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The 20 most expensive football kit grails: Nigeria, Real Madrid, Argentina and more

5:45 AM EDT 9/30/22
The 20 most expensive football kit grails
As iconic as the players who wore them on the pitch

Earlier this year, Sotheby’s sold Diego Maradona’s match-worn shirt from Argentina’s 1986 World Cup win over England. That was the game in which Maradona scored both the Goal of the Century and the Hand of God, making the shirt one of the most famous ever. Something reflected in its final sale price just shy of $10 million USD.

Sought-after vintage shirts don’t have to be match worn or cost millions, though, and certain replicas have also increased in value over the years. We worked with Classic Football Shirts to compile a list of grails spanning modern classics, ‘90s shirts which have since surged in value and all-time grails.

  • Real Madrid Third 2015-16

    #20 Real Madrid Third 2015-16 - £100

    Showing how quickly a shirt can gain value – and fitting firmly into Classic Football Shirts’ “modern classics” description – is Real Madrid’s third shirt from the 2015-16 season. The shirt’s design was inspired by Madrid’s night sky, and features two different shades of blue. It’s easy to see why it’s become so sought after so quickly, with its three-button collar adding to its smart aesthetic.

    Get it from Classic Football Shirts for £99.99 +

  • Inter Home 2014-15

    #19 Inter Home 2014-15 - £150

    Another shirt that has shot up in value in a relatively short time is Inter Milan’s 2014-15 home shirt. It wasn’t a vintage year for the club – they finished 8th – but there was a definite vintage influence on the kit design. The classic stripes were gone, and an all-black base was used instead. The key feature, though, is the light blue pinstripes which help to elevate the whole thing.

    Get it from Classic Football Shirts for £149.99 +

  • Nigeria 2018 home kit

    #18 Nigeria Home 2018 - £150

    It’s a shirt that needs no introduction. When Nigeria’s home kit for 2018 was launched websites crashed and records were broken. Eventually, news sites were breathlessly running stories every time it restocked. In just four years, the shirt – which was even nominated for the prestigious Beazley Design Award – has climbed in value to around the £150 mark.

  • Roma Third 2019-20

    #17 Roma Third 2019-20 - £175

    The youngest kit on this list comes from Roma. The 2019-20 season saw Nike use its Vector logo on a number of third kits, but it was Roma that wore it best. The kit combines the club’s Giallorossi colours with a deep blue shirt. The design was finished with a repeated pattern of the Lupetto logo – depicting a wolf’s head – inside a circle.

  • Juventus Away 2015-16

    #16 Juventus Away 2015-16 - £200

    Another shirt that almost immediately surpassed the realm of football, Juventus’ away shirt for the 2015-16 season became a breakout success. Its high points arguably came when Drake wore it, or when Pharrell reworked it for the 2020/21 fourth kit. The combination of the two pink colours, as well as the white band around the middle, almost guaranteed that this would become a classic.

    Get it from Classic Football Shirts for £199.99 +

  • Newcastle Home 1995-96

    #15 Newcastle Home 1995-96 - £200

    The mid-'90s were a good time to be a Newcastle fan. Shearer was in the form of his life, supported by David Ginola, Les Ferdinand and more, and the club finished second two years in a row. Throughout both seasons, it wore this home shirt. In many ways, it's the ideal of what a Newcastle kit should look like: black and white stripes, Newcastle Brown Ale sponsorship and the traditional crest. More than a quarter of a century on, people agree, and vintage replicas can break the £200 mark.

    Get it from Classic Football Shirts for £174.99 +

  • Arsenal Away 1995-96

    #14 Arsenal Away 1995-96 - £200

    Arsenal’s vintage away shirts may be mostly associated with the Bruised Banana, but a couple of years later they released another classic. Coming in navy blue, the shirt was finished with a light blue lightning bolt down the centre, giving way to an entire light blue section. Nike’s vector logo, which would be revived 25 years later, also plays an important part.

    Get it from Classic Football Shirts for £199.99 +

  • PSG Away 2006-07

    #13 PSG Away 2006-07 - £250

    PSG in 2006-07 were a long way away from what they are today, but the club’s away shirt gave a glimpse at its later embrace of the fashion world. The brown shirt was finished with a golden monogram pattern, consisting of “PSG,” the Eiffel tower and a fleur-de-lis. The kit, unsurprisingly, was inspired by Louis Vuitton, helping to make it a vintage favourite.

    Get it from Classic Football Shirts for £249.99 +

  • Chelsea Away 1994-95

    #12 Chelsea Away 1994-95 - £300

    In the world of vintage football kits, the early to mid-1990s are something of a golden era. For Chelsea, that was no different. The club’s 1994-95 kit somehow managed to mix together three different kits – a grey one, an orange one and a striped one – and three different colours. The club’s crest was turned bright orange, and a big Coors logo was slapped on the front. It all combined to make it a cult classic.

  • Barcelona Away 1991-92

    #11 Barcelona Away 1991-92 - £300

    Barcelona’s 1991-92 away kit is famous for two reasons. Firstly, it was the shirt they wore when they won their first Champions League, beating Sampdoria at Wembley. Secondly, it has gained a cult status due to its bright orange colour and Blaugrana detailing. It was also the last-ever Barcelona shirt produced by Meyba, a brand that is rightfully adored by footballing romantics.

  • Hull Home 1992-93

    #10 Hull Home 1992-93 - £300

    In 1992, Hull took their Tigers nickname a bit too literally and turned their gold and black stripes into a full tiger print. It wasn’t immediately popular – its even been called the ugliest kit ever – but over time opinion shifted, and now it's seen as one of the Premier League’s best, and most valuable.

  • Man United Third 1992-93

    #9 Man United Third 1992-93 - £350

    Manchester United’s 1992-93 third shirt has become a political symbol at Old Trafford. The shirt was designed in green and yellow, the colours worn when the club was still called Newton Heath and subsequently adopted as the uniform of fans angry at the Glazers’ ownership. Thirty years ago, it was just a commemorative design, complete with black lace closure, but now it’s something far bigger than that.

  • Liverpool Home 1989-91

    #8 Liverpool Home 1989-91 - £350

    The kit worn by one of Liverpool’s all-time great teams – the last one for a while, as it turned out. The Candy sponsorship and white pattern against a red base will be forever linked to Ian Rush, John Barnes, Alan Hansen and the rest of the 1989-90 title winners. Considering the thirty-year wait for Liverpool’s 19th league title, perhaps it’s not surprising that this one became a collector’s item.

  • CCCP 1988

    #7 CCCP 1988 - £400

    The CCCP – or Soviet Union as it is more often known – had often worn plain red kits until the 1980s came along. But in 1988, they changed that design by covering it in a geometric pattern. The shirt was finished by adidas trefoil, CCCP sponsor-style logo and the federation’s crest. Nowadays, the shirt is seen as an ‘80s design classic and can reach around £400.

  • Tottenham Home 1985-86

    #6 Tottenham Home 1985-86 - £400

    Tottenham’s traditional white was adorned with shades of blue in this hummel-designed shirt from the mid-'80s. The frequency of the small blue stripes – especially on the hummel chevrons – made it look like purple had been used across the shirt, making it a forerunner to some of the shirts Real Madrid had been wearing. It all comes together perfectly, and the Holsten sponsorship is forever linked with the club. 

  • Napoli 1990-91

    #5 Napoli 1990-91 - £500

    The perfect shade of light blue, a big Mars sponsorship and the final year of Diego Maradona’s tumultuous time in Naples. It’s no surprise that the 1990-91 kit is still so revered, as much for what it represents and its role in the Maradona story as anything else. That said, the design isn’t bad either.

  • Denmark 1986

    #4 Denmark 1986 - £500

    Blackburn, Barcelona and Juventus have all given it a go, but the half-and-half shirt was perfected by Denmark. The kit, worn during the 1986 World Cup, mixed a pink half made up of white and red stripes with a red half consisting of tonal stripes. The effect continued onto the sleeves, and hummel’s signature chevrons finished it off. Even now, Denmark’s 1986 kit is held up as one of the all-time greats.

  • Argentina Away 1994

    #3 Argentina Away 1994 - £500

    Most of Argentina’s white and blue kits are rightly revered, but their most valuable is an away kit. Worn at the 1994 World Cup, which marked the end of Maradona’s international career after his frenzied celebration to camera, the shirt was mostly dark blue. The standout feature, though, was the darker diamond pattern that ran down one side of the shirt.

  • Germany Away 1990

    #2 Germany Away 1990 - £600

    More than 30 years later, Germany’s 1990 away shirt is often overlooked in favour of that year’s home kit. The green design, though, is iconic in its own right. The geometric pattern bore similarities to other adidas kits of that period, but the decision to cover entirely in green turned out to be an inspired choice. Italia ‘90 was packed with great kits, but this was maybe the pick of the bunch.

  • Netherlands Home 1988

    #1 The Netherlands Home 1988 - £1000

    One kit that Germany’s shared a likeness with was the Netherlands’ home kit from two years earlier. The Dutch always have an advantage in terms of kit, with the bright orange colour being one of the best in World Football. 1988 was probably the best that orange has ever looked, and it’s not surprising that replicas now reach four digits.