In what is doubtless the most eagerly-awaited bit of news to drop for Fiorentina fans recently, the club and shirt sponsor Le Coq Sportif dropped next season’s away uniforms today. Once again, they’ll opt for the four different away looks in a move that’s part cynical cash grab and part acknowledgement of Florence’s history.
It makes sense to release the new kits today. Florence is at its festive peak for Saint John the Baptist (or San Giovanni Battista), the city’s patron saint; there’s a carnival atmosphere all over the city. The processions, parades, and historical reenactments are all fun, but the real highlight is the calcio storico final, which the Reds of Santa Maria Novella won by a score of 8-2.
Calcio storico, of course, is a Florentine game that began in the 15th century. Noted for its, er, ruggedness (King Henry III of France, upon seeing a match in 1574, reportedly opined, “Too small for a real war and too cruel for a game.”), the game has historically seen each of the four traditional quarters of the city vie for the championship. Santa Croce, wearing blue, represents the eastern part of the city. South of the Arno is the home of the white shirted Santo Spirito quarter. Santa Maria Novella and the reds come from the western quarter, and the greens of San Giovanni are the northern section.
Rocco Commisso was on hand for the unveiling of the new shirts, each modeled by the captain of the corresponding calcio storico team. The shirts themselves are, alas, not the most compelling. While LCS and designer Romilly were clearly aiming for something clean and elegant, they end up looking a bit boring. The only interesting feature is a seam across the center of the chest, which doesn’t appear to serve any purpose other than being there.
If you disagree, the shirts are currently for sale in the official Fiorentina shop in Florence and should hit the team’s website shortly. We haven’t had any word yet on when the home shirt comes out, but it should be pretty soon.
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