Ranked! EVERY 2018 World Cup kit on show in Russia this summer
12. Uruguay, home
This is good from Puma: simple, eye-catching and featuring a sun graphic inspired by Uruguay’s Sol de Atlantida monument… or possibly just, y’know, the sun.
11. Brazil, away
Yep, this is how a Brazil away kit should look.
10. Spain, home
Hoo boy, the ’90s really are back, aren’t they? Spain’s home shirt is modelled on the one they wore at USA '94, and although it’s unnoticeable from one side, the look front-on is swish. The Adidas logo moving centrally to accommodate this design feature gives an asymmetrical feel as it sits close to Spain’s very large crest, but we’re quibbling, really.
9. South Korea, away
Most kits near the top of our rankings have made a bit of noise on social media; this, however, has made about as much impact as a referee telling Sergio Ramos to behave. That’s a shame, because South Korea’s second kit is subtly sublime. Nike have borrowed the national flag’s Taegeuk iconography and turned it into a beautiful wave pattern.
8. Brazil, home
Proving once again that simplicity is often the best approach, Nike have done little with Brazil’s legendary uniform except to brighten its yellow shade a touch, making it stand out even more. You can imagine this being worn on five-a-side pitches in years to come.
Inspired by their orange kits of the ’70s and ’80s, only with the contrast turned up to 11, Colombia’s away kit takes their regular blue back-up and goes supernova with it. The colour matching is perfect, and we especially like the vertical print that is apparently (come on, we can’t know everything) a nod to the mulera – a scarf worn over the shoulder by Colombia’s coffee growers; Los Cafeteros being the Colombian national team’s nickname. All in all, it’s a strong look.
Wow. This is quite something. Nike say this design “pays subtle homage to Nigeria’s ’94 shirt, worn by Nigeria’s first team to qualify”; we say that’s a generous interpretation of the word ‘subtle’.
There’s a hint of false memory about this, though, because the model in question was worn later in 1994, after the World Cup, including in a match against England that saw Neil Ruddock win his only cap (not for Nigeria, obviously). The Super Eagles’ USA '94 kit was plain green with a weird white cowl thing. So we have to ask: if this new effort is only loosely inspired by days gone by, did they have to combine the lush pale green of the torso with the “eagle wing-inspired black-and-white sleeves”, making the shirt look like a cut-and-shut of two cars with equally bonkers owners?
It is bloody good, though. No wonder it’s broken pre-order records.
We like this a lot. The colours are rich, with Nike’s Vapor sleeve template design working particularly well in these hues, and the silly breastplate worn at Euro 2016 is gone. The gold metallic trim looks fantastic, too, even if the designers say it’s there to symbolise royalty because “Ronaldo is a Portuguese hero and we wanted to tell the story of the modern king of football leading this new team”. Yuck.
With great sadness, we had to put Iceland second-last in our Euro 2016 countdown. This time, however, Errea have really come up trumps. The sleeve design here is sex on legs – well, arms – with the merging colours representing fire and ice, one melting the other.
It’s the same, yet somehow even better.
Yes please. Other Adidas countries have borrowed heavily from this design (*cough* Argentina *cough*) but truly it belongs to Colombia, as a virtually identical remake of their Italia '90 shirt worn most famously by one Carlos Valderrama. And the only significant change – besides the shoulder stripes being navy blue instead of red – is an improvement, as the yellow socks of old become red in order to perfectly represent the Colombian flag: from top to bottom, yellow, blue and red. Exquisite.
Logically, this doesn’t work. The lettering for players’ names is horrific, as we discussed earlier, and horizontal stripes force the squad number down to an unhelpfully low position. Won’t somebody think of the commentators?
On the other hand... just look at it. Gaze upon this wondrousness, then shield your eyes from its celestial beauty. It’s retro yet modern, busy yet clean, and based on a previous classic (Germany’s 1990 shirt, which featured the flag’s colours of black, red and yellow rather than this monochrome interpretation) yet instantly iconic in its own right.
It is a kit made for the world champions.