My Favourite Empoli Football Kits

(Posted on 16/08/21)

 

Empoli F.C. are a small club from Tuscany, Italy (30km from Florence). Formed in 1920, they are only one of seven provincial teams to have played in Serie A, and in a remarkable season in 2007/08 they reached the UEFA Cup. Players such as Di Natale, Maccarrone, Marchiso and managers including Sarri, Cagni and Giampaolo have all had successful spells at the club. In the latest 2020/21 campaign they topped the Serie B table and will play in Serie A for the 14th time. Here I attempt to list the top 5 kits from the 100+ year history of Empoli F.C., using Carlo Fontanelli’s Brividi D’Azzurro book as my bible.

 

Empoli 2020 100th Anniversary Special Kit

 Empoli 2020 100th Anniversary Kit

Gli Azzurri (The Blues) is the famous nickname of Empoli, but despite this, they competed in red (the colour adorning the Tuscan flag) during their formative years. This special jersey was released last season to celebrate Empoli’s 100th year anniversary and the team achieved promotion to Serie A in the same year. Italian football is notoriously volatile and clubs go bankrupt and disappear all the time, so although this shirt is elegant and understated, the significance of the club being alive for its 100th year is the reason it makes the list.

 

Empoli 1962-63 Home Kit 

Empoli 1962-63 Home Kit

Until the late 70’s/early 80’s, kits were typically plain with no sponsorship. When I first viewed this kit it immediately made me wish for those simpler times. The deep blue colour and the large club badge is simple, but it also stirs up intense feelings of pride and emotion. There is no distraction with sponsors or crazy patterns – the club’s colour and crest is all that matters. The quality of the shirt helped to inspire Empoli to finish top of Serie D Girone D that year.

 

Empoli 1991-92 Home Kit by Adidas

Empoli 1991-92 home kit

The use of the speckled pattern throughout this shirt makes this instantly stand out from the crowd. Add the presence of the Trefoil logo and the fact Italian managerial legend Luciano Spalletti wore it (top left), and you have yourself a memorable shirt. Empoli finished 5th in Serie C1 Group A that year.

 

Empoli 1983-84 Home Kit by Adidas

 Empoli 1983-84 kit

Adidas provided the kits for Empoli during 1983-1995, and in my opinion the first kit they designed for the 1983/84 season was their best. The three stripes branding and trefoil logo work in tandem perfectly with the Gelati Sammontana sponsor and smart white pinstripes on the blue background. Carrying the pattern on into the shorts is also a nice touch. It’s typically 80’s, but if it was released today I think it would be hailed as a modern classic. Despite the amazing kit, Empoli could only muster a 16th place Serie B finish that year, narrowly avoiding relegation.

 

Empoli 1996-97 Home by Errea

I grew up in the 90’s, and this shirt just hits all the right spots for me. Errea were a classic shirt supplier in Italy during this era and they pulled out all the stops in 96/97. The iconic Sammontana ice cream graphic is commonly associated with Empoli’s rivals Fiorentina, but the company are based in Empoli and sponsored the club for over 20 years in the 1980’s-2000’s. Even now, the company still adorns the home shorts of Gli Azzurri in a lesser sponsorship deal. Add in the oversized subliminated crest that dominates the middle of the shirt and the Empoli F.C. graphic on the sleeve, and you have a bold style that I love. The blues finished second in Serie B this year, gaining promotion to Serie A. It may not be for everyone (the less brash 98/99 is preferred by a lot of fans), but for me, this sums up everything I like about shirt design and the club I love combined together into one iconic look.

 

Words by Jake Mills (@CalcioSupporter)

 

If you're looking an Empoli shirt why not pick up one of the Serie B title winning Kappa kits from the 2020-21 season. A future classic.

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