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Return to Glory

Sunday’s win over Bologna cemented our sixth place finish, putting us into the Europa League qualifying stages this summer. But that may actually hurt our return to glory more than help it because our squad is so very thin. However, Sunday’s match did have a massive return to glory: our new home kit for next season.

The kit was literally designed by looking back to the glory days. The stripes are the perfect width. There are no thin stripes, pin stripes, gradated stripes, just simple pure and clean red and black stripes like the heroes of our glory days wore.

Bonaventura is the perfect poster boy for the new kit

The neckline is a classic crew neckline (also called a t-shirt neckline.) There is no Collar of Doom™, no silly plackets, just a simple black rib crew neck: easy on easy off, comfortable and clean.

The Adidas stripes are all red – no weird grey or gold – and they are back on the shoulders again, loud and proud – no hiding them under the arms or whatever. On a black panel, no less, it couldn't be more perfect. The kit just has Milan DNA written all over it.

The way stripes were meant to be.

The sleeves have a simple wide black cuff to elegantly tie in the rib collar and give the whole jersey a clean, finished look. There are no red stripes or insets, just a clean, classic finish. Hoping that inspires our players to do the same on the pitch.

The logo is blissfully the original logo, but with a very well thought-out black stitching outline around both the logo and our gold star to bring emphasis on the red background. It is this kind of attention to detail that I appreciate so much as a fan – a complete focus on the most important part of the jersey.

The crest is outlined for emphasis, and Lapadula's mustache is obscured, too. Win-win.

The shorts are white again, with the red-black-red stripes like we’re used to seeing in days gone by. No gimmicks, just classic white shorts with classic features. Bravo, Adidas.

But the design element that I gave a standing ovation was the font. No more Casa Milan-inspired fonts that are barely legible and look like some beginning art student designed themselves. Just a clean, bold, simple all-white font. Probably will even be legible from those nebulous pixelated streams we’ll have to find to watch Europa League qualifying matches on.

A perfect font for a perfect kit

Also beautiful is Donnarumma’s kit. The classic green color is better than the pressure of the golden boy kit he had to wear this year. Although there is also a lot of keeper history in a green kit. But the clean white v-neck rib collar is echoed in the clean white stripes that run the full length of the arms. Perfect in its simplicity. And again, the crisp, clean sporty font to let everyone know his name and number.

The perfect kit for the perfect keeper

The Adidas marketing has good and bad elements to it. On the one hand, most of the pics of Lapadula cover up his weasely mustache. And Montolivo alone in the shadows seems quite fitting. I also like the urban settings and simple photos, very fitting for where the team is right now.

Where he belongs - alone and in the shadows

On the other hand, with most of the pictures they’ve added strange graphics that look like swimming lane lines, strangling our players. There are just no words for that. But I can forgive the weird ads for such an incredible kit.

What happened here?

It’s hard not to be optimistic after seeing the new kits in action. Was it just coincidence that we clinched sixth place while wearing them? Or that a couple of days later, China announced that it will be removing the ban on foreign investments so that Yonghong Li can find investors again? This, on the same day that we celebrated the 10th anniversary of our last Champions League win, too. Ever since the kits were officially released, Milan’s fortunes have changed for the better. And even if on paper there is still plenty of reason to doubt, on the surface, it seems like these kits are helping to bring Milan to a return to glory.

The players' reaction to the new kit

This post inspired by the music of Julian Cope

Our last match of the season is
Cagliari vs. Milan
Sunday, May 28 • 15:00 CET (9am EDT)