The World Cup is quickly approaching, and this means the launch of the biggest show in the world. One month of sweat, tears, joy, sore throats, loud noise, beers, women, and football. Over 2.2 billion people watched the games of the 2006 World Cup, with over 760 million watching the final alone. Since the World Cup is the biggest stage in the world, the presentation of the participant countries is as important as the football they play. Nike, Adidas, Puma, and Umbro invest heavily every four years in trend-setting World Cup football shirt designs that make teams memorable, even if sometimes this happens for the wrong reasons. But, every fashion show has the good, the bad, and the ugly. The following are some of my favorite World Cup shirts, in terms of design, worn by the stars of the countries.
The Portugal kit for the World Cup is designed by Nike, pictured above as worn by Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal kits always look fantastic, which is probably due to the colors and the simplicity approach to design by Nike. The design is very new-age and less traditional, but the design influence is the 1960 Portugal Home Kit. The collar is more modern, and the green stripe, the one design aspect that makes this shirt just that much more special, is a wonderful addition. Definitely one of the best designed football shirts for the World Cup in my opinion.
The Holland kit for the World Cup is the resurrection of a classic. Maybe this is wishful thinking, hoping that looking like the mechanical orange of Johan Cruyff will get them to finally lift the trophy again. This is a nice evolution from the simple collared orange jerseys Holland has been wearing in recent competitions, and the Orange used is more vibrant and powerful. I just wish Nike left out the black stripes and white stripes, what’s the point of those? The new element in this kit, the black collar. Love how it ties together the black on the numbers and the logo. The Oranje are sure to impress this World Cup with these football kits.
The big three African countries represented by Puma will be playing in what I consider the best designed football kits at the World Cup in South Africa. Honestly, it’s pretty evident to me why Puma out-sold Nike and Adidas at the last world cup, and they will do it again. More top footballing nations should switch from Adidas or Umbro and go with Puma for their football kits. The designers over there are creative, and always deliver. I drool imagining Messi playing a game in an Argentina kit designed by Puma. Either way, my favorite is the Ivory Coast Kit, even though we won’t see much of it in the World Cup judging by the group they’re in.
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