Known for having some of the most memorable kits in all of football, we take a look at the greatest AS Roma kits of all time.
What goes into making a great football kit? It goes beyond following trends and making a fashion statement. A truly great football shirt must be tied to the club’s history, its values, its strength, and how it embodies integrity. Perhaps these entities have never been requirements for all clubs during the design process, but for AS Roma, the kit has always been a measure of civility and esteem.
Before it’s even written, the image has been conjured in your mind — deep red, like that of Rome’s volatile antiquity, and the gleaming gold of Caput Mundi’s imperial prizes. Time ticks slowly in the ruins of the ancient city. Gimmicks are not allowed, handsomeness is expected rather than just appreciated, and honor reigns above all. Treat the shirt with dignity, and the fans of Roma will forever have your back.
Throughout the years, it’s become universally accepted that La Lupa has donned some of the finest kits in the game. adidas is designing them for their first time this century, now having cemented a foothold in the media with three fantastic shirts.
A bright red home kit, with the classic three stripes running down the sleeves — and instead of the traditional logo, the Lupetto becomes the official stemma once again to the joy of the fans. The traditional white away kit is instead replaced with a cream called Ecru Tint, and base details are inspired by ancient Roman architecture. It opts for the Romulus and Remus patch, and comes together nicely as the black piping flows downward into the shorts.
But the one getting the most attention at the moment — and my personal top pick — is the black third kit. The Lupetto is used on the chest to follow the home shirt’s theme, while embracing a guilloché pattern that fuses ancient Roman mosaic patterns with a “contemporary twist,” as the club’s site will tell you. The lustrous black is matched by Roma’s traditional colors in the adidas stripes: yellow, orange, and red.
In addition to the inclusion of the Lupetto, original designer Piero Gratton’s legacy is signified with a stylized “R,” for Roma on the back collar to “symbolize the connection between tradition and the future in this third chapter of the Giallorossi’s ‘Eternal Future,’” according to asroma.com. The henley collar is a bold move, but matches nicely to the sleekness of the kit.
Given the media waves surrounding the shirts with the three stripes, it felt like the right moment to take a look at Roma’s best kits through the years. Will you agree with No.1? And better yet, do any of adidas’ new trio sneak into the all-time 10?
10. 1978-80 Home and Away: “The Ancelotti”
If you’re part of Carlo Ancelotti’s tribe, then you’ll recognize this kit from the iconic photo of him as a lupacchiotto (wolf pup) in his early years as a Roma player. He always said he’d come back to coach his beloved team one day, but the only certainty we have there is that this is one of the finest vintage kits out of any club.
Perhaps one of the most unique notes of this kit is that the numbers were on the shoulders. The ghiaccolo, or ice-pop style became endeared by the fans, even inspiring a Nike kit just a few years back. Would you go white or red? No wrong answer.
9. 1987-88 Home
Another with Gratton’s Lupetto on the chest, Barilla became one of the most iconic shirt sponsors of all time with this kit. It’s unapologetically aesthetically pleasing, and part was due to the rare fabric. Made from lanetta, which is a light wool, it seemed to just fall so effortlessly on the players.
The sprezzatura of the kit was complemented with shorts that sat way above the knee, and players with full heads of hair that reached down to their shoulders. Imagine Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” playing in the stadium to pull this mood all together.
8. 1998-99 Home
Maybe not as popular as the edition Kim Kardashian wore, this one was a “rare and dramatic variation” as classicfootballkit.co.uk will tell you. The Lupetto logo runs down the sleeves like rows in a slot machine, flowing into an orange v-neck. Roma scored a bunch of goals that season due to Zdenek Zeman’s hari-kari offensive tactics, but a finish outside the top four led to Fabio Capello’s appointment — and that became a very good thing for Roma.
7. 2006-07 Third
The go-to for this season was the traditional red, but the sandy taupe is a standout for nostalgia. This year’s lineup was more edgy and aggressive in years past, signified by an imperialistic number font and v-neck with just the slightest curvature.
This kit was clean and sponsorless, but what makes it stick into the minds of Roma’s faithful is it was the season that Francesco Totti won the Golden Boot with 32 goals, was Serie A’s capocannoniere, and lifted the Coppa Italia.
6. 2019-20 Third
When Nike thought up this third kit, they reached back to the club’s very first blue kit, debuting in May 1992 for the Cup Winners’ Cup second leg against Monaco. While it may have seemed like an outlandish take, the club had actually worn blue in 17 matches since that first adidas shirt.
100% a collectors item and rightfully dubbed an instant classic, this one had contrasting colorways with a red collar into a yellow v-neck more akin to a disco shirt from Saturday Night Fever. Look closer to see blue circles surrounding alternate club symbols, switching off of one another.
Did you know there was even a matching basketball hoop with this kit?
5. 2001-02 European Special
Some could see this as having been a bit court jester-ish, but the shirt represented a golden time for Roma. Totti had become a true capitano after being a protagonist in the team’s Scudetto victory a season prior, and they would have done the double if not for a relentless Milan. The hottest young Italian commodity named Antonio Cassano had joined the club. A world record paid for a teenager at the time, things were looking north for Roma.
It’s the year of the infamous 5-1 Derby della Capitale triumph over Lazio, capped off with gold in the Supercoppa. Ironically, Roma’s success that year is attributed to an early exit from European competition, so the shirt didn’t get as much wear as it ought to have.
4. 2014-15 Home
Nike’s first year with the club was a refreshingly simplistic take on the home kit — a true rouge red on the body, yellow sleeve cuffs, and a polo collar for class. Pop that baby up to find the Easter egg, reading “La Roma Non Si Discute Si Ama,” (Roma isn’t discussed, it’s loved), an infamous expression for local fans.
Even though he was in his late 30s by that point, Totti still managed to lead the team in goals (10), with vice captain Daniele De Rossi and adored youth product Alessandro Florenzi backing him up. Elegant, prim, and precisely Roman.
A kit that resonates with me for it was one the late Davide Astori wore in his only season for the club.
3. 1991-92 Home
Look up “cool” in the dictionary and you’ll get the long sleeve version of this kit. Statistically, Roma didn’t do that well in this calendar year, with the leading goalscorer Rudi Voller bagging just seven goals. The white and blue were equally as beautiful, but there’s something about the red popping off of the Barilla sponsor, the Coppa Italia winner’s patch, and adidas’s vintage trefoil logo. Doesn’t it all come together so nicely?
2. 2000-01 Home
2001, a year which lives in infamy for Roma fans, and for the best reason — the last time the club won the Scudetto, and what would be the one and only to Totti’s name. But on top of the cheery memories, it was a clean, handsome kit.
Gold turned to more of an orange when Kappa took control of the kits, with this edition seeing it implemented in a flat collar, with the brand’s ‘Omini’ logo in the same shade.
Take a trip to Rome’s Monti neighborhood and you’ll see a Totti mural down an alleyway. Er pupone will be there, waiting for you in this exact kit.
1. 2016-17 Derby Special Edition
A kit that defined an emperor, and a gladiator all the same. Totti’s legacy, his love, and his sacrifice. Commemorative, for the king of Rome’s last home derby. Colloquially known as the SPQR kit —Senatus Populus que Romanus (The Roman Senate and People) — with the insignia on the collar’s rear.
The color can only be described as a regal blood maroon. The crest, numbers, and symbol emblazoned in gold like the jewels, and rings taken back from conquering the known world. You’ll need some of that wealth if you want to get your hands on one, as prices start over $1,000 on eBay.
There’s a bittersweetness to this kit, as it meant the end to the playing days for Rome’s baby boy. A flash in your mind, all the beautiful moments that took place during Totti’s career — and in the majority of kits listed above.