The Indian football team has always worn the iconic blue jersey over the years. Through thick and thin, the Indian football players have proudly carried their team colours and the AIFF badge on their chests.
However, the colours have not always been the same for the same for the India team over the years. While we have seen a lot of changes in the recent years, the overall kit has been altered quite a few times over the course of Indian football history.
Some of these kits will be memorable indeed, for the Indian football fans, as the Blue Tigers earned some memorable victories in them. However, there have been a lot of disappointments for the national team over the last few decades, and there are a number of jerseys that the fans would rather forget.
Regardless of the emotion connected to these kits, we take a look at some of the most iconic
jerseys that the Indian national team has worn so far.
Before the 21st century
Back when football matches used to fill up the stadiums, and fans used to follow their clubs and the national team with a lot of passion, the Indian football team had a rather simple kit -- blue shirt with white shorts. This was the era of black and white photographs, which is why exact details of the jerseys cannot be explored into. However, a number of greats like Shyam Thapa, PK Banerjee, and Sailen Manna used to enthrall the crowd with their touches.
The kit changed somewhat at the turn of the millenium, as the likes of Bhaichung Bhutia donned the sky blue jersey. One marked difference was that the shorts had changed from white to bark blue. While the financial scene was changing all around the world, the Indian national team was yet to receive any sponsors for their kit.
India managed to earn a famous win over UAE during this era, and also lifted the Vietnam Cup unde the tenure of Stephen Constantine.
India finally caught up with the rest of the world, as the AIFF signed a kit sponsorship deal with German kitmakers Adidas. Legends of the Indian game like Bhaichung Bhutia, Mehtab Hossain, Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Syed Rahim Nabi all donned this shirt.
However, poor results led to head coach Stephen Constantine being sacked, something that eventually also led to another change in the kit.
The Indian football kit saw a big change this time round, as Nike decided to go with a darker shade of blue, with a white sash. They even brought about a change in the away kit, converting it from white to red, with blue tints on the sides. The shorts were also switched from white to blue.
This was the famous kit in which India won the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008 and effectively qualified for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup under Bob Houghton. This was actually the first time that the Indian national team donned an all-blue jersey, with hints of red on the sides.
Nike again reverted back to the old kit, which was dark blue with a white sash at the end, along with a pair of white shorts. Interestingly, some of India's biggest modern-day stars like Sunil Chhetri and Subrata Paul became regulars in the national team in this jersey.
It was a wholly different kit for the Blue Tigers this time round, as Nike designed shirts with a similar to that of giants like Brazil back in the day. While the primary colour was still dark blue, the sleeves were of a lighter shade, with an orange strip at the end. India played in the AFC Asian Cup 2011 in this kit, but lost all of their group stage matches.
Another new kit by Nike this time round, but this failed to conjure up the results as well. India experienced a number of poor results under Dutchman Wim Koevermans, under whom they donned an all-blue kit with horizontal stripes of darker blue.
Under a new manager, India started to play in a brand new kit, two things that seem to have given the Blue Tigers a lot of impetus. Not only did they win the SAFF Cup, but India also went on a 13-match unbeaten run in this brand new jersey, as the national team jumped to the top 100s in the rankings for the first time in two decades.
Just ahead of the FIFA U17 World Cup, Nike decided to go for a complete overhaul of the kit, as they changed it to a lighter blue, with orange strips on the sides. Both the Indian national team and the U17 side that participated in the World Cup donned this kit. The senior national side also secured qualification for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in this kit, after they secured a 2-2 draw against Myanmar in Bengaluru.