Chelsea's top 10 away and third kits of all time - ranked

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Chelsea away kits ranked
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GOAL looks back at the very best shirts the Blues have worn on the road ahead of them releasing their new 2023-24 kits

From the simple early days, to the out-there experimentalism of the 1990s and the innovation of the modern day, Chelsea have had some exceptional away shirts down the years.

However spectacular, some worn during periods of mediocrity are easily forgotten, while other more simple designs will still live long in the memory as a result of their unbreakable connection to glorious periods in the Blues' storied history.

But which are the greatest Chelsea away or third kits of all time? GOAL runs through its top 10 below...

  1. 1998-2000: Simple but effective

    #10 1998-2000: Simple but effective

    Sometimes the best kits are the most simple. Chelsea's away kit from 1998 to 2000 was a basic white design, with the old 'CFC' badge centred over the classic Autoglass sponsor.

    The Blues wouldn't taste too much glory wearing it, however, although they did come within seven minutes of a Champions League final before Barcelona produced a stirring comeback and knocked them out in 2000.

  2. #9 1988-90: A forgotten great

    Although Chelsea haven't had a red strip since the early 90s, it was previously the traditional colour of choice for their changed kits. Umbro introduced these horizontal stripes on the third shirt in 1988, and it's become one of the forgotten greats.

    The Blues actually reintroduced a more orangey shade of red for their 2020-21 third shirt, although that design from Nike proved rather unpopular.

  3. 2011-12: Camp Nou comeback
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    #8 2011-12: Camp Nou comeback

    A kit that isn't very 'Chelsea' on the face of it, but one that will be fondly remembered forever by everyone associated with the club. While the black and yellow panels at the top of the shirt are a questionable fashion choice, it was in this shirt that Chelsea pulled off one of the most remarkable results in their history.

    The Blues were staring another Champions League semi-final exit in the face against Barcelona in 2012, two goals and a man down at Camp Nou having won the first leg 1-0.

    However, Ramires' iconic lob and Fernando Torres' famous pitch-length sprint to round Victor Valdes saw Chelsea pull off a remarkable comeback to etch that team and this kit into the folklore of the club.

  4. 2008-09: FA Cup glory in yellow

    #7 2008-09: FA Cup glory in yellow

    Although they've had some horrific fluorescent efforts in the past, Chelsea's changed kits in yellow are some of the best around. Their 2008-09 third kit was no exception, with this softer tone of yellow complemented by blue trim and the centred adidas three-stripe logo.

    It was a largely forgettable season for the Blues, but they still claimed silverware at the end of it and did so wearing this strip, with Frank Lampard firing them to an FA Cup triumph over Everton.

  5. 1994-96: All over the place
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    #6 1994-96: All over the place

    One of the most divisive Chelsea kits of all time, so we've kind of sat on the fence and slapped it at sixth in our list. This 'graphite and tangerine' number was the peak of 90s experimentalism, with absolutely loads going on; the orange badge, the faded stripes at the top and the static grey texture on the bottom. It's a true assault on the senses.

    It was a kit worn at the start of a period of modernisation and globalisation for the club, backed by director Matthew Harding, with Dutch superstar Ruud Gullit joining in 1995.

  6. 2000-02: Pre-Abramovich class

    #5 2000-02: Pre-Abramovich class

    More soft yellow goodness. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (pictured) absolutely loved scoring goals in this shirt, surpassing the 25-goal mark in consecutive seasons.

    The crew neck and subtle faded horizontal stripes made for a very smart kit, as Chelsea continued their gradual progress towards becoming a top-six club under Claudio Ranieri in the years leading up to Roman Abramovich's takeover.

  7. #4 1990-92: A collector's dream

    A fan favourite and collector's dream, the 1990-92 away shirt is pretty hard to come by these days. Probably the most outlandish design of the club's geometric-patterned kits of years gone by, this was one of the last Chelsea kits to feature such a large amount of red.

    Despite the fact it's one of the most iconic Blues shirts of all time, it's hardly one you would associate with the club at face value.

  8. 2004-05: Mourinho memories in black

    #3 2004-05: Mourinho memories in black

    One of the great modern originals. Although they probably overdid it with black changed strips in the 2010s, this was the club's second-ever black kit at the time.

    Black and silver doesn't sound like the best combination on paper, but somehow this just worked - and it's become a firm fan favourite. The fact Jose Mourinho-led Chelsea romped to a first league title in 50 years in the 2004-05 season may have something to do with that, too.

  9. 1996-98: Zola's arrival
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    #2 1996-98: Zola's arrival

    The best of the yellow bunch, and nearly the best of them all. The tonal pinstripes and side panels, centred badge and Coors sponsor are all iconic, and the shirt looked just as good when Autoglass replaced the American beer as shirt sponsor for the 1997-98 campaign.

    With Gullit at the helm, Chelsea's squad was bolstered by the additions of some leading European talent, including Roberto Di Matteo, Gianluca Vialli and Gianfranco Zola. Indeed, the shirt immediately evokes memories of Zola running riot in his first season with Chelsea.

    The Blues would end their 26-year trophy drought by claiming the FA Cup at the end of the campaign.

  10. 2003-05: Absolute class

    #1 2003-05: Absolute class

    A kit so good they used it twice. Beautiful in its simplicity, this is a shirt that marked the beginning of the Roman Abramovich era at Stamford Bridge and was one of a trio of iconic kits in the title-winning 2004-05 campaign.

    It scores points for versatility, too, with Chelsea able to wear the shirt with either white shorts and socks, blue shorts and white socks, or blue shorts and blue socks, depending on the opposition.

    The fading, two-tone stripe down the middle and classy Fly Emirates sponsor is just perfection.