Twenty twenty-one has been a big year for Inter Milan shirts.
Of course, the 2020-21 season will be remembered for the Nerazzurri breaking Juventus’ stranglehold on the Scudetto when Antonio Conte led them to their first Serie A title since 2010.
That feat will ensure that Nike’s first choice trio of shirts, including those zigzag Biscione stripes and that tribute to their old Umbro away strip, will be treasured by the blue half of Milan for years to come.
As a curtain raiser to this summer’s ever more challenging collection of Internazionale kits, Nike closed one era and opened another with this riot of colour and artistic influences.
This Inter Milan 4th shirt was the first to feature the club’s new “IM” crest, and the very last to show the name of outgoing sponsors, Pirelli.
The unconventional placement of the sponsor’s logo on the left hand side of the shirt brought to mind Ajax and ABN Amro but in truth, nobody was really looking at that or the new badge.
As much as Nike and Inter heralded the street credibility of the shirt and the influences of the city’s art scene, in truth, this was a kit that could only exist in an age where eSports and how kits look within a video game are becoming ever important factors in how a football club should present themselves.
The combination of colours set the suits at Serie A’s football shirt compliance department’s pulses racing and there were rumours this was a design too far and would be banned, but as it turned out, the outlandish outfit starred as Inter closed in on the title.
This one certainly split opinion between those who thought Nike had spilled a plate of scrambled eggs on a normal Nerazzurri shirt and those who lapped up the wild print.
This closed the door on that triumphant season quite nicely and ushered in the exquisite designs of the 2021-22 campaign, complete with a snakeskin home kit that barely follows the basic requirement for a black and blue shirt.
There was a time not too long ago when, after a partnership covering more than 20 years, fans were beginning to wonder what more the Swoosh brand could do with an Inter shirt.
The response has been emphatic and love them or loathe them, nobody could ever call an Inter Milan shirt by Nike boring.