The Italian national team played for the first time in its legendary blue jersey on 6 January 1911 against Hungary. But why is Italy's jersey blue? Read on, because we will explain the history of the Italy jersey, introduce you to its most legendary jerseys and tell you many anecdotes that you will love.

Because the history of 'Gli Azzurri' or the 'Squadra Azzurra', as the Italian national football team is known, is the history of European and world football. The history of the Italy shirt worn by Roberto Baggio, Paolo Maldini, Giuseppe Meazza or Paolo Rossi is revealed in the following lines.

History of the Italy jersey

The jersey worn by Italy in its first official match on 15 May 1910 was white. Do you like it? In that first match against France, the Italians had not yet agreed on what colour to choose, so they opted for white, because it was neutral or colourless.

Although there is another theory that says they chose white because it was the colour of Pro Vercelli, which was the strongest team in Italy at the time. Incidentally, Italy beat France 6-2 in that first official match.


Italian Vintage shirt

The first Azzurra jersey

The first Azzurri jersey was worn a year later against Hungary (lost by Italy 1-0), as we have already told you above. It was at the Arena Civica in Milan and with 5,000 spectators in the stands that "Gli Azzurri" earned their nickname by wearing blue for the first time.

But why? The explanation is more historical than sporting: according to the director of the Football Museum of the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio, the decision was taken because 'Savoia blue' was the colour of the flag of the Royal House of Savoy. Since then, Italian national teams in various sports have worn blue and the white jersey has become the away uniform.

Mussolini's black jersey

During Mussolini's regime, the Italian national team also wore all-black jerseys as their second uniform, a clear allusion to the Fascist symbolism of the paramilitary groups known as 'black shirts'. This was the case in 1935 in a friendly against France and in some matches at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the 1938 World Cup.

But apart from that brief interlude, the Italian national team always wore blue, with a second white kit. As for the rest of the kit, the kit was initially completed with white shorts and black socks, later also changing to blue socks.


Goalkeepers' shirts

The first Italian goalkeeper uniforms were black. As early as the 1950s, goalkeeper kits began to innovate with the introduction of grey shades with blue collars and cuffs. From the 1980s onwards, with the advent of bolder fashion and new textile production techniques, Italian goalkeepers began to wear silver metallic shades.

One of the most remembered goalkeeper shirts is the 1994 one, still in silver or grey, but with red, white and blue on the zigzag sleeves. Since the mid-1990s, the designs have changed depending on the brand, but generally in shades of red or green. Gianluigi Buffon is the goalkeeper who has worn the goalkeeper's jersey the most times for Italy, being the Italian player who has played the most times for the national team. 

Team Italy 1988

Manufacturers of Italy's football kits

The first brand to design the Italy jersey was Adidas in 1974, although they did not include any major innovations and the jersey continued with its classic blue design and without any visible Adidas brand or logo. Because as a curiosity, until 1999 with the arrival of Kappa, suppliers were forbidden by the Federazione Italiana Gioco Calcio to put their branding or other design elements on jerseys.

Since 2003, thus completing almost the entire century, Puma brand has been responsible for the suits of the "Squadra Azzurra". In the following list you can see the different suppliers who have taken care of the uniforms of the Italian national team:

  • 1974 - 1978 Adidas
  • 1978 - 1979 Baila
  • 1979 - 1984 Le Coq Sportif
  • 1984 - 1985 Ennerre
  • 1985 - 1994 Diadora
  • 1994 - 1999 Nike
  • 1999 - 2003 Kappa
  • 2003 - 2021 Puma


The evolution of Italy's emblem

The first emblem that the Italian national team wore on its shirt was the Savoy Cross, the national emblem until the birth of the Italian Republic. During the Fascist dictatorship of Mussolini, a Roman bundle, the emblem used by the regime at that time, was added to the insignia of the Savoy cross. With this coat of arms, Italy won the 1934 and 1938 World Cups, as well as the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Savoy CrossRoman Bundle

After the Second World War, once the fascist regime was defeated and the monarchy abolished, the coat of arms became the tricolour flag of Italy. Over the years, the coat of arms has changed shape, being round, rectangular or moving from the left side to the centre of the chest and then back to the left side.

Coat of arms Italy 1947Coat of arms Italy 1952

In the 1950s, the coat of arms was crowned with the word 'ITALIA' in capital letters, and later the initials of the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) were also included. The emblem remained this way until 1983, after the World Cup victory in Spain the previous year, when three golden stars were added in place of the word 'ITALIA'. This emblem lasted only a year, as in 1984 it was changed to incorporate the word "ITALIA" and the initials "FIGC" again, keeping the 3 stars but in a rounded shield.

Coat of arms Italy 1982Coat of arms Italy World Cup

During the 1990s the coat of arms was renewed, creating controversy and not being to the liking of the fans. The new coat of arms was in the form of a trapezoid crowned by a blue dot, including the three stars, the tricolour flag and the name of the "Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio".

Coat of arms Italy 1984Coat of arms Italy 1991

In 2005, a complete redesign of the coat of arms was done, giving it a new shape and including the new logo of the Federazione Italiana Gioco Calcio (Italian Football Federation), as well as the tricolour and the three stars of the world championships won. From September 2006 it would be four stars, having won the World Cup that year in Germany.

Coat of arms Italy 2006Coat of arms Italy 2017

The latest design change was made in 2017, with the idea of creating a modern emblem but with the classic elements of Italy's coat of arms. Crowned by the four stars of the World Cup and with the tricolour flag that hasn't left the shield since 1952.

Most famous shirts of Italian National Team

1. Italy World Cup 1934

Italy 1934 Jersey

Italy won the 1934 World Cup with this jersey against a Czechoslovakia that was ahead on the scoreboard and in a very balanced match. In the end, the Italians won 2-1 with goals from Raimundo Orsi and Angelo Schiavio, also thanks to the famous coach Vittorio Pozzo, the only coach who managed to win the World Cup twice, as Italy won the World Cup again in 1938.

2. Italy World Cup 1938 (second uniform)

Italy 1938 Jersey

The 1938 World Cup was held in France and the Italian national team won the title again. Dominating the championship, they reached the final against Hungary, whom they defeated 4:2 with two goals from Gino Colaussi and two goals from Silvio Piola, making the Italians champions again.

3. Italy World Cup 1966

Italy 1966 Jersey

The Italian national team participated in the 1966 World Cup, held in England in this shirt, although they were eliminated in the first round, finishing third in their group behind the Soviet Union and North Korea.

4. Italy European Championship 1968

Italy 1968 Jersey

The 1968 European Championship was held in Italy, and Yugoslavia and the hosts, wearing this shirt, reached the final. The match ended in a 1-1 draw and after extra time the tie continued, so another final was played two days later to break the tie. This time Italy dominated the match and beat Yugoslavia 2 - 0 with goals from Gigi Riva and Pietro Anastasi.

5. Italy European Championship 1968 (second uniform)

Italy 1968 Away Jersey

The classic second white uniform of Italy with whom he played the 1968 European Championship.

6. Italy World Cup 1970

Italy 1970 Jersey

In the 1970 World Cup held in Mexico, the "Squadra Azzurra" finished second wearing the same jersey as in the 1968 European Championship. Mythical vintage Italy 1968 - 1970 jersey with rounded collar that can be found in Retrofootball. Gianni Rivera, the "Golden Child" for winning the Ballon d'Or a year earlier, was one of the stars of that World Cup.

7. Italy World Cup 1982

Italy 1982 Jersey

The Italians won the World Cup for Naranjito, the legendary mascot of the 1982 World Cup held in Spain. For the occasion, 'the Azzurri' wore a beautiful V-neck T-shirt, which you can find in Retrofootball: buy Italy's 1982 World Cup shirt.

8. Italy World Cup 1982 (second uniform)

Italy 1982 Away Jersey

How could it not be otherwise, the second uniform worn by Italy in the 1982 World Cup we also have in Retrofootball: buy the 2nd Italy outfit of the 1982 World Cup.

9. Italy World Cup 1990

Italy 1990 Jersey

The World Cup Italia 90 is one of the most remembered competitions in history. The Italian team was eliminated by Argentina in the semi-finals, but the Italia 90 shirt with the rounded coat of arms is a classic for all fans. It was also Paolo Maldini's first World Cup (he would later play three more).

10. Italy World Cup 1994

Italy 1994 Jersey

Italy finished second in the 1994 World Cup, held in the United States. This shirt of Italy in the 1994 World Cup with the number on the chest is one of the most beautiful of that championship, but most remembered, without doubt, was Mauro Tassotti's elbowing of Luis Enrique in the quarter-final between Italy and Spain.

11. Italy European Championship 2000

Italy 2000 Jersey

Belgium and the Netherlands hosted Euro 2000. The Italian team went all the way to the final in this jersey, but lost to France in a thrilling match that was settled in extra time with the 'golden goal'.

12. Italy World Cup 2006

Italy 2006 Jersey

The Italian national team won its fourth world championship in Germany in 2006. They reached the final against France and after the match and extra time ended in a 1-1 draw, the match was decided on penalties.

13. Italy World Cup 2006 (second uniform)

Italy 2006 Away Jersey

Another legendary white Italy shirt as a second outfit for the no less legendary 2006 World Cup in Germany.

14. Italy European Championship 2012

Italy 2012 Jersey

Poland and Ukraine as hosts at Euro 2012 and Italy again in a final. Although this time they would be defeated by Spain 4-0.


Italy team 2012

⚽ Check out the Italy retro jerseys we have on Retrofootball.