It was not until the mid 2000s that football kits aesthetics became a major concern for teams competing in the CAF Champions League. The Club World Cup started to gain real global attention and the African champions started to look the part. We are impressed that local companies are also joining the foray even if they are yet to land the major CAF Champions League contenders. In Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria there are a decent number of top flight clubs kitted by local companies.
Anyway, enough rambling. We have done our best to go through all clubs that have featured in the CAFCL group stage and determined the best kits the tournament has ever seen. Check out our list: The 10 best CAF Champions League kits ever.
10. Etoile Sahel 1998
Etoile Sahel donned lotto in 1998 as did the Tunisian national team and the historic Croatia World Cup team. But Etoile did not impress so much in their first ever CAFCL group stage appearance. They won all their home matches and lost all their away ones to finish third in Group A. Their home kit wasn’t so bad.
9. Orlando Pirates 2006
Orlando Pirates, under coach Micho, came close to a second star but were undone by CS Sfaxien in the semifinal. The team wore a version of the popular Adidas teamgeist template that was on full show at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Pirates home and away kits were the same – only swapped in colour.
8. Etoile Sahel 2007
Etoile Sahel stunned Al Ahly 3-1 in Cairo to win the CAFCL. Chermiti and Narry quickfire goals put the tie beyond even Manuel Jose’s Al Ahly. The team went on to finish fourth at the FIFA Club World Cup. As with most African teams, the home and away kits had the same design. Olympique Marseille also donned a similar design, for their away kit, in 2007.
7. Sundowns 2016
Sundowns were one of the most impressive CAF Champions League winning teams of all time. What’s more? Their bold Puma away kit was also pretty impressive. We did not get to see it so many times over that season but they did wear the jersey in their semifinal away leg against Zesco Utd.
6. Orlando Pirates 2013
This was a brave South African team. Unfortunately, we they were not lucky enough to win the title. They thrashed Al Ahly, Zamalek and knocked out Esperance Tunis, in the last 4, donning a wicked Adidas home jersey. It looked so much better without the shirt sponsor.
5. Al Ahly 2006
This was the peak of Al Ahly’s golden generation. Not only did they win the CAFCL but they also won a medal at the FIFA Club World Cup. Their kits reminded everyone of the Red Devils (Man Utd) and that did not hurt in making the club more popular outside Egypt. It was during this time that Puma started investing heavily in African football teams.
4. Wydad Casablanca 2017
Another team with similar home and away kit designs. We are not complaining though because both kits were good. This is a case for ditching the major kitting companies and working with the likes of Macron.
3. Esperance Tunis 2020
The back-to-back CAFCL winners could not make it three in a row. But we will remember them for their elegant Umbro home jersey. Esperance Tunis launched this kit ahead of the Club World Cup and have looked regal in it.
2. Sundowns 2017
Masandawana did not manage to defend their CAFCL title. They did manage to be issued another all-time great kit by Puma. The fading stripes on the sleeves are a nice touch on your typical “tight” African Puma kit.
1. Al Ahly 2010
It is only normal that the best team ever in the CAF Champions League will also have the best kit ever. Al Ahly were issued a Condivo Template kit by Adidas in the second year of their 4-year contract. The home and away jerseys were of the same design but it did not matter. The golden stripes worked for both the red home kit and the navy away jersey.