With the 2018 World Cup in Russia less than a year away, take a look back at the finest kits from every tournament since the first broadcasted in colour, Mexico 1970.
Best Kit: Brazil Home
To many, this team is still considered the finest international side to play the game; the ambassadors of Brazilian football’s long association with artistic flair.
Their kit was simplistic in style, with no unnecessary gimmicks. Seleçãos yellow shirts and blue shorts have become synonymous with the World Cup and 1970 was the first time the world saw this iconic combination.
Goal of the Day:
⚽Carlos Alberto Brazil vs Italy 🔙 in Mexico 1970 World Cup🌎
💥Amazing Cross🔝 pic.twitter.com/V2trwnockm
— Football Nat10n (@FootballNat10n) April 17, 2017
Honourable Mention: Italy Away
— DJZ.Rracc (@ZRracc) August 27, 2017
Best Kit: Holland Home
Holland were exponents of an wholly unprecedented brand of football in 1974, taking ‘fluid formations’ to new heights as ‘Total Football’ came to prominence.
Sporting a deep orange jersey complimented by Adidas’ trademark three stripes; black shorts provided the perfect contrast for the vibrancy elsewhere.
Perhaps this one was bettered by the Netherlands’ iconic Euro ’88 strip, but it’s their best World Cup entry, nevertheless.
So they say that the Cruyff turn was invented on this day 43 years ago, when Netherlands played Sweden at the 1974 World Cup. pic.twitter.com/qEAKjC1JOP
— Ball Street (@BallStreet) June 19, 2017
Honourable Mention: Zaire Home and Away
— Football Memories (@footballmemorys) June 11, 2017
Best Kit: Peru Home
Peru’s sash-styled jersey could well have been the pick for 1970 or 1982. However, ’78’s version is the pick of the bunch and Teófilo Cubillas’ audacious free-kick (shown below) made it all the better.
Peru eventually crashed out under suspicious circumstances, losing 6-0 to Argentina with accusations of corruption to follow.
— Alexander Díaz (@SCDIAZ1) July 3, 2015
Honourable Mention: Brazil Home
— 1960Bet (@1960Bet) September 1, 2016
Best Kit: England Away
The Three Lions’ 1982 opener versus France is often remembered for two things; Bryan Robson’s dramatic first-minute goal and England’s stylish Admiral attire.
A shame then that companies like Admiral would eventually be forced out of the market as Nike and Adidas have increasingly dominated kit-making from the 90s onwards.
— Terrace Life (@TerraceLife_) November 17, 2015
Honourable Mention: France Home
— Scoreezo (@Scoreezo) April 15, 2016
Best Kit: Argentina Home
Whilst Argentina’s notorious quarter-final clash with England was fought in their away jersey, it was the Albicelestes home kit that stood-out.
Le Coq Sportif, who like Admiral, have gone virtually missing since, produced a classy number, sported by El Diego below:
Diego Maradona in action during the 1986 World Cup match against South Korea in Mexico City. pic.twitter.com/zZ1ym2kuLO
— Nairobi Tipsters (@NairobiTipsters) September 15, 2017
Honourable Mention: Denmark Home
Denmark – 1986 pic.twitter.com/bx08UfzcPu
— Murilo Novais (@murilonf) May 19, 2017
Best Kit: Colombia Away
Colombia’s performance in 1990 is mainly remembered for Rene Higuita’s comedy antics in goal. However, their away kit was a masterpiece.
The South Americans wore their second strip in all three group games including a 1-1 draw with eventual champions West Germany.
Displaying an explosive mixture of red, yellow and blue, this one looked particularly special with Carlos Valderrama’s hair placed on top. Meanwhile, Higuita’s kit was pretty impressive, too.
Alineación de Colombia en un juego de la Copa Mundial de Fútbol de 1990. pic.twitter.com/JvwKMOeHwt
— Historia de Colombia (@colombia_hist) September 7, 2017
Honourable Mention: West Germany Home
— FacuL (@faculeivaF) March 13, 2017
Best Kit: Nigeria Away
The Super Eagles made their World Cup bow in 1994, and they arrived in eccentric style.
Whilst African nations have provided an array of World Cup kits that can only be described as ‘hit-and-miss’, this one was certainly a hit.
Nigeria’s performances included a 3-0 victory over the tournaments surprise package Bulgaria, in which they wore the unconventional jersey – without its matching shorts, though.
Started looking at Nigeria squad for Star Sixes event… eventually stumbled across reminder of this fantastic kit from 1994 World Cup pic.twitter.com/0QtznHj0Ol
— Mike Anstead (@mike_anstead) July 13, 2017
Honourable Mention: Bulgaria Away
Hristo Stoitchkov ( @Hristo8Official ) was joint top scorer at the 1994 World Cup, as Bulgaria came 4th pic.twitter.com/71EuhMR3zB
— Football Remind (@footballremind) May 10, 2016
Best Kit: France Home
The 1998 World Cup will always belong to Les Bleus.
Although the French shirt may appear as a replica of their Euro ’84-winning jersey, this one is just that bit better.
Benefitting from a slicker, modern look, bright red socks accompanied the classy design above to make for a now iconic World Cup appearance.
Thierry Henry in action for France, 1998. pic.twitter.com/OsoaJqj3kJ
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) August 25, 2017
Honourable Mention: Croatia Away
Best Kit: Brazil Away
Both Adidas and Nike nailed their kit templates in 2002 with several sides sporting attractive attire. However, it was Brazil’s away strip, worn in their dramatic victory over England in the quarter-finals that narrowly edges out the opposition.
Honourable Mention: England Away
On this day 14 years ago, David Beckham scored the winning goal against Argentina in the 2002 World Cup… pic.twitter.com/ZPgoUJMR1K
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) June 7, 2016
Best Kit: Italy Home
In 2006, it was the turn of Puma to step-up and they didn’t disappoint with several strong entries, particularly from Africa.
However, Puma’s masterpiece came in the form of Italy’s kit. The Azzurri’s strip was blue from top-to-bottom, with a subtle pattern and tinges of Gold; a kit made for champions.
Happy Birthday to the King of Turin – Alessandro Del Piero. Check out this great goal against Germany in the 2006 World Cup semi-final. pic.twitter.com/BQ8vOTkRHk
— Soccer Manager (@SoccerManager) November 9, 2016
Honourable Mention: France Away
Best Kit: Germany Away
Like Puma in 2006, Adidas utilised gold as the colour to elevate an otherwise ordinary jersey. Germany’s 2010 away shirt wasn’t a universal hit, but it made for an undeniably menacing look.
Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller announced themselves on the international stage in South Africa as Germany were narrowly defeated by Spain in the semi-final.
Honourable Mentions: Portugal Away
Cristiano Ronaldo VS Ismael Tiote (World Cup 2010 Portugal VS Ivory Coast) pic.twitter.com/jq4d8kjb9e
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cr7Fran4ever) June 19, 2014
Best Kit: Colombia Home
James Rodríguez and Colombia lit-up the 2014 World Cup, playing some of the tournaments most attractive football.
Their yellow and blue jerseys were almost as aesthetically-pleasing as their play, and with such a huge following, Colombia literally brought sea of yellow to every game they played in Brazil.