In Brief

Real Madrid and Barcelona unveil purple kits – but why?

La Liga clubs invoke history as rivalry continues with similarly coloured away shirts for the new season

Spanish football giants Barcelona and Real Madrid will both play in purple next season after the two clubs released similar-looking away kits ahead of the new campaign.

The colour clash adds to the competition between both the two biggest clubs in Spain and two of the world's largest sports manufacturers, Adidas and Nike.

Real Madrid's purple Adidas kit, hailed a throwback to the 1980s, was unveiled as the club showed off its new retro-style home outfit.

The manufacturer says both strips are tributes to the club's past.

The home top, with its wing collar, pays homage to the "classic shirt from 1902", says Adidas, adding that it is a "slightly darker shade of white" than previous editions.

The crew-neck away shirt reflects the club's past and its "values", it adds.

"The purple colour is a tribute to the years of the Quinta del Buitre – the name given to the core of the Madrid team, which dominated Spanish football in the 1980s." Led by Emilio Butragueno, Real won the 1986 Uefa Cup while wearing a purple strip.

"Although one of the most popular colours for Madrid's kits, the last time their change kit came in purple was 2010-11 when they won the Copa del Rey, finished second in La Liga and lost to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals," notes the Daily Mirror.

Real Madrid's association with purple, or mulberry, dates back to 1931, when Spain became a republic and the crown on the club badge was replaced by a mulberry band in the colours of the Region of Castile. It was retained even after crown returned to the crest at the end of the Spanish Civil War. 

Barcelona's choice of purple also makes sense, says the Daily Mail, as Nike has taken the decision to "blend together the famous red and blue home colours for the first time".

This also gives it a political edge as the Barca shirt has always been connected to the Catalan independence movement. Last season's away colours were the yellow and gold of the Catalan flag, but purple reflects the importance of Barcelona's home colours of red and blue.

According to the club the kit, which also has a pink trim and will be worn with pink socks, continues their "tradition of playing in vibrant away colours that shock and excite, while also reasserting their classic home colours together in an unprecedented new fashion".

Website Joe sums up the clash as "Real vs Barca, Adidas vs Nike. Purple vs purple. El Clasico goes on".

As usual, opinion on the new kits is divided.

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