Kit of the Week #5: Lazio’s Regal Eagle Reboot

Our latest Kit of the Week celebrates this season’s reincarnation of a classic piece of 1980s Calcio styling.

There’s always been something quite special about Italian football shirts and Lazio have issued a smart re-working of one of their most legendary shirts for this Serie A season.

When the Società Sportiva Lazio was founded in 1900 to represent multiple sporting disciplines, the club drew it’s colours and nickname I Biancocelesti (white and sky blues) from the influence of Greece on ancient Roman culture and the Olympic Games.

Even the golden eagle of the SS Lazio badge is a nod to antiquity, and is the symbol of the king of the gods; the mighty Zeus himself.

Lazio, 2018/19, Shirts, Macron
This year’s Lazio spread-eagle shirt

On Sunday, Lazio delivered the performance of the week as they put Genoa to the sword at the Stadio Olimpico, with goals from Felipe Caicedo, Sergei Milinkovic-Savic and a Ciro Immobile double completing a 4-1 rout over Il Vecchio Balordo (which brilliantly translates as “the old fool”).

For Englishmen of a certain vintage, the sky blue shirts of Le Aquile (the Eagles) carry memories of when Paul Gascoigne and Channel 4’s Gazzetta Football Italia opened our eyes to Serie A Sundays.

In the days before Lazio’s Umbro made, Banca di Roma sponsored shirts worn by Gazza in the early 1990s, the club’s eagle emblem spread its wings across one of the great design classics of the era.

The Eagles of the Eternal City were something of a yo-yo club in the 80s, bouncing between promotion to Serie A and relegation to Serie B. In general, these were not halcyon days for fans to remember especially fondly. You could say they were a little like Crystal Palace.

Lazio, Enerre, NR, Eagle, 1982/83, Kit
Original & Best? Enerre’s Lazio 1982/83 home shirts

Yet the 1982/83 season shirts by dearly departed Italian football fashionistas Enerre (shortened to “NR” on their shirts), coincided with one of those promotions and the delivery of one the club’s greatest strips.

Sponsored by Italian TV manufacturers Seleco the shirts were made from the same terry-towelling fabric as the best Serie A shirts of the period.

The true star of the design however, was that eagle between the baby-blue and white.

Lazio, Eagle, 1986/87, Tutto Sport
The 1986/87 update of the Enerre design supported by one of Rome’s most trustiest of savings banks

Later updated with a sleak, silky new look for the 1986/87 season, the iconic design achieved cult status to the point that when then club celebrated their 115th anniversary in 2015/16, they opted for a reboot of the regal eagle shirts of the 1980s.

This year’s Lazio kit by Italian firm Macron brings that club classic design back and whilst it is a beautifully created football shirt, we’d have preferred to have seen a little more evolution than a simple change in fabric and collar from the shirt of three years ago.

Looking at the two shirts side by side, there really isn’t much difference between Macron’s two shirts and if anything, the 2015/16 vintage carries a little more of the original Enerre DNA.

Lazio, 2015/16, 2018/19, Macron, Home, Kit, Shirt
Can you spot the difference between Macron’s 2015 & 2018 Lazio eagle shirts?

No, honestly, if you look closely enough it’s plain to see!

Twenty-Eighteen has been the year of the retro-kit reboot as this summer’s World Cup in Russia showed us, but come on guys, where’s the originality of new designs that football fans will be getting misty eyed about 35 years from now?

What do you think of this year’s Lazio kit? Are kit designs becoming a little too familiar these days?

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

This week’s “Kit of the Week” was suggested by @The_Kitsman on Twitter.

If you have an idea for a shirt you’d like us to cover, whether that be a nostalgic tribute to a Club Classic from yesteryear or a review of a new kit; we’d be delighted to hear from you.

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