Football fashion: The best World Cup kits
Football fashion: The best World Cup kits
The 2018 FIFA World Cup means new looks for the players and supporters of the world’s top footballing nations. Only the group draw and team roster announcements rival the amount of press that kit launches receive during the lead up to the tournament. Uniforms have become not just about on field production. They are a statement piece to represent a country in the same way a national flag does. Here’s our breakdown on the top kits you’ll see this summer in Russia.
10. Germany

The new home and away kit for the defending World Cup champions is a modernized take on the country’s most famous jersey from 1990. The collar has the words “Die Mannschaft,” which means “The Team” on the neckline. A gold World Cup winner badge is on the front of the jersey.

9. Colombia

The Colombian home uniform is inspired by their kits of the 1990s, and has a blue and red graphic design on the side of it representing the Colombian flag.

The away jersey is blue and features a graphic pattern which is a take from the traditional scarves worn by Colombians on special occasions. It includes bright orange accents in the stripes and trim on the collar. On the collar the team’s slogan, “Unidos Por Un Pais,” which translates to “United as one Nation,” is a nice touch.

8. Japan

The Japanese shirt has elements from the country’s streetwear culture, and is a modernized version of their 1991 jersey.

The uniform is inspired by Japanese Apparel Design. The graphic replicates the craftsmanship of Sashiko style stitching technique, which is made with white rough threads on indigo dyed base. This kit has a new version of blue, with hints of red and white to represent the national flag. The signage on the neck area shows off treasured moments of Japanese soccer history.

7. Spain

The Spanish home shirt pays homage to one of the country’s most iconic uniforms, the one worn at the 1994 World Cup in the United States. The line graphic design of diamonds in red, yellow and blue are not just for show – they represent the formation and style of one touch football that has become associated with Spain and the golden generation of the national team. The away shirt features a new colour combination. The light blue kit was inspired by the Adidas uniforms of the late 1980s, and also includes sleeve cuffs and three stripes in red.

6. England

As the English once again get their hopes up and brag about the fact that they invented the world’s game, they’ll have a new uniform. The jerseys feature a rosette in the inner neck, which is a reference to the rose for caps received by senior players each time they are on international duty.

The custom type used for player names draws from Johnston and Gil Sans, both known as English fonts associated with the transport system and London’s underground.

The St. George’s Cross, a symbol of English pride, is placed on the back neck of both jerseys.

5. Argentina

Argentina’s home kit is a celebration of the Argentinian Football Association’s 125th anniversary – a fixture in the Argentinian coat of arms and the AFA crest are displayed in the iconic baby blue and white stripes. There are two gold stars above the badge to note the country’s two World Cup titles.

The away kit is their best and most progressive shirt. The team will wear black for the first time in the country’s history. The jersey is distinctly different from the previous Adidas away uniforms. It includes an aggressive graphic implementing the colours of the Argentinian flag.

4. Portugal

After claiming its first continental title at Euro 2016, Portugal will travel to Russia this summer as the defending kings of Europe. Their new uniform will fittingly have royal tones.

The home kit is the classic green finished with hints of gold that symbolize the fact they’ve won the last big tournament they were in.

The away kit emphasizes that they are searching for new territory to conquer, with green key points of a compass on the front of the white jersey. It’s a nod to the county’s history of exploration and symbolizes the discovery of fresh talent to carry the national team forward, such as André Silva, João Mario and André Gomes.

The Portuguese pre-match jersey also contains these themes while also incorporating a large Portuguese cross, similar to the national flag.

3. France

Both home and away kits for Les Bleus include a tricolored tape at the back of the neck, and a badge on the inside that says “Nos Differences Nous Unissent,” which means “Our Differences Unite Us.” The phrase is displayed in a hexagon, which is the geometric shape of France, and highlights the multicultural make-up of the squad.

The home kit shows off the tricolor from top to bottom. A placket collar includes a button with the national motto, “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.”

The away kit doesn’t resemble the flag as much. On TV, the away kit will read white. A closer look shows red and blue hyper-speckle knit on the body of the jersey.

You’ll also notice the numbers on this uniform are unique compared to other Nike supplied kits. The custom numbers for these jerseys represent the country’s art deco architecture. The pre-match attire is better than the kit itself and the best piece is the warm-up shirt that features the legendary Mariniere blue and white stripe, which is a typical French fashion design element.

2. Mexico

The Mexican kit is a take-off of the designs from the early 1990s, but with a streetwear influence. Their home jersey is their traditional green with a graphic design running across the chest.

The away jersey incorporates the colours of the Mexican flag, with a bold red and green stripe running across the chest.

The slogan for this team is on the jersey and the neckline: “Soy Mexico,” which means “I Am Mexico.”

1. Nigeria

The people have spoken as to what nation they think has the best uniforms. Sold out in three minutes after three million pre-orders, Nigeria’s kits have made a global splash, with fans waiting hours to get any piece of merchandise.

Nigeria players Wilfred Ndidi, Jon Obi Mikel, Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho were impressed when they saw the 2018 uniform for the first time.

The kits feature elements of Nigerian culture, which have made them a must have for members of their diaspora communities in Canada, England, the United States and around the world. The uniforms represent the youthful exuberance of the Super Eagles’ young stars, with the majority of the Nigerian players on the team being under 25 years old and in their first World Cup. To represent that fact on the kits is the word “Naija,” which translates to “the new Nigeria.”

The kits are supposed to represent the new generation’s perspective on patriotism.

The home kit has a badge in homage to the 1996 Olympic gold medal-winning “Dream Team.” The new home shirt, which is drawing rave reviews, is a nod to the Nigerian’s 1994 shirt which was worn by the country’s first team to qualify for the World Cup. The best detail is the eagle wing-inspired black-and-white sleeve and green torso.

The full green kit is now the away uniform and no longer the home strip.

The streetwear inspired designs are made to represent the crossover culture in Nigeria that has made it one of the world’s largest film industries and a growing Afrobeat music scene. The off-pitch portion of the collection includes a tonal green floral travel suit and unique accessories like bucket hats.

Photo Credits

Photos courtesey of Adidas and Nike.