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50 Years of Lotto | The Italian Brand's Football Legacy

Italian sportswear brand Lotto are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, so we thought we’d take a look at their legacy in football.

50 Years of Lotto

2023 marks Lotto’s 50th year in the sportswear industry, and although they’ve left their mark on the sport across various decades, football was not their first specialist area. Founded in Montebelluna in 1973 by the Caberlotto brothers, Lotto started out making clothing and footwear for tennis, followed by basketball, volleyball and track and field, before producing their first football boots in the 80s.

By then, they had already earned themselves a reputation for innovation and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Eight time Wimbledon champion John Newcombe and Davis Cup Winner Tonino Zugarelli sported their footwear as they competed on the world stage.

Their move into football got off to a great start, with legendary Italy captain Dino Zoff lifting the World Cup in 1982 while kitted out in Lotto boots with a splash of bright yellow highlighting the double lozenge logo, one of the first uses of such a bright colour on a football boot. Other stars of that era like Ruud Gullit and Carlo Ancelotti followed suit, and the brand went from strength to strength as they moved into the 90s.

Kit deals with Fiorentina, Napoli, Atalanta, Parma and Torino gave them significant influence on the on-field aesthetic of Serie A of that glorious time. Their biggest coup came when they partnered with A.C Milan in 1993, who were in the midst of their most successful ever period. They won Serie A and the Champions League in Lotto shirts, considered by many to be among the club's best ever looks.

They also began to make a splash in the international game. Dennis Bergkamp and co went to the 1994 World Cup in some beautiful orange Lotto jerseys, while Croatia shocked everyone with their third place finish at France 98 and their iconic “flag in the wind” look. Davor Suker took home the golden boot, firing in 6 goals off his trusty Lotto Stadios.

By the 2000s Lotto had become the first choice for many top players in Italy. Brazil captain Cafu took to the podium in a pair of Lotto Ventos to lift the World Cup trophy in 2002. The Vento was also in the spotlight in the 02-03 Champions League final, on the feet of Milan goalkeeper, Dida, who saved three penalties in the shootout, as well as those of team mate Clarence Seedorf. Andriy Shevchenko led the Serie A goalscoring charts and scored the winning penalty in that same shootout, clad in a pair of his signature Sheva Elite boots.

The now ubiquitous laceless boot was a Lotto innovation, way back in 2006. Years before other brands followed, the Zhero Gravity came along with its sleek, groundbreaking design in a white and gold colourway that perfectly accentuated its qualities. Launched during the 2006 World Cup, it got plenty of airtime thanks to Mauro Camoranesi, Simone Perotta and Luca Toni as Italy added a fourth star to their crest in Berlin. Joan Capdevila ensured Lotto’s place on the winner’s stage for a third successive World Cup in 2010 with his custom Fuerzapura cleats.

Luca Toni was a long-serving ambassador for the Italian brand and gave them another moment in the sun in 2015, as he became the oldest ever Capocannoniere in Serie A, bagging 22 goals for Hellas Verona at the ripe old age of 38. Lotto released a special limited edition of his Stadio Potenza to celebrate their partnership and the history they had made together, with only 500 pairs produced. Special remakes of the Stadio have also been produced over the years, bringing back the simple but elegant style and quality craftsmanship that made them such a popular choice in the 90s.

Throughout the 2010s and now into the 2020s, Lotto have remained present at the highest levels of European football, making kits for clubs in La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1, as well as further afield for the likes of Cusco FC in Peru. Their Solista 100 speed boot was repped at the 2022 World Cup by Walid Cheddira of Morocco and should also make an appearance at the 2023 Women’s World Cup on the feet of Italy’s Aurora Galli.

With so much history and quality gear in their archives, we can expect something special as part of the celebratory anniversary collection. Have you got a favourite Lotto kit? Or have you ever had a pair of their boots? Let us know in the comments.