ownership that completely overturned the team's identity.