One of the most exciting parts to the build-up of the World Cup every four years is the unveiling of the official kits being used by each nation participating in the tournament. The class of 2018 have been released but which kits look beautiful and which ones are a visual disaster? Here are our picks for the three best and three worst kits on display at this year’s tournament.
Simply the Best…
The theme at this year’s World Cup for kits appears to be retro. No nation better encapsulates that influence than Nigeria’s kit. The green and white zig zags on the body with the black and white zigzags on the arms is a combination that doesn’t sound like it would work but it does. This wonderful specimen is a tribute to their 1994 World Cup kit used in the USA. Hopefully, this kit can inspire the team to a better finish than the 2nd Round exit they suffered 24 years ago. Nike really has done the business with this kit.
Kit manufacturer Adidas has launched an all-out assault on the style wars this World Cup. Their best effort comes in the form of Colombia’s kit. It is a tip of the hat to the 1990 edition that was worn by national legends such as Carlos Valderrama, Fredy Rincon, and Andres Escobar. That year, La Tricolor were knocked out in the 2nd Round. A similar finish this year might be deemed a failure so James Rodriguez and co. will be hoping this is the kit that is associated with a more successful tournament.
You can always rely on Germany to deliver a classic World Cup kit. The less said about their Third Reich kits of the 1934 and 1938 World Cups the better but as the years have passed Die Mannschaft have delivered some belters. From the stylish simplicity of the 1970s to the classy releases of the 1990s and 2000s that became synonymous with World Cup success. This version is a black and white tip of the hat to their 1990 World Cup campaign that saw the team lift the trophy, when known as West Germany. Retaining the trophy this summer after winning it four years ago in Brazil is certainly possible looking this good.
Quite Possibly the Worst…
Senegal are appearing at their second World Cup. Their first outing came in the successful 2002 campaign in South Korea and Japan where the golden generation of their national football team stormed to the Quarter-Finals. It was a memorable debut that saw Les Lions de la Teranga announce themselves on the world stage with a shock 1-0 win in their opening game against reigning champions France. Unfortunately, the manufacturers clearly need a few more World Cups to get to grips with what would work for the country’s kit design. A few other nations have tried the faint print on the background of their tops such as Mexico in 1998 and Togo in 2006. It didn’t look great then and it certainly doesn’t now. Puma really should know better.
Without a doubt, the strangest concept behind a World Cup kit ever imagined comes in the form of this year’s kit for Switzerland. It would have been amazing to be a fly on the wall of the brainstorming meeting at Puma headquarters that took the decision to use a topographical map of Switzerland as a background print for the body of the jersey. In case you’re wondering, the Matterhorn is located right above the heart apparently! In reality, it just looks like a mess. For such a stunningly beautiful country the kit is a travesty.
One word for this kit. Yawn! It obviously got to the point where Adidas had spent all their creative time thinking up the outstanding Colombian kit. When it came to figuring out how best to present the Swedish kit for this year’s World Cup the enthusiasm had gone. The best way to describe this kit is that it resembles the budget kit that is the only one your local Sunday League team can afford because Darren the left back didn’t pay his subs. It’s like they’ve taken the classic design from 1994, ripped it up, taken all the bad bits, kept them, and then thrown away all the cool bits like the blue stripes. In 20 years time, if people ask you to remember the Sweden kit of the 2018 World Cup you won’t remember. It’s forgettable. Sweden will look on at Colombia with envy. We all know which yellow Adidas World Cup kit we’ll all be buying this summer… and it won’t be Sweden!