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Manchester United wore red shorts for the first time since 1957

It happened last night against Galatasaray in the Champions League.

Manchester United wore red shorts for the first time since 1957 It happened last night against Galatasaray in the Champions League.

Manchester United are on the brink of elimination from the Champions League group stage after a 3-3 draw against Galatasaray. But regardless of the final result, yesterday's match at the Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi in Istanbul brought with it a major aesthetic novelty for the Red Devils. For the first time in its history, Manchester United wore a white shirt with red shorts. An absolute novelty in terms of style, dictated as always in such cases by UEFA regulations, which prohibit two teams from wearing the same colour on the pitch when it comes to shorts and socks. A rule that leads to inconsistencies, such as at Stamford Bridge, where nobody but Chelsea is allowed to wear white socks. For this reason, the team coached by Erik ten Hag was faced with a breach of style, as Galatasaray did not return the favour from the first leg when United changed their home kit to allow the Turkish side to play in all white.

Having opted against the green second kit with black shorts and in favour of the white third kit, United also decided not to revert to the black shorts with red detailing seen just days earlier in the league game against Everton at Goodison Park to avoid the white shorts and socks of the Toffees' home kit. Instead, surprisingly, they opted for unprecedented red shorts, which are essentially unseen in any of the kits adidas have produced for this season. A twist that was studied closely, however, as the red colour of the shorts was the same as that used for the details of the white jersey. And that this was not a spontaneous decision, but a well-considered one, is shown by the fact that Manchester United's U19 team, who played Galatasaray in the Youth League a few hours earlier, also wore the same white kit with red shorts.

In any case, the red shorts are not an absolute novelty in Manchester United's history. As the Museum of Jerseys has reconstructed, in the 1956/57 season the Red Devils wore an all-red kit, similar to the one Liverpool would adopt years later, both in the double-header against Real Madrid in the then Champions Cup and in an earlier league game against Bolton Wanderers. Legend has it that for the latter game, Matt Busby, Manchester United's coach at the time, persuaded Bolton to abandon their classic dark shorts in favour of an all- white kit similar to the one worn by Real Madrid. But apart from these precedents, there had been no red shorts in Manchester United's history until last night. On the other hand, it is not the first time this season that teams have deviated from the official models for certain matches: Inter Milan, for example, wore a revised version of the white away kit for the match against Torino on 21 October, with unprecedented blue shorts with white details.