Words: Charlie Morgan
Long, long before the SuperSuperclásico in the Libertadores final grabbed everyone’s attention (before Diego Maradona, even), Boca Juniors established themselves as the working man’s kings of Buenos Aires.
The remit for Los Xeneizes has remained largely the same throughout their 113-year history: turn up, batter everyone else, look sharp while doing so.
Here’s our pick of their very best kits:
Image: Well Offside / L’Equipe
This is it. The iconic one. Your dad will tell you that football was better in the 80s and, you know, he could show you this kit and you might believe him. The yellow sash wraps around the shirt like a warming hug, reassuring you it’s all going to be okay—because Diego’s here. 1981 was a good year for Diego, winning his only career league title in Argentina when he went round lobbing every fucking keeper in the Metropolitano championship just because he felt like it and ripped River to shreds in his first Superclásico before upping sticks to Barcelona. Did alright there too, didn’t he?
Image: Classic Football Shirts
I see your regular blue shirt and yellow stripe, and I raise you a navy base, a fat yellow stripe creeping down half of each sleeve, and some subtle piping on a lovely additional collar. Glorious.
Boca’s president, Daniel Angelici, once lamented this black kit ‘would never be worn’ by the club. Thank Christ he was persuaded otherwise/completely ignored, because this is sheer artistry. Think of this as Boca’s Gandalf the White moment: dies in some classic, battle-worn cloth and returns in colours that are just… sexier. Everyone’s delighted, and they go back to rinsing the bad guys. Also then delivers the ring to Mordor and walks the Primera Division.
Source: Classic Football Shirts
Very much in a ‘if it ain’t broke, and looks gorgeous, don’t fix it’ mould. Martín Palermo netted two goals in their 2000 Intercontinental Cup win against Real Madrid in this and, back home, Juan Román Riquelme sauntered around La Bombonera in it. Does it need justifying? Royal blue. Yellow stripe. ‘CABJ’. Beer sponsor older than Boca themselves. Utter fútbol.
Source: Old Football Shirts
Seriously, what the fuck is going on here? It’s all very opening-titles-on-a-show-found-exclusively-on-Trouble. Big into it.
Image: Classic Football Shirts
The first year Diego Maradona comes back to the club after a decade and a half-long jaunt through Europe, and they put him in this? They meant business. Shame the season didn’t work out so well for Diego, his last real season of regular, competitive football, but BOY did he look great while trotting about in it. Available from Classic Football Shirts (they’re good at these, funnily enough)—maybe you could ask for this one for Christmas if you’ve been especially good this year.
I can comfortably say this now after seeing this one: Boca Juniors are physically incapable of bringing out a bad kit. Even when they ditch the sash, the yellow, the stripes on the sleeves and, even by their reserved standards, go for something simple, this third kit from last season looks bloody brilliant. The gradient on this, drifting tantalisingly from navy to white as the shirt falls, looks like an oasis in the desert. A sea of calm, in a fiery cauldron of heat. Eleven metaphorical oases, passing the metaphorical ball meticulously between each other, taking the metaphorical piss out of their sweltering, blistered opposition.
Like kits and that? Sure you do. You’ll love our magazine then—the new issue out out mid-December, but you can subscribe below right now.