Historical Football Kits

 

FIFA World Cup

Russia 2018

world cup 2018 posterIn December 2010 Russia and Qatar were chosen by the FIFA Executive Committee to host the 2018 and 2022 competitions to the fury of the FA and the football federations of Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal who had spent tens of millions to put together their own bids. Almost immediately allegations surfaced of corruption and vote trading.

In 2015 FIFA President Sepp Blatter, with typical total lack of self-awareness, revealed that an agreement was in place even before the vote was taken to ensure that Russia would get the 2018 World Cup and the United States the 2022 competition. "Everything was good until the moment when Sarkozy (the French President) came in a meeting with the crown prince of Qatar...and at a lunch afterwards with Mr Platini (then President of UEFA) he said it would be good to go to Qatar," Blatter told the Russian news agency TASS.

Meanwhile FIFA was engulfed as two decades of global corruption, vote rigging, racketeering and bribery involving convoluted financial deals and briefcases full of cash came home to roost. Swiss police arrested a number of senior FIFA officials while the FBI announced criminal charges against 18 people and two corporations. Under considerable pressure from FIFA's sponsors, Blatter finally "resigned" in June 2015 three days after winning a fifth term as president but announced he would stay in office until a replacement could be chosen the following February. In October Blatter was suspended from his position and two months later he was formally ejected and banned from taking part in any FIFA activity for eight years (later reduced to six).

Russia's bid came under scrutiny while further concerns arose due to racist chanting at Russian football grounds, perceived official discrimination against the LGBT community and state sponsored doping of athletes. Nevertheless, Blatters' successor, Gianni Infantino, confirmed in April 2016 that the tournament would go ahead as planned.

Absent from the finals were the Netherlands and Italy who, having made heavy weather of their qualifying groups, failed to negotiate the play-offs. Also missing were the reigning CONCACEF champions United States and the Africa Cup of Nations winners, Cameroon.

All but one of the venues was in European Russia but even so spanned four time zones. Travelling supporters faced some intimidating challenges. The journey from Kaliningrad to Yekatarinburg, for example, takes 3½ hours on a direct flight.

Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H | Knock Out Stages

| 2014 Tournament | World Cup Index |

Group A

russian flagRussia

russia 2018 world cup kit

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Designer: Adidas

There is a strong retro influence in Adidas' kits for this World Cup and the Russian Federation have, not for the first time, looked to the Soviet era for inspiration, combining predominantly red shirts and socks with white shorts. The alternative is in the colours of the Russian flag, a design that crops up regularly as first or second choice. The shirt features a random grid pattern.

 

saudi arabiaSaudi Arabia

saudi arabia 2018 1st kit

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Designer: Nike

Aside from a rather elegant collar, the Saudi strips are as simple as they come.

 

egyptEgypt

egypt 2018 world cup kit

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egypts 2018 change kit

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Designer: Adidas

Egypt last appeared in the World Cup finals in 1990. They usually wear their national colours of red, white and black. On this occasion, their Adidas shirts are embossed with a checkered pattern. The simple change strip is Adidas' latest version of their Condivo design.

 

uruguayUruguay

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Designer: Puma

There are no surprises with Puma's new design for the UAF. Traditional sky blue is teamed with black shorts and socks with no unecessary trim. The raglan sleeves extend over the V neck collar and the graphic in the centre of the shirt is inspired by the Sol de Atlántida monument in tribute to the painter, Carlos Páez Vilaró. The change strip is all white with a splash of colour at the collar. In fact every one of Puma's change strips for their national team partners is white this year.

(Leo Howard)

 

Group B

portugalPortugal

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Designer: Nike

Portugal are sticking with the matching deep red shirts and shorts worn with green socks that they wore two years ago when they won the Euros. The strips are updated to Nike's latest iteration of their Vapor template, which features a subtle texture effect on the sleeves and shoulders. The all-white alternative provides an excellent contrast and has tiny green crosses on the front which get larger towards the middle of the chest.

(Change kit details to be confirmed.)

 

SpainSpain

spain 2018 world cup

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Designer: Adidas

The latest Spanish outfit takes the 1994 shirt as inspiration and matches this with mid blue shorts and black socks, a very welcome return to tradition. As usual, the Spanish Football Federation has asked Adidas' designers to use their imaginations to come up with an unconventional change strip. The result is a shirt in very pale blue-grey ("Halo Blue") set off with bright orange applications. There is a subtle geometric pattern woven into the shirt fabric into the bargain.

(Jack Henderson)

 

MoroccoMorocco

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Designer: Adidas

 

IranIran

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Designer:

 

Group C

FranceFrance

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Designer: Nike

Based on Nike's new Aeroswift design, the French have a new first strip that marks a welcome return to the familiar blue, white and red look. The alternative is distinguished by small red and blue flecks on the shirt.

 

AustraliaAustralia

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Designer: Nike

The Socceroos have "refreshed" their appearance by going for an all-gold first strip with an attractive graphic in dark green on the raglan sleeves. Dark green provides the required degree of contrast for the alternative which is enlivened with lime green and cyan flashes on the body and lime green aplications.

 

PeruPeru

peru 2018 woeld cup

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Designer: Umbro

It's great to see Umbro represented in the World Cup finals once again even if the FA has yet to see the light. This is the Cheshire company's last design for the Peruvian Football Federation and it's a cracker. The traditional sash is enhanced with gold edging which is also used to pick out the trimmings on the shoulders and shorts. The colours are reversed to good effect for the change strip.

(Jay Moreno)

 

DenmarkDenmark

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Designer: Hummel

 

Group D

ArgentinaArgentina

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Designer: Adidas

The new Argentina first strip is modelled on what they wore for the 1993 Copa America, the last time the team won a major honour. The sky blue stripes are adorned with a blocky chevron graphic, just to remind everyone that this is 2018. The change shirt is black with a graphic in light blue and white on the shirt.

(Jack Henderson)

 

IcelandIceland

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Designer: Errea

Iceland have proved that their successful appearance in the Euros was no fluke by qualifying for the world's premier tournament, and they did so in style, finishing top of their qualifying group. This is the first time that Errea's brand has apeared in the finals and as you might expect, they have risen to the occasion with a novel design inspired by Iceland's national colours.

 

CroatiaCroatia

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Designer: Nike

Croatia's unique checked shirts have been given a new twist with much larger squares than we are used to seeing. The design is mirrored in the navy and black version but the bright red socks look out of place on this set.

 

NigeriaNigeria

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Designer: Nike

The new Nigerian first shirt is inspired by their 1995 outfit which was also designed by Nike. The alternative is dark green with minimal light green applications.

(Jesper Krogshede Sørensen)

 

Group E

BrazilBrazil

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Designer: Nike

The shade of yellow used on the new Brazil first choice shirt is slightly brighter than previous versions but otherwise the strip stays firmly with tradition as does the alternative.

 

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

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Designer: Puma

Switzerland's latest red top comes with a complicated graphic that represent the topography of the Swiss Alps. The alternative has reversed colours, as usual, and is in Puma's new international template.

(Leo Howard)

 

Costa RicaCosta Rica

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Designer: New Balance

Launched under the strapline, "Declare your DNA," Costa Rica's red shirt has a subtle graphic that is supposed to represent the DNA molecule even though it is quite a different shape. Totally inexplicable.

 

SerbiaSerbia

serbia 2018 1st kit

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serbia 2018 2nd kit

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Designer: Puma

At the last moment the Serbian Football Federation dropped Umbro and are now kitted out by Puma. The budget range Liga design is used for the unimaginative first strip from which the usual blue secondary colour seems to have gone missing. The white second strip is rather better, featuring the Serbian national colours edged in gold down the front of the shirt.

 

Group F

GermanyGermany

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Designer: Adidas

Adidas have reinterpreted Germany's iconic 1990 top by replacing the black, red and gold flash with a subtle black and grey graphic made up of horizontal lines of different thicknesses. The change strip features the peculiar shade of blue-green that German teams wore in the 1990s and is officially known as EQT Green, which sounds more like a food additive to me. The shirt also has a subtle geometric graphic made up from fine lines, a design feature that appears on several of Adidas' designs this year.

(Jack Henderson)

 

MexicoMexico

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Designer: Adidas

Green shirts, white shorts and red socks are Mexico's usual combination but now in distinctively dark shades. This time round there is no spectacular graphic as the centre piece: instead we have understated graded panels on the side of the torso. The change shirt reminds me of the classic Hungary shirts worn when colours clashed in the 50s. Incidentally, Mexico wore burgundy red as first choice right up until the 1950s.

(Jack Henderson)

 

SwedenSweden

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Designer: Adidas

Sweden, who nudged Italy out of the finals in the play-offs, can be relied upon to wear unfussy, workmanlike outfits in their traditional yellow and blue.

 

South KoreaKorea Republic

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Designer: Nike

South Korea usually wear blue shorts but this time round black appears instead. The first choice strip is quite plain and is complemented by a more flamboyant change strip.

 

Group G

BelgiumBelgium

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Designer: Adidas

This is another of Adidas' designs that takes inspiration from an iconic strip from the past, in this case the 1984 shirt with Argyle graphic in the national colours. A nice touch is that the signature three-stripe trim is rendered here in a darker shade of red so as not to distract from the main motif. The change strip is yellow and black with trim in the national colours. This is the first time that the Red Devils have worn yellow as a main colour.

(Jack Henderson)

 

PanamaPanama

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Designer: New Balance

The Central American side are making their first appearance in the finals by virtue of a victory over Costa Rica in their final qualifier while the United States were defeated by Trinidad & Tobago and were eliiminated. They are known as Los Canaleros (The Canal Men) and La Marea Roja (The Red Tide). Their New Balance strips include an elaborate chevton pattern printed into the fabric and we anticipate that this will be a feature of Liverpool's strip next season.

(Raymundo Rivera)

 

TunisiaTunisia

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tunisia-2018-2nd

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Designer: Uhlsport

Although this is Tunisia's fifth appearance in the World Cup finals they have yet to progress beyond the group stage. This time round their kit is supplied by the German sportswear supplier, Uhlsport whose designs are generally straightforward but with a twist. On this occasion this consists of a subtle graphic down the sides of the shirt and shorts.

(Shorts/socks to be confirmed.)

 

EnglandEngland

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Designer: Nike

It is a great relief to see the back of the dreadful Vapor designs introduced two years ago, replaced with two far more appropriate and bespoke designs that give due respect to tradition. The traditional white/navy/white first strip has a touch of red trim at the V neck while the alternative re-creates an old favourite but with a subtly rendered St George's cross graphic on the front.

 

Group H

PolandPoland

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Designer: Nike

No-one would dream of interfering with Poland's traditional colours so there only a subtle graded graphic on the shirt to set it apart from previous versions.

 

SenegalSenegal

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Designer: Puma

This is Senegal's second appearance in the finals: they reached the quarter-finals in 2002. White is their usual first choice of colours, here trimmed in green and with a subtle graphic on the front of the shirt.

(Shirt graphic missing.)

(Leo Howard)

 

ColombiaColombia

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Designer: Adidas

Colombia now favour navy rather than mid-blue and after adopting unfamiliar white shorts for Brazil 2014, they are once again in more traditional colours. The graphic on the tops is yet another example of how Adidas have used the striped motif to good effect. In the 70s the Colombian team wore orange shirts with a sash in the national colours and this is apparently the inspiration for the trim on the second strip. This also features a striking graphic on the shirt.

(Jack Henderson)

 

JapanJapan

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Designer: Adidas

While Adidas' other clients have drawn on previous and iconic strips for inspiration, the Japanese Football Association wanted the designers to use traditional samurai armour as their starting point. I don't really get it but the result does look very good. The pale alternative is in light grey and white with a darker grey graphic on the front of the shirt.

(Jesper Krogshede Sørensen)