Jul 23, 2015
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Why’s the love growing for 1970s idols, retro shirts and football nostalgia

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There’s a pinch of sadism that grows whenever sights of past times are present, with modern day footballing issues ruining the game we love. Blatter has been caught along with numerous scandalous persons in the FIFA organisation; overpriced individuals have become a common feature. £49m would be enough to buy Zidane in his prime, now it can afford a 20 year old unproven Raheem Sterling.  Diving and player disputes have always been a part of the game but it’s got to a silly point now. The working man’s game seems to have vanished.

However, there’s an ever-growing fashion of ‘retro-ness’ upon the horizon. Terms such as ‘libero’, a football manager funded ‘trequartista’ term and ‘regista’ are becoming more common terms in the footballing society.

Campo retro shirts are on the up as well. Fans are keen to prove their loyalty before said clubs became successful. This pretty much guarantees successful sales of a Manchester United shirt with a Sharp’s logo on it, or a pre-2004 Chelsea shirt, if they even exist.

Idols from the 60s, 70s and early 80s are also becoming a more regular feature of modern football. It’s become a statement of knowledge when someone declares their favourite player is Socrates. Others around feel this person must know their stuff if they like a player from times before they were born.

Some may say it’s a general pattern of fashion within any subject. Over time retro items become popular before fading away. The clothing industry has seen a rise in demand for circular shaped sunglasses, an item that was popular during the 90s.

Other reasons are also present.

A large feature of the latest FourFourTwo magazine has done little to nullify this growing fashion. Pictures of past time stars on holiday take up a fair few pages of this month’s edition while an excellent piece done with Paul Gascoigne has taken readers back to his prime.

Another piece on Andrea Pirlo has set hearts alight. Pirlo is one of few to make viewers feel old when watching his graceful footballing ability. Patrolling the pitch at a walking pace, he dictates games, making others irrelevant. Perhaps, he’s one of the last few to play in this old fashioned style. He’s one of few that the growing bandwagon of ‘retro-ness’ can connect to on a football field. With an old fashioned style, he isn’t tuned to the modern pace, nor does he need to be. An untouched lock of flowing brown hair emanates on old fashioned look compared to Lionel Messi’s ‘fusey’. His hair, paired with his beard makes him appeal to the football hipster, of who seem to be part of the retro cult as well. His feet, covered with Nike Tiempo’s complete the retro look.

A timeless legend. Pirlo has impressed throughout his career, especially during his time at Juventus.

Another wearer of the Nike Tiempo’s is Francesco Totti, another retro player who’s also a one club man. The loyalty appeals to those seeking retro-ness as it opposes modern day football. With players moving for money, better lifestyles and increase chances of silverware, a loyal player sticks out like a sore thumb, which is why so many were saddened to see Gerrard appear for another team other than Liverpool.

But the love for the old times is fuelled by a stronger feud than the loss of legends and men with beards. The ‘AMF’ trend is ever increasing, especially as fans feel clubs, oligopolistic businesses, are abusing their devoted loyalty. With ticket prices rising and a never ending argument over standing stands fans are starting to feel like they have it the worst. Old times would see fans bombard the pitch after a win with a large number of the following getting through the gate paying a small fee, while showing love for their club on their feet.

Rightfully, fans want the less strict rules to apply to them nowadays as entering a stadium can feel like standing in a court room.

Players also make the fans suffer. An increase in technology has seen to a fall in fan interaction. The lack of players going out into town meeting fans is at an all-time low, it’s almost unheard of. Albeit, the game has become more professional as players are no longer allowed to go down to the pub and integrate with fans, but they could stick to club guidelines while at least making an effort.

A growing casual cult is a result of poor player interaction. Fans need to find a way to exert there devotion somehow.

Fans have reverted back to old times due to the elitist attitude of clubs and players. The game no longer requires fan integration for a player to make a living.

The game needs a change and the utmost respect is due for the retro seekers. They are the ones leading the purification of football, they are the ones taking us all back to better days and as transfer fees keep rising, they are making the game more fan friendly with their ongoing support of when football was at its richest.

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English Premier League · Juventus · Liverpool · Roma

Journalism student at the University of Sheffield. Freelance for TheBootRoom.

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