Fashion

Dressed for success

Smart suit, comfy tracksuit or even smart casual? What to wear is an age-old dilemma for coaches as they prepare for a European Cup final, as Sheridan Bird discovers

ADDITIONAL REPORTING John Atkin

A plethora of big decisions face a manager on the eve of a Champions League final. Pressing strategy or counterattack? Man marking or zonal defence? And it doesn’t stop on the pitch, because a global audience of around 400 million means your sartorial approach will be scrutinised. Social media users flag up a questionable overcoat as quickly as they notice a struggling false nine. 

Traditionally there are two options: smart suit or comfy tracksuit and trainers. If you like coaches who get stuck in on the training ground, you’ll appreciate the Jürgen Klopp method. The 2019 Champions League winner is seemingly welded into sportswear, including a baseball cap. It goes well with his informal vibe and irreverent character. In one TV interview the German confesses, “My problem is that I have no space or resources to think about what I wear before a game. I just fall into the game with other things to do, and then I have to put my tie on? That just doesn’t work for me. Plus the club delivers the tracksuit, it’s already in the dressing room.” Interestingly, selecting the same work uniform to preserve mental energy is why Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg never strays from his grey T-shirt and jeans. Herr Klopp is in good company.

Remarkably only four coaches have lifted Europe’s ultimate prize in training gear, and 50% of them represented Liverpool. They were Klopp in 2019 and Joe Fagan in 1984. Ljubo Petrović of Crvena zvezda in 1991 and Ajax maestro Stefan Kovács in 1973 are the other two to resemble PE teachers. Continuing the educational theme, in 1980 Brian Clough looked every bit the history teacher supervising a school football match, putting a bright red tracksuit top over his casual attire. Some believe the tracksuit (or its shiny modern younger brother the shellsuit) is relatable and makes the boss one of the boys. Others find it a bit scruffy. Conversely, many fans love the gaffer in a suit and grown-up shoes. Maybe with good reason because a mammoth 54 out of 67 winning bosses have donned a jacket and tie. Carlo Ancelotti was the latest example in Paris in May. It’s a way to look professional and serious but still reveal some of your personality. If you are in good shape you can go slim-fit – at times Zinédine Zidane’s trousers were so tight they looked sprayed on during Real Madrid’s three-in-a-row run from 2016 to 2018. For the 2012 final Chelsea’s Roberto Di Matteo wore possibly the skinniest tie in history, which resembled a burnt French fry hanging from his neck.  

Double-breasted garments are rarer these days but can help the larger gentleman display a svelte figure while barking instructions. And there’s that tiny yet crucial indicator of mood or character: your top button. If you want to show you can let your hair down, don’t fasten your shirt to the Adam’s apple and yank your tie down a bit. In 2006 Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, one of modern football’s coolest men, didn’t even bother with a tie. That made him the only winning manager between 1991 and 2019 to allow his throat some space.

Villalonga, Jorge, Hiddink and Del Bosque all took the top prize and kept their top lips warm
By

The choice of colour can become a trademark. Diego Simeone, twice losing finalist with Atlético de Madrid in 2014 and 2016, dresses head to toe in black. It brought him good results earlier on his career and has now become a superstitious selection. There are rare photos of the Argentine in a white shirt, but nothing in the past decade. He is the Johnny Cash of the Champions League.

So, it’s a straight shoot-out between designer suits and gaudy sports garb. Or is it? Football and fashion are complicated worlds that evolve quickly; when you think you are on top of it, something new arrives. Over the past decade a third dress code has appeared: sports casual. José Mourinho dipped in and out of it in his spell at Real Madrid, while Pep Guardiola has made it his own since leaving Barcelona. Thomas Tuchel is the current king by dint of his Champions League triumph in the 2021 final in tailored trousers, a thin jumper and sleek bodywarmer, all in navy blue. Indeed, Tuchel has even appeared in a fashion shoot for ZeitMagazin Mann. 

This is the choice of the younger manager and you could wear it to a high-power meeting or swanky big city bar. Hansi Flick was another fine example of this style when his Bayern conquered Europe in 2019/20. Flick’s successor Julian Nagelsmann has recently joined this movement after a few loud experiments in the recent past. This livery is the future because top coaches are getting younger and don’t want to dress like fuddy duddies or appear slobby. They come across as dynamic and cosmopolitan in their threads made from the highest quality materials. 

 There is another part of your image that is down to genetics rather than gliding around the best boutiques, and that’s facial hair. Only Klopp and Guardiola have taken the title with a beard, and the Catalan’s was more of an 1980s designer stubble than anything else. But don’t throw away that razor just yet: moustaches fare better, particularly those of an Iberian nature. José Villalonga (1956, 1957), Artur Jorge (1987), Guus Hiddink (1988) and the ’tache daddy Vicente del Bosque (2000 and 2002) all took the top prize while keeping their top lips warm. Ever the rebel, Rijkaard, who sported a well-groomed moustache as a player, masterminded Barça’s 2006 triumph from the bench with a face as smooth as his team’s passing. He is nothing if not unpredictable.

The lines of demarcation are clear, and the tracksuit appears most at risk of extinction from the Champions League winner’s podium. It’s tough to predict the next flag bearer after Klopp. Naturally, the thing that aids victory most of all, which doesn’t fit in your wardrobe, is a great team. 

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Fashion

Dressed for success

Smart suit, comfy tracksuit or even smart casual? What to wear is an age-old dilemma for coaches as they prepare for a European Cup final, as Sheridan Bird discovers

ADDITIONAL REPORTING John Atkin

A plethora of big decisions face a manager on the eve of a Champions League final. Pressing strategy or counterattack? Man marking or zonal defence? And it doesn’t stop on the pitch, because a global audience of around 400 million means your sartorial approach will be scrutinised. Social media users flag up a questionable overcoat as quickly as they notice a struggling false nine. 

Traditionally there are two options: smart suit or comfy tracksuit and trainers. If you like coaches who get stuck in on the training ground, you’ll appreciate the Jürgen Klopp method. The 2019 Champions League winner is seemingly welded into sportswear, including a baseball cap. It goes well with his informal vibe and irreverent character. In one TV interview the German confesses, “My problem is that I have no space or resources to think about what I wear before a game. I just fall into the game with other things to do, and then I have to put my tie on? That just doesn’t work for me. Plus the club delivers the tracksuit, it’s already in the dressing room.” Interestingly, selecting the same work uniform to preserve mental energy is why Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg never strays from his grey T-shirt and jeans. Herr Klopp is in good company.

Remarkably only four coaches have lifted Europe’s ultimate prize in training gear, and 50% of them represented Liverpool. They were Klopp in 2019 and Joe Fagan in 1984. Ljubo Petrović of Crvena zvezda in 1991 and Ajax maestro Stefan Kovács in 1973 are the other two to resemble PE teachers. Continuing the educational theme, in 1980 Brian Clough looked every bit the history teacher supervising a school football match, putting a bright red tracksuit top over his casual attire. Some believe the tracksuit (or its shiny modern younger brother the shellsuit) is relatable and makes the boss one of the boys. Others find it a bit scruffy. Conversely, many fans love the gaffer in a suit and grown-up shoes. Maybe with good reason because a mammoth 54 out of 67 winning bosses have donned a jacket and tie. Carlo Ancelotti was the latest example in Paris in May. It’s a way to look professional and serious but still reveal some of your personality. If you are in good shape you can go slim-fit – at times Zinédine Zidane’s trousers were so tight they looked sprayed on during Real Madrid’s three-in-a-row run from 2016 to 2018. For the 2012 final Chelsea’s Roberto Di Matteo wore possibly the skinniest tie in history, which resembled a burnt French fry hanging from his neck.  

Double-breasted garments are rarer these days but can help the larger gentleman display a svelte figure while barking instructions. And there’s that tiny yet crucial indicator of mood or character: your top button. If you want to show you can let your hair down, don’t fasten your shirt to the Adam’s apple and yank your tie down a bit. In 2006 Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, one of modern football’s coolest men, didn’t even bother with a tie. That made him the only winning manager between 1991 and 2019 to allow his throat some space.

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Villalonga, Jorge, Hiddink and Del Bosque all took the top prize and kept their top lips warm
By

The choice of colour can become a trademark. Diego Simeone, twice losing finalist with Atlético de Madrid in 2014 and 2016, dresses head to toe in black. It brought him good results earlier on his career and has now become a superstitious selection. There are rare photos of the Argentine in a white shirt, but nothing in the past decade. He is the Johnny Cash of the Champions League.

So, it’s a straight shoot-out between designer suits and gaudy sports garb. Or is it? Football and fashion are complicated worlds that evolve quickly; when you think you are on top of it, something new arrives. Over the past decade a third dress code has appeared: sports casual. José Mourinho dipped in and out of it in his spell at Real Madrid, while Pep Guardiola has made it his own since leaving Barcelona. Thomas Tuchel is the current king by dint of his Champions League triumph in the 2021 final in tailored trousers, a thin jumper and sleek bodywarmer, all in navy blue. Indeed, Tuchel has even appeared in a fashion shoot for ZeitMagazin Mann. 

This is the choice of the younger manager and you could wear it to a high-power meeting or swanky big city bar. Hansi Flick was another fine example of this style when his Bayern conquered Europe in 2019/20. Flick’s successor Julian Nagelsmann has recently joined this movement after a few loud experiments in the recent past. This livery is the future because top coaches are getting younger and don’t want to dress like fuddy duddies or appear slobby. They come across as dynamic and cosmopolitan in their threads made from the highest quality materials. 

 There is another part of your image that is down to genetics rather than gliding around the best boutiques, and that’s facial hair. Only Klopp and Guardiola have taken the title with a beard, and the Catalan’s was more of an 1980s designer stubble than anything else. But don’t throw away that razor just yet: moustaches fare better, particularly those of an Iberian nature. José Villalonga (1956, 1957), Artur Jorge (1987), Guus Hiddink (1988) and the ’tache daddy Vicente del Bosque (2000 and 2002) all took the top prize while keeping their top lips warm. Ever the rebel, Rijkaard, who sported a well-groomed moustache as a player, masterminded Barça’s 2006 triumph from the bench with a face as smooth as his team’s passing. He is nothing if not unpredictable.

The lines of demarcation are clear, and the tracksuit appears most at risk of extinction from the Champions League winner’s podium. It’s tough to predict the next flag bearer after Klopp. Naturally, the thing that aids victory most of all, which doesn’t fit in your wardrobe, is a great team. 

Fashion

Dressed for success

Smart suit, comfy tracksuit or even smart casual? What to wear is an age-old dilemma for coaches as they prepare for a European Cup final, as Sheridan Bird discovers

ADDITIONAL REPORTING John Atkin

A plethora of big decisions face a manager on the eve of a Champions League final. Pressing strategy or counterattack? Man marking or zonal defence? And it doesn’t stop on the pitch, because a global audience of around 400 million means your sartorial approach will be scrutinised. Social media users flag up a questionable overcoat as quickly as they notice a struggling false nine. 

Traditionally there are two options: smart suit or comfy tracksuit and trainers. If you like coaches who get stuck in on the training ground, you’ll appreciate the Jürgen Klopp method. The 2019 Champions League winner is seemingly welded into sportswear, including a baseball cap. It goes well with his informal vibe and irreverent character. In one TV interview the German confesses, “My problem is that I have no space or resources to think about what I wear before a game. I just fall into the game with other things to do, and then I have to put my tie on? That just doesn’t work for me. Plus the club delivers the tracksuit, it’s already in the dressing room.” Interestingly, selecting the same work uniform to preserve mental energy is why Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg never strays from his grey T-shirt and jeans. Herr Klopp is in good company.

Remarkably only four coaches have lifted Europe’s ultimate prize in training gear, and 50% of them represented Liverpool. They were Klopp in 2019 and Joe Fagan in 1984. Ljubo Petrović of Crvena zvezda in 1991 and Ajax maestro Stefan Kovács in 1973 are the other two to resemble PE teachers. Continuing the educational theme, in 1980 Brian Clough looked every bit the history teacher supervising a school football match, putting a bright red tracksuit top over his casual attire. Some believe the tracksuit (or its shiny modern younger brother the shellsuit) is relatable and makes the boss one of the boys. Others find it a bit scruffy. Conversely, many fans love the gaffer in a suit and grown-up shoes. Maybe with good reason because a mammoth 54 out of 67 winning bosses have donned a jacket and tie. Carlo Ancelotti was the latest example in Paris in May. It’s a way to look professional and serious but still reveal some of your personality. If you are in good shape you can go slim-fit – at times Zinédine Zidane’s trousers were so tight they looked sprayed on during Real Madrid’s three-in-a-row run from 2016 to 2018. For the 2012 final Chelsea’s Roberto Di Matteo wore possibly the skinniest tie in history, which resembled a burnt French fry hanging from his neck.  

Double-breasted garments are rarer these days but can help the larger gentleman display a svelte figure while barking instructions. And there’s that tiny yet crucial indicator of mood or character: your top button. If you want to show you can let your hair down, don’t fasten your shirt to the Adam’s apple and yank your tie down a bit. In 2006 Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, one of modern football’s coolest men, didn’t even bother with a tie. That made him the only winning manager between 1991 and 2019 to allow his throat some space.

Villalonga, Jorge, Hiddink and Del Bosque all took the top prize and kept their top lips warm
By

The choice of colour can become a trademark. Diego Simeone, twice losing finalist with Atlético de Madrid in 2014 and 2016, dresses head to toe in black. It brought him good results earlier on his career and has now become a superstitious selection. There are rare photos of the Argentine in a white shirt, but nothing in the past decade. He is the Johnny Cash of the Champions League.

So, it’s a straight shoot-out between designer suits and gaudy sports garb. Or is it? Football and fashion are complicated worlds that evolve quickly; when you think you are on top of it, something new arrives. Over the past decade a third dress code has appeared: sports casual. José Mourinho dipped in and out of it in his spell at Real Madrid, while Pep Guardiola has made it his own since leaving Barcelona. Thomas Tuchel is the current king by dint of his Champions League triumph in the 2021 final in tailored trousers, a thin jumper and sleek bodywarmer, all in navy blue. Indeed, Tuchel has even appeared in a fashion shoot for ZeitMagazin Mann. 

This is the choice of the younger manager and you could wear it to a high-power meeting or swanky big city bar. Hansi Flick was another fine example of this style when his Bayern conquered Europe in 2019/20. Flick’s successor Julian Nagelsmann has recently joined this movement after a few loud experiments in the recent past. This livery is the future because top coaches are getting younger and don’t want to dress like fuddy duddies or appear slobby. They come across as dynamic and cosmopolitan in their threads made from the highest quality materials. 

 There is another part of your image that is down to genetics rather than gliding around the best boutiques, and that’s facial hair. Only Klopp and Guardiola have taken the title with a beard, and the Catalan’s was more of an 1980s designer stubble than anything else. But don’t throw away that razor just yet: moustaches fare better, particularly those of an Iberian nature. José Villalonga (1956, 1957), Artur Jorge (1987), Guus Hiddink (1988) and the ’tache daddy Vicente del Bosque (2000 and 2002) all took the top prize while keeping their top lips warm. Ever the rebel, Rijkaard, who sported a well-groomed moustache as a player, masterminded Barça’s 2006 triumph from the bench with a face as smooth as his team’s passing. He is nothing if not unpredictable.

The lines of demarcation are clear, and the tracksuit appears most at risk of extinction from the Champions League winner’s podium. It’s tough to predict the next flag bearer after Klopp. Naturally, the thing that aids victory most of all, which doesn’t fit in your wardrobe, is a great team. 

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