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Now Playing Everywhere: Soccer Nostalgia

set-in sleeve sort of a club. As Inigo Turner, the company’s design director, put it, the set-in sleeve is part of “Arsenal’s DNA.”

Adidas’s problem was a compressed design timeline: Its usual two-year process of research, interviews and visits — all before so much as a preliminary sketch, let alone a final product — would have to be completed in a matter of months in order to release the jerseys this summer.

Fortunately, Turner’s designers had a clear idea in mind anyway: picking up where their predecessors had left off 25 years ago, the last time Adidas made Arsenal’s shirts. The set-in sleeves would come back, and so would the block colors and the V-neck collar. Adidas would run the brand’s three stripes along the shoulder again, too.

Many of its jerseys at last year’s World Cup in Russia carried with them echoes of previous tournaments. Turner said that was deliberate, then and now. “We take authentic reference points that strike a chord with people and modernize them,” Turner said. He called it “authentic nostalgia.”

Adidas is not the only brand that has found it profitable. A glance at this season’s Premier League jerseys reveals a Chelsea shirt, produced by Nike, that references the uniform the club wore from 1991 to 1993, and a New Balance-designed Liverpool jersey adorned by pinstripes, just like the club wore in 1984. (Newcastle has gone even further back: Its Puma effort has been cast as a homage to its 1969 Fairs Cup-winning team.)

the 30-year rule — the amount of time needed for children to grow up, secure influential jobs in the creative industries, and then set about restoring the tastes of their own youth to prominence — he also argues much of it is driven by modern youth culture.

89,” telling the story of Arsenal’s remarkable championship victory that year, and “Kenny,” a biopic of Kenny Dalglish, the former Liverpool player and manager, focusing in particular on his role in comforting the club and city in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.

This year, the Oscar-winning director Asif Kapadia — whose previous work includes the documentaries “Senna” and “Amy” — added “Maradona” to the canon. It takes as its focus not Diego Maradona’s whole career, from his roots in Buenos Aires to his spell as a coach in Mexico this year, but rather his exalted, explosive and eventually destructive period at Napoli between 1984 and 1991.

Much of the footage Kapadia used is archival, shot by two cameramen hired by Maradona’s agent, Jorge Cyterszpiler, to follow his client during his playing days and document his life. They were granted astonishing access — they were, at times, even allowed to film on the field — but the film they were supposed to be making never came into existence. Instead, the video recordings lay forgotten, on a defunct format, the tapes split between Buenos Aires and Naples. Kapadia had to track it down and painstakingly restore it.

“This is pre-steady cam,” Kapadia said in an interview with Soccer Bible when the film was released. “They are not running round with super digital. It is not perfectly sharp. I love the shakiness of it. It is the imperfections of people, humans, Diego Maradona, the pitches, the kits, the weather, all of that.

@RorySmith

A version of this article appears in print on

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SP

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with the headline:

Nostalgia Is Surging For Pre-Modern Age

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