BARCELONA have broken 44 years of protocol by releasing a WHITE away kit for their 2023-24 season.
The Catalan club typically stay clear of the colour scheme given its association with fierce rivals Real Madrid.
But there is a good reason behind this season’s white away strip.
The kit is inspired by Barca legend Johan Cruyff, who captained the team the last time the team donned a white away kit.
The shirt features a classic white design with red and blue stripes on the cuffs which mimic the captain’s armband Cruyff wore in the late 70s.
The club wrote on their website: “Barcelona introduces their second kit for the 2023/24 season, which has an innovative design that pays tribute to the man who developed Barca’s playing style, Johan Cruyff.”
The statement continues: “This isn’t the first time Barca has used the colour for their kits. Players like Alcántara, Samitier, César and Kubala, among others, already wore a white jersey between the 1920s and 1970s.
“When it comes to Cruyff – who developed a new brand of playing style for FC Barcelona – he also wore white on several occasions, like on 1 March 1978 during a UEFA Cup game against Aston Villa, when he captained and led the team.”
Barcelona have resisted the urge to go back to their white away kit origins over the years – so as not to anger fans that believe it to be the colour of Real Madrid.
Instead they have favoured yellow, orange, grey and blue away kits in recent seasons.
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Barcelona announced the new kit with a tongue in cheek video on Twitter that featured President Joan Laporta opening a cardboard box with “It’s just a box” written on it.
Laporta has a surprised reaction when he pulls the shirt out of it which likely reflects what many supporters felt when the club unveiled a kit in the colour of their rivals.
But social media reaction to the kit was generally positive.
One fan tweeted a picture of Cruyff in the 70s kit with a number of love heart emojis as caption – clearly appreciating the throwback vibe of the kit.
Another fan replied: “Love it.”
A third fan replied “We wear white better” – in reference to rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona will be hoping the kit is a good luck charm as they look to retain the LaLiga title and also return to Champions League action in the 2023-24 season.