Cameroon, New Zealand and the USA feature in our most iconic World Cup kits: 11-20

Matt Jones 11/06/2018
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better strip at the World Cup in Russia than Nigeria’s retro effort – which sold out on the first day of release after a purported three million orders were placed.

The Super Eagles will hope to soar beyond the group stages, just as they did in Brazil four years ago, and perhaps they’ll even be dreaming of spreading their wings and broadening their horizons by making a first-ever quarter-final appearance.

However far they go, Gernot Rohr’s men will look good doing it in their effervescent green, white and black shirts – an instant classic.

It’s a definite winner, but how does it compare to other iconic World Cup strips of the past?

Being a 2018 model we don’t think it quite deserves a place in the hall of fame just yet. Here, we rank the 20 most memorable from the past 88 years, starting with numbers 11-20.

11 USA 1994

USA 94

Some would perhaps insert this strip in an article on the worst World Cup kits of all time, but we think it encapsulates so many things. Firstly 1994 was the first time the World Cup had been staged anywhere except South America or Europe.

Secondly, for a nation not steeped in traditional football history, the tournament was embraced by a nation and serves as one of the most memorable tournaments to date.

OK, back to the kit, which was a typically patriotic effort from the hosts. Americans certainly aren’t shrinking violets and this was definitely loud and proud, with the stars and stripes incorporated into the design. But it works.

Like Tardelli and Italy, it’s impossible not to visualise Alexei Lalas’ flowing locks and mighty beard when you see this.

12 ITALY 1990

Italy 90

We might have picked this Italy kit ahead of the 1982 effort for the fact that Italia 90 was the first time the nation hosted the World Cup.

But even though this resplendent, shiny, deep blue number is right up there, it’s not quite as cool. The hosts exited at the semi-final stage to reigning champions Argentina, but found solace in the fact Salvatore ‘Toto’ Schillaci finished as top scorer.

13 PORTUGAL 1966

Portugal 66

Like Croatia in 1998, Portugal wowed the world when they finished third in England in 1966. In another year their brilliance might have been rewarded with overall victory.

But the Portuguese will just have to be proud about this simple but perfectly crafted piece of clothing, in which Eusebio announced himself and his nation to the world.

14 URUGUAY 1950

Uruguay 1950

Italy and, perhaps more surprisingly, Uruguay were the early kings of world football as they dominated the first four tournaments, winning two titles apiece.

La Celeste won the first World Cup in 1930 and lifted a second title 20 years later. Befitting of the new kings of the world, they did so looking like royalty in this blistering baby blue number.

15 NEW ZEALAND 2010

NZ 2010

Here’s a great trivia question for you. Who are the only team to not lose a game at the World Cup and not be crowned champions? Give up? Ok, well the title has already given it away perhaps, but the answer is New Zealand.

The country is more famous for its rugby team the All Blacks, but the All Whites performed admirably on their second appearance in 2010. They drew with Slovakia, Paraguay and Italy, the Azzurri exiting along with the men from the Land of the Long White Cloud – whose away kit was reminiscent of their rugby brethren.

16 FRANCE 1998

France 98

As everyone knows, the best France kit ever was going to be hard to beat. But this iconic jersey is another marvel of the 90s and certainly had a certain je ne sais quoi to it.

The combination of red, blue and white was almost as good as the players who wore it, with Zinedine Zidane leading Les Bleus to a maiden triumph and on home soil to boot. Magnifique.

17 NETHERLANDS 1998

Holland 98

The Dutch are the third nation to make this list twice and some would say it’s a little unfair as the striking orange used in their kits gives designers plenty to play with.

More vivid and rich than previous efforts and forever to be associated with Dennis Bergkamp’s sublime goal against Argentina in a 2-1 quarter-final victory, as well as the now famous Dutch disappearing act.

18 CAMEROON 2002

Cameroon 02

Though this was no aesthetic triumph, it’s an effort worthy of inclusion on account of its ingenuity and the controversy it courted alone.

At the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon took to the field in green basketball vests. Overlords FIFA stepped in before the World Cup later that year and deemed the shirts illegal. So, for the Japan-South Korea World Cup, black sleeves were added.

19 SPAIN 1994

Spain 94

Before Spain were the powerhouses of world football that they are today, the best thing about them was their kits.

This Adidas effort is yet another triumph of 90s kit design with the La Furia Roja shirt capturing the decade brilliantly.

20 MEXICO 1998

Mexico 98

While the El Tri’s mix of green, white and red provides designers with a great muse, ABA Sports (now defunct) went overboard with their ghosted Aztec pattern in France.

Like the American effort four years earlier, this might well end up on some worst World Cup lists, but we think it’s brilliant. A special mention must go to the design of the goalkeepers’ kits, donned fittingly by the effervescent Jorge Campos.

Most popular

Lionel Messi says he may never play for Argentina again after the World Cup

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Lionel Messi arrives in Russia with his Argentinian team mates

Lionel Messi, five time Ballon d’or winner, has thrown the football world intro shock just days out from the start of the World Cup in Russia, declaring his international future may be over if Argentina do not perform at the tournament.

“It will depend on how far we go, how we’re going to finish” said the Barcelona legend and Argentina captain in an interview with Spanish Daily Sport.

“We’ve just lost three finals in a row, which has led to us going through some difficult moments with the press.”

Argentina lost the 2014 World Cup final 1-0 to Germany after extra time, before suffering successive defeats by Chile on penalties at the Copa America in 2015 and again in 2016.

Messi, who celebrates his 31st birthday during the World Cup, believes Spain, Brazil, Germany, France and Belgium are among the favourites for the World Cup.

Lionel Messi with his wife Antonella Roccuzzo

Lionel Messi with his wife Antonella Roccuzzo

Most popular

Watch: Go behind the scenes at international broadcast centre in Moscow for World Cup

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
VAR will be used at the World Cup for the first time.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like behind the scenes at the World Cup?

Check out this video to get a glimpse of the inner workings of the international broadcast centre in Moscow for the World Cup, which will broadcast to billions around the world.

VAR (video assistant referees), which will be used for the first time at the tournament, is also housed in the centre.

Take a look behind the curtain for yourself in the video below.

Most popular