Paris Saint Germain has a relatively short history after their founding by a group of Paris-based businessmen with the aim of creating a major sporting force within the French capital in 1970. For this reason, PSG did not need adopt the jersey colors (and in some cases the actually jerseys) of another local club or work around some of the rudimentary factors related to jersey production at the start of the 20th century.
By the time the six-time Ligue 1 champions stepped onto the pitch, soccer jerseys had already undergone several technical advancements. Gone were the cheaply-made, heavy cotton tops and the accompanying shorts that were cut below the knee. By 1970, lightweight materials were beginning to be pioneered and would, by the end of the decade, be widely used, as shirt sleeves grew shorter and the general fit of the tops a little more snug.
PSG’s initial kit was all red and manufactured by French sports specialists Le Coq Sportif, who famously also produced the iconic green St-Étienne jerseys of the same era.
They changed to wearing their now familiar colours of blue, red and white in 1972. The blue and red said to represent the colors of the city while the white was chosen to symbolise the club’s connection to the nearby Saint-Germain-en-Laye area.
The club’s crest also changed that year with the original simple blue soccer ball with a red ship in the centre exchanged for a new design which incorporated a red depiction of the Eifel Tower on a blue background. A similar variation of this crest has been used ever since, with the exception of four years during the mid-1990s when a gaudy and brash design which was simply the club’s initials in big red and blue letters was used.
In addition to changing the basis for the jersey design in 1972, PSG also sported their first shirt sponsorship the same year, emblazoning the name and logo of the Montreal supermarket chain across their players’ midriffs.
The general layout of the PSG’s shirt as we know it was conceived by fashion designer Daniel Hechter, who came up with the design upon becoming president of the club. He later admitted that Ajax, who were the best and most successful club in Europe in the early-‘70s, were the inspiration for his shirt -- he simply swapped the white of the Dutch club out for blue, while leaving the wide, central stripe red – et voilà!
The Parisian side wore white for their away shirt until 1982, at which point then-president Francis Borelli decided that the secondary kit should become PSG primary option, and for 12 years the white design became the home jersey. During this period, Hechter’s blue and red design was relegated to the away jersey role.
Whether or not the shirt switch was a catalyst can be debated, but PSG won their first major trophy shortly after, picking up the in Coupe de France that year, earning entry into the now-defunct continental competition the Cup Winners’ Cup.
The following season Les Parisens retained the domestic trophy as well enjoying an impressive run to the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners’ Cup in their first foray into Europe.
Then, just three years later, PSG became champions of France for the very first time. Within four years of swapping their home and away jerseys, the club had transformed into one of French football’s major players.
Although the Hechter design was brought back in 1995 – the same year PSG, with the likes of George Weah and David Ginola amid their ranks, made it all the way to the semi-finals of the Champions League – there have been some variances from the layout of the jersey in recent years, with a thinner red stripe often being employed and white being almost completely removed from the shirt some seasons.
The 2016/17 jersey on display at the Parc des Princes is perhaps the biggest departure from the Hechter layout since its reintroduction, with the thin central stripe now a deep burgundy rather than the usual vibrant red.
With the backing of their Abu Dhabi-based owners, the iconic colors of PSG, with all the tweaks that they have undergone, are sure to remain front-and-center when major trophies are being handed out for years to come.
Paris Saint Germain, better known as PSG, is one of the most popular clubs in Europe. Surprisginly they have a relatively short history but one littered with top players and silverware.
5. Catchy Team Anthem
4. New Kids on the Block
3. The Best Team in France
2. Always at the Top
1. Fashion-Forward Jerseys
Paris Saint-Germain was founded in 1970, but in the brief period since its establishment it has seen more than its fair share of fantastic soccer players. As France’s most successful team with 33 trophies there’s been no shortage of talent to take the pitch for Paris.
World Soccer Shop has gone through the more than 430 players that have made the first-team roster at PSG and has tried to narrow it down to 10 of the most legendary players to lace up their boots for the Red-and-Blues. This list isn’t in any particular order, and all of them are among the best that Paris has ever seen.
Zlatan Ibrahimovich (2012-1016) - Paris Saint Germain Jersey #10
Ronaldhino (2001-2003) - Paris Saint Germain Jersey #10 (Also #21)
Jean Marc Pilorget (1975-1989) - Paris Saint Germain Jersey #4
Edinson Cavani (2013-Present) - Paris Saint Germain Jersey #9
Dominique Rocheteau (1980-1987) - Paris Saint Germain Jersey #9
Pauleta (2003-2008) - Paris Saint Germain Jersey #9
Safet Sušić (1982-1991) - Paris Saint Germain Jersey #10
Mustapha Dahleb (1974-1984) - Paris Saint Germain Jersey #11
Carlos Bianchi (1977-1979) - Paris Saint Germain Jersey #9
George Weah (1992-1995) – Paris Saint Germain Jersey #9
Paris Saint-Germain has been around less than 50 years, but the team has established itself as one of the most recognizable sides in the world. With one of Europe’s most famous cities as its home base it’s no surprise that there have been plenty of sponsors that have wanted to be on the front of the iconic red and blue jerseys. World Soccer Shop has put together a quick history of the names PSG has worn through the years.
Paris Saint-Germain began its long and fruitful relationship with Emirates in 2006. Since donning the Fly Emirates jerseys the side has won four league titles, four Coupe de France tournaments, the Coupe de la Ligue five times and four Trophée des Champions titles. This has been the most successful period in PSG’s history. In 2015 the club briefly replaced the Emirates logo with the phrase “Je Suis Paris” (“I Am Paris”) in honor of the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks.
Another period of prominence came during the ’90s. The American computer company Commodore became the sponsor and was joined by Müller, a German dairy business. In the 1992/93 season Müller was changed with Tourtel, a French non-alcoholic beer, and the team won its third Coupe de France.
The following year with Commodore and Tourtel the team won its second league title. Tourtel would continue to sponsor the team for the 1994/95 season, but Commodore was replaced by SEAT, a Spanish car manufacturer. That year the Red-and-Blues won their fourth Coupe de France and their first Coupe de la Ligue.
In 1995 the Parisians swapped one car company for another when Opel took over for SEAT. Opel remained on the jersey until 2002. PSG won the Coupe de la Ligue in ’98 with Opel, its second.
The squad was next supported by Thomson, a French corporation that also owns Technicolor, until 2006. Paris Saint-Germain has come a long way from its early days when trophies were few and far between.
The first company to sponsor the fledgling club was the supermarket chain Montreal. The next year the team featured Canada Dry on its kit. In 1974 Paris found a new sponsor in the French radio station RTL, its longest sponsorship to date. It wasn’t long before PSG got its first taste of success with Coupe de France trophies in 81/82 and 82/83. In its final year with RTL as the lone sponsor Paris Saint-Germain won its first league title.
In 1986 RTL was joined by Canal+, a French premium cable channel, and the duo would remain until the 1987/88 season. In 1988 RTL co-sponsored the jersey with La Cinq, a French TV station. Japanese electronics manufacturer TDK took the place of La Cinq for the 1989/90 campaign. The last season with RTL was the 1990/91, when it was featured with Alain Afflelou, a French store specializing in glasses and eyecare.
Emirates sponsors Paris Saint-Germain today, and it will keep gracing the shirts until at least 2018. In that time PSG continues its unprecedented run of greatness, and its quest to earn its first UEFA Champions League title.