The 20 best La Liga kits of all time: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia and more

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Much like La Liga itself, the battle for the best Spanish kits is also dominated by Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The club’s Blaugrana and Los Blancos nicknames illustrate how iconic their respective home colours are, and a couple of classic away kits over the years also help.

But away from the big two, La Liga has always been packed with sensational kits.

There’s Valladolid’s violet, Real Vallecano’s red sash and the world-famous red and white stripes of Atletico Madrid.

Considering that legacy, here are the 20 best kits ever to grace La Liga...

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    20Malaga home 2010-11

    Malaga’s 2010-11 home shirt is something of a forgotten gem. At this time, the club from Southern Spain were working with Li-Ning – a Chinese label more often associated with basketball nowadays – and the blue stripes were transformed into a gradient effect, fading away as they reached the collar. The shirt wasn’t adored when it was released, but its forward-thinking aesthetic wouldn’t look out of place a decade later.

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    19Espanyol away 2003-04

    In the 2003-04 season, Espanyol played it very safe with their blue and white striped home shirt. The away kit, though, was a different story. It arrived in two shades of red, with a curved dividing line beginning a gradient change to black at the bottom of the shirt. It was, and still is, by far the most adventurous kit the Barcelona-based club ever attempted.

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    18Cadiz away 2021-22

    Cadiz’s blue away kits have often incorporated unusual graphics – including sashs, gradients and checkerboards – but the 2021/22 effort was the pick of the bunc. Different shades of blue and turquoise were used to create an abstract brushstroke pattern on the front of the Macron-produced jersey, which helped the club stand out as it just about held on to its La Liga status.

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    17Rayo Vallecano home 2013-14

    Most of Rayo Vallecano’s La Liga kits would qualify for this list due to the red diagonal stripe – a tribute to River Plate – but the 2013-14 season was one of the best. The whole design was retro-inspired, with the sash complemented by an old-school red collar and sleeve cuffs. Finishing off the whole thing was a lightning bolt graphic, added to the sash, a regular motif for the club.

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    16Mallorca away 2019-20

    In Mallorca’s last season working with Umbro, the English manufacturer took a simple route. The club’s away shirt was given a white base, as is traditional, and a graphic grey pattern was added to the sleeves. It wasn’t revolutionary but it didn’t need to be, and it was a fitting design as Mallorca celebrated their return to La Liga after plumbing the depths of Segunda Division B two years earlier.

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    15Zaragoza home 1999-00

    For much of their lifetime, Real Zaragoza have worn an all-white kit that bore certain similarities to Real Madrid’s. Around the turn of the millennium, though, they did the unthinkable and added horizontal blue stripes. Sadly the design only lasted for two seasons before normal order resumed, but it helped to set the club apart from some of its more prestigious rivals.

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    14Celta Vigo home 2001-02

    One forgotten innovation of the early 2000s was the single off-centre stripe on football kits. Perhaps it is most associated with England’s 5-1 win over Germany, but Celta Vigo perfected the art. Their kit mixed a light blue base with a single white stripe, while subtle tonal blue also ran down the front of the shirt.

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    13Valencia home 1999-00

    While Valencia’s all white kits are immediately recognisable, its the club’s secondary colours that help them stand out. At the turn of the millennium, the white was complemented by a black and orange trim – taken from the club crest – that helped to elevate the whole design. The kit in question was produced by Luanvi, an almost entirely-forgotten manufacturer from the local area.

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    12Barcelona away 2003-04

    Barcelona’s 2003-04 away shirt is probably most known for a goal scored by Ronaldinho against Chelsea a year later, by which time it was the club’s third shirt. That legendary goal only adds to the shirt’s appeal, with a grey base and very thin horizontal red and blue stripes.

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    11Real Madrid home 1988-89

    Real Madrid’s purple away colours stretch far back into the club’s history, and the colour previously featured regularly on its home kits. In the late ‘80s – when it was Hummel, not adidas, producing the kits – Real managed to incorporate the purple perfectly. It was used on Hummel’s sleeve chevrons, as well as the V neck collar and the sash across the club crest. As if that wasn’t enough, sponsorship from the iconic Parmalat contributed to the design.

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    10Valladolid away 2019-20

    Like other clubs who’ve opted for Violet as a traditional colour, Valladolid always manage to stand out. The colour has been used since the 1920s, and somehow features prominently on both the club’s home and away kits. In the 2019-20 season, they arguably perfected the form. The violet was made slightly darker than usual, and accentuated with red pinstripes and a white trim to give the whole thing a regal finish.

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    9Alaves home 2021-22

    Alaves replaced their traditional stripes for the 2021-22 season, opting for a half-and-half design inspired by the shirts of its early years. The kit, released to mark the club’s centenary, wasn’t enough to keep Alaves in La Liga, as a 20th place finish consigned them to relegation.

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    8Real Madrid away 2016-17

    Real Madrid’s traditional second colour of purple took centre stage in 2016-17. Designed as a nod to the diagonal stripe across the club’s badge, the entire shirt came in the colour and was finished with white detailing – including an inverted badge. The club went on to win almost every tournament that year, so clearly the purple was working for them.

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    7Sevilla home 1993-94

    Sevilla took a novel approach to their traditional red and white colours in 1993. The shirt was mostly white – as it always is – but was given a kind of spray paint red graphic in the top section. The away shirt, which just reversed this design, was pretty special as well.

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    6Real Betis home 2019-20

    Real Betis’ 2019-20 kit took a slightly different approach to the club’s signature green and white stripes. The stripes themselves were made smaller, the green was slightly darker, and a collar was added. The overall effect was a simple and effective kit, that invoked memories of classic kits from earlier in the club’s history.

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    5Atletico Madrid home 1995-96

    The 1995-96 season was momentous for Atletico Madrid, as the club won both La Liga and the Copa Del Rey. It was these double-winning heroics that helped cement that season’s kit as a classic, although its design also helped. The key details were the pinstripes – added alongside the traditional thick red stripes – as well as the blue pattern around the collar and the print along each sleeve. Just ignore the Marbella sponsorship.

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    4Barcelona home 1999-00

    The 1999-00 season marked Barcelona’s hundredth year, and allowed them to take risks with the celebratory design. The traditional Blaugrana stripes were gone, and in their place the red and blue colours became a half-and-half design. The stand-out feature of the whole thing was the club’s central crest, surrounded by the years 1899 and 1999, sitting above a gold Nike Swoosh.

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    3Rayo Vallecano away 2015-16

    Rayo Vallecano used their signature sash to make a political point with their 2015-16 away kit. The all-black base was adorned with a diagonal rainbow stripe, and rainbow detailing around the sleeves. As well as showing support for LGBT+ pride, Rayo Vallecano also dedicated each colour to cancer sufferers, people with disabilities, those who never lose help, environmental campaigners, people fighting against child abuse and people combating violence against women.

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    2Barcelona away 1991-92

    The 1991-92 season was Barcelona’s last with homegrown label Meyba. The last-ever game in which that Catalan club wore a Meyba shirt was the Champions League final, as they beat Sampdoria to win the trophy for the first time. In that game, they wore their bright orange away shirt, complete with its blue collar and red and blue diagonal stripes. The occasion – as well as the design – helped it become a classic.

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    1Real Madrid home 1994-95

    One of Real Madrid’s most famous kits of all time was worn in the mid-1990s. This time produced by Kelme, the shirt mixed its famous white base with darker blue notes, including a paw print pattern along each sleeve. This motif, taken from Kelme’s logo, was used alongside a repeated graphic of the Real Madrid crest and a signature-style logo underneath the collar.