Since we can remember the realms of sports and fashion have lived harmoniously side by side, think fish and chips, tea and biscuits, Batman and Robin – you get the idea. Whether it be with the inception of the old school sneakerhead desperate to scratch their trainer itch, the evolution of athletic streetwear or in more recent years, the adaption of performance footwear, tracksuits and other sporty garms as high fashion collection staples. Now we aren’t here to tell you if three soles make a right or if trackies belong on the runway but we are here to tell you about these incredibly nice rugby sweatshirts made by the good people over at adidas.
It seems 2018 was, among many things, the year the rugby shirt finally got the attention it deserved with more and more brands beginning to throw their proverbial hat into the polo shirt/sweater hybrid arena. It’s no surprise either, with a whole load of versatile layering possibilities, colour blocked designs and sharp collar finishings on offer guaranteed to have even the biggest rugby cynic finding themselves suddenly 4 players deep in the scrum, paying £4 in weekly subs and turning out as a flanker 8am on the dot every Saturday morning. So move over tennis, out of the way football, jog on running as this latest stunner from adidas has got us craving three points on the pitch nearly as much as three stripes on the sleeves.
Dressed both in a vibrant array of navy and orange or a cool vintage yellow and grey ensemble, the rugby shirt features an intrinsically retro feel with a whole host of overlaid detailing and segmented athletic design. With a selection of ribbing to the cuffs and hem bringing an enhanced quality both to the fit and silhouette, the sweats feature a try-fecta (apologies in advance for that one) of embroidered adidas branding including a classic trefoil to the back, contrast ‘adidas’ panels and the usual striping placed to the collar and sleeves. Put that all together with two front welt pockets, an exaggerated four button placket and a 100% cotton French terry construction and there is no question about it, you’ve got yourself a winner.
So whether you could care less about rugby or not, if you care about looking good and feeling comfortable then this sweatshirt is the one for you. Get your hands on the adidas Originals Rugby Sweatshirt in both colourways in store or online here now.
Other than high octane singles matches, players breaking rackets and crowds causing them and the thousands of strawberries and cream sold to punters there’s one singular thing you can rely on. Style. From its rebirth in the open era, and even a selection of champions prior, there have been a plethora of notable style moments highlighted by the staple Wimbledon white wardrobe, so here are our top picks!
The father of the Alligator, René Lacoste was more than just a brand founder. An avid inventor (with a number of patents for inventions from fashion to golf to tennis) Lacoste was responsible for the initial creation of the polo shirt, revolutionising tennis forever. Winning Wimbledon in 1925 and 1928, he did it in his own preppy style as seen below, usually in his own stylish creations. As the Lacoste legacy lives on we still see René’s signature crocodile stamped on the brand with their staple style polos and sport influenced apparel.
A multi-time champion, the last British winner before Andy Murray’s ascension, creator of the laurel wreath and universally stylish individual. Fred Perry accomplished a lot in his time as a tennis pro and managed to surpass that legacy with the creation of the Fred Perry clothing brand. Seen below in his sweater vest and chinos, it’s a style that sees itself in the spotlight again and again. Introducing his initial creation, the Fred Perry Laurel Wreath polo in 1952 (the logo borrowed from Wimbledon) Fred Perry created a sporting legacy on top of his prior accomplishments and birthed a plethora of subcultural movements. Still outfitting sportsmen and women amongst others, their collections are still made to the stylish standard of their creator.
One of the original stars of adidas tennis and one of the initial adopters of a signature adidas shoe, Laver was no nonsense on the court reflecting in his clean-cut style. Draped in all white Fred Perry, it was the premium apparel that represented his premium game granting him one of the initial signature adidas tennis styles of the decade. With the introduction and reissue of more adidas tennis styles, most recently the Continental 80 amongst others, it won’t be long till more Rod Lavers.
Instantly recognisable in this modern day as the endorsee of adidas’s signature tennis style, Stan Smith carved a history as a winner and a stylish one at that with his signature slick back and stache. The adidas stan smith still retains dominance to this day and age with its collaborations, the most high profile being the Raf Simons collection that it has become a staple of. Don’t forget about his skate history either, revolutionary.
Making history is all the better when you look as good as Arthur Ashe. Becoming the first black grand slam champion in tennis history, Ashe decided to rile up compatriot Jimmy Connors with his Davis Cup issued USA jacket, one that Connors would have had if he’d accepted the invitation to represent his country in the country vs country tournament (and that he was labelled ‘unpatriotic’ for). Ashe’s style provided a benchmark for future designs from a number of American brands, namely the style of Polo Ralph Lauren who took lend of the sporting red, white and blue.
The Legendary Swede, a man who rattled off an undefeated 4 years at Wimbledon, rocking the best in pinstriped and checked polos by the way of Fila and becoming the king of track jackets too. He might be most famous style wise for his signature Diadora shoe, and his fashion line as Bjorn Borg, but his quintessentially 70s style is an inspiration for us all, and brands such as Aquascutum with their mix of sport and vintage style.
The man who knocked Bjorn Borg off his mount, and took his place as tennis’ style king. Mcenroe’s effortless style was on display through his full career, his minimal colour blocking via Sergio Tacchini offering a fitting uniform for his first championship. The segmented blocking finds itself commonplace with heralded brands nower days, especially favourites like AMI
Pete Sampras & Andre Agassi
Nike’s signature athletes and both Wimbledon champions across the 90s, the pairing of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi meant in the final of the 99 Wimbledon, showing the best in 90s style. Sampras decked in the classic white polo, lateral stripes included. Although he might have lost in this instance, Agassi takes the trophy for style with his earring and necklace combo, plus a lethal quarter zip polo. Agassi has had some moments in style with his signature Nikes and fake mullet and meth period, eclectic guy.
Skipping most of this century so far wasn’t hard, to be honest. Tennis style just isn’t the same anymore, or revolutionary. Nike, late to the game with tennis and adopters of the all whites in the 90s, took the model of the signature sporting athlete from their work with Michael Jordan, using the same model for their (till recently) deal with all-time great Roger Federer. To celebrate his record-equalling 7th Wimbledon title, Nike decked their flagship tennis star with a retro-inspired quarter zip jumper and attire, ushering in a retro-inspired phase for the swoosh.
Edging both Honduras & USA in a tense final CONCACAF qualification round should have afforded the plucky Panama team a prestigious kit to match their prestigious feet. What they got in return was New Balance’s best attempt at a Pro Evolution unlicensed kit missing any kind of tribute to Panama’s heritage that other teams were rewarded by their respected kit sponsors. If your 5-a-side team is in need of some new kits, pick these up on discount after the finals. No one will know the difference.
When a golden generation comes along there needs to be a kit to match the hype. Belguim got there’s this year with a classy design courtesy of adidas, even Errea did their best to bring a unique offering to Iceland team. This wasn’t the case with England in 2006. A timeless squad headlined by one name talents, Beckham, Owen, Gerrard, Lampard, Ferdinand, Terry, Rooney, Crouch amongst a literary of others were besieged with Umbro’s first attempt on Photoshop. Placing a manipulated St.George’s cross to the arm, it was more spice boys than Spice Girls.
Messing with established designs such as jerseys and kits never ends well. Just look to adidas’s recent fiasco with sleeved Basketball jerseys for a reference. Puma decided to go the other way in 2002, providing Cameroon with sleeveless jerseys for their Africa Cup of Nations. More fakers than Lakers, FIFA soon clamped down on their bending of the rules and forced the national body to fix the fiasco. Their solution, stick black sleeves to the jerseys for the upcoming World Cup, and by stick, we mean the sleeves looked literally glued on to the vests to hit regulation. Not deterred by their run-in with FIFA, Cameroons next kit was introduced as a onesie. We look forward to their next showing at a World Cup purely for the kit.
The 90s were a wild time for football kits. More than half of our listings for worst kit in World Cup history have come from this period of technicolour nightmares, and 5 of them from 1994 at that. Starting our 94 bashing is the Spanish national team’s pitiful attempt at an ‘edgy’ design, and by edgy we mean the diamond cascade that found itself located to a singular side of each garment in the kit (right-hand side for the top, left for the shorts). The weird kind of polo, sorta shirt served as an influence for Spains 2018 offering. To put it bluntly, it shouldn’t have.
Ever wondered if BDSM and Football could work together? Look no further than Belgium’s pitiful attire in the 1982 world cup with their incorporation of Admiral branded suspenders into the design of the kit. Awful.
5-Republic of Ireland 1994
Our second 94 kit to appear on the list is from the ever-plucky Irish team. Unfortunately known for their famine in the 1800s, adidas decided to replicate this moment in time by starving the fans of a decent kit to represent the country at the World Cup. Consisting of 3 stripes that barely make it to the end of the kit, Ireland’s chances faded quicker than the stripes on their shirt thanks to the brilliance of Dennis Bergkamp and the dutch.
4-Mexico 1994 Home, Away & Goalie
To some, this year of Mexican football was a golden year, and that’s just the outrageous on-field stylings displayed by the Mexican team from home and away jersey, even managing to incorporate a Joeseph and his technicolour dream kit homage for the goalie. The traditional kit stylings were thrown out the window, thanks to their unusual all over embossing on the home jersey (don’t ask, we don’t have a clue) and their recreation of a bicep muscle being torn apart on the away kit.
Looking like someone stapled a bunch of George Washingtons to a white t-shirt, it’s the usually interesting kit designs of Nigeria on the chopping block, their effort in 1994 being a particularly interesting spectacle, more than their football at that. The kit was so garish that they had to borrow the block coloured green shorts from their change kit so that they didn’t look like they’d stepped on the field with their pyjamas on, which would have been fitting as their football was lethargic at best.
When it’s your first World Cup as a nation you have to make a spectacle of it. Jamaica, who’s one and only appearance in the finals came in 98, made a spectacle for all the wrong reasons. Their kit, incorporating an unusual statement C-shaped pattern that echoed the aesthetics of a headache or a QR code looked like a rejected Norwich kit from the 90s. Somehow the pattern managed to hypnotize the Japanese into giving them a win in the group stages.
Not saying anything more than a nation that has been at the forefront of fashion and design for the best part of a decade for denim stars and stripes were a great idea. For shame, ‘Murica.
We present out 10 best football kits in World Cup history spanning 66-18, showcasing the most aesthetically pleasing designs that international football has ever seen.
10- France 2018
This year’s crop of kits has brought us a fresh offering on some established styles from Nike, adidas, Puma and New Balance amongst others. Taking a contemporary fashion slant to the always popular France national, Nike has updated their template for the tournament to include a simple henley button collar and a tonal gradient to the sleeves, plus a plethora of France specific embellishments to represent their heritage. Their breton stripe training kit is also worth applause for its quintessentially French display. We’re steps closer to an APC x FFA, we guarantee it.
9- Japan 2018
It’s only fitting that the forward-thinking fashion facilitators in the world are provided with one the most unique offerings of the current world cup. The nation that brought us Comme des Garçons and Edwin amongst others has developed an eye-catching kit consisting of a denim colour base and consistent spots flecked throughout the kit, inspired by traditional Japanese samurai warrior armour. Whilst other nations pay homage to their footballing heritage in the form of their kits, Japan is referencing their warriors of premodern Japan. On top of that, they’ve placed their traditional FA badge on the breast, with an embroidered flag above.
8- Netherlands 1974
Displaying a nice shade of oranje across their kits, the peak of Holland’s footballing capabilities also saw them peak in the kit department, decking the legendary Johan Cruyff and his men in a simple orange long sleeve with black accents. Presenting their coat of arms loud and proud, the details are sparse other than the 3 stripes of adidas seen on everyone but captain Cruyff, who famously shed his strip of one of the 3 stripes thanks to his then deal with fierce rivals Puma.
7- USA 2010
Although their showings at FIFA tournaments haven’t been up to scratch, the bold and brash stars and stripes have always provided us with competition in the form of their red, white and blue kits. Their away kit offering in 2010 finally placed them at the forefront of the football world for everything but their ‘soccer’ ability. Taking cues from Polo Ralph Lauren in their sporty yet preppy look, the kit displays a vibrant sash to the frontal area, a fitting design for the world leaders in pageantry.
6- Soviet Union 1966
2018’s hosts and its former collection of states made a splash in the 1966 World Cup. Refusing outright to wear the Umbro sponsored kits of the tournament, the CCCP took their first outing in their red kits at Roker Park to beat former world champions Italy 1-0. Aided by Ballon d’Or winning goalkeeper Lev ‘Black Spider’ Yashin, decked out in his token all black outfit, it was a stylish and ultimately entertaining affair.
5- Argentina 1986
Argentina may be associated with a lot more than just kits in this incredible year for football, but dodgy replacement quarter-final kits and goals aside, 1986 introduced the world to the quintessential light blue and white jersey donned by the legendary footballing bad boy Diego Maradona. Decking the humble cotton offering with the Argentine FAs emblem and clean crew neck, it was the simple yet effective kit that lent them a cool air whilst going all the way. Kurt Cobain had his Converse, Slash his top hat, Freddie Mercury his moustache, Diego Maradona had the best iteration of the Argentine kit of all time. Of. All. time.
4- Denmark 1986
Another favourite from 86 comes in the form of unusual contribution from Hummel and Denmark. Commonly known as the brand who ruin football kits for bad teams, it was a perfect design spark at the right time for a thriving Danish team aided by superstar Michael Laudrup. A red and white affair with contrasting pinstriped panels and chevrons down the sleeves, it was a statement of intent from a country looking to make waves with a generational bunch of talent. Although they may not have come close to winning, they won our hearts with this wholly unique style.
3- Peru 1978
2018 has seen kit designs ramped up with homages to past football heritage of all qualified teams. In the case of Peru, their current kits are a wild throwback to one of the most unique and cleanest displays in football fashion. One of the first countries to adopt the diagonal stripe to their kits, the 78 world cup saw the pinnacle of Peru’s national team journey displayed in its beauty all the way till it’s eventual quarter-final exit at the hands of Pele and Brazil. Still, one of the greats of all time made sure he was walking away with the red white displayed boldly on his chest, swapping shirts with Ramón Mifflin after the whistle had blown.
2- Nigeria 2018
It may be premature to dub Nigeria’s current offering as one of the greatest kits of all time, but we have a strong case we swear! The intersection of fashion and football was inevitable, but in the last decade we’ve seen high fashion brands adopt the sporting styles of the beautiful game to great effect, from Virgil to Gosha and all the way down to their reciprocal collaborations with Nike and adidas, we’ve seen football fashion become an accepted way to present yourself, adding a prestige. Combine all that with the hypebeast culture that dominates our fashion scene and you get the Nigeria kit, the first football top to sell out as soon as it was made available. It’s revolutionary.
1- Germany 1990
The grandaddy of them all, the shirt synonymous with efficiency, with 90s style, with winning, the swooping technicolour design from Germany’s very own adidas. It’s quintessential ownership for any retro football fan. Everything about its design is so ironically unique considering the contrast to its wearers, all modelled on one another. Can anything ever come close to it?
France / Atletico Kimberley 1978
The only club kit to ever be worn in World Cup history thanks to a mix up between French and Hungarian FAs, local club Argentine club Atletico Kimberley bailed the French out from a faux pas that left both teams taking the field in white. The clean green and white stripe contrasted beautifully with the blue and red lower bodies of the France team.
England Third Kit 1990
We had to acknowledge a classic that was never donned by the 3 lions, the best blue shirt in England history, boosted by it’s showing in the timeless anthem ‘World In Motion’. New Order guitarist and singer Bernard Sumner rocks the 3rd choice kit flanked by suitably excited bandmates and John Barnes post-rap.
Join us on our wild ride of the good, the bad and the extremely ugly moments across World Cup history including Russia 2018.
10- Cristiano Ronaldo ‘Tax Evasion Hatrick’
You couldn’t write it any better. Ronaldo, hit with a lofty £16.4 million tax bill and a two year suspended sentence from the Spanish government, single-handedly takes apart the 2010 champs with the first hatrick conceded in Spanish national team history. After a stonewall penalty and a mistake from one David De Gea, it took an 88th-minute free kick from everyone’s favourite bronzen man to complete the redemption, kickstarting the 2018 campaign with a bang. Although he did avoid paying tax, maybe just leave it next time, Spain.
9-Graham Poll 3 Yellow Cards
An illustrious career that saw Poll referee across every major facet in English football will now forever be remembered by some questionable decisions at the World Cup 2006. Poll, refereeing a routine group stage game between the powerhouses of Croatia and Australia, issued 3 yellow cards to Croatian defender Josep Simic, eventually sending the player marching after his 3rd showing. The usually stubborn ref accepted his blunder after the match, bringing a self-imposed retirement to his international representation. Nice one, Graham.
8- Harald Schumacher ‘Assault’ On Patrick Battiston
‘Kung-Fu Soccer’ might be familiar to most as a loveable piece of eccentric Asian cinema, but look no further than World Cup 1982 for life imitating art in the fierce competition between West Germany and France. Patrick Battiston, France’s impact sub for the finals, found himself clean through on goal via a typical Michel Platini pass. Rather than contest the eventual shot, West Germany keeper, Harald Schumacher, decided the best course of action was a full pelt shoulder charge to the attacker, rendering Battiston immobile with three broken ribs, cracked vertebrae and broken teeth. Adding insult to injury, with no substitutes to spare France were forced to carry on with 10 men, eventually being bested on penalties. Asked to comment on Battiston’s state after the game, Schumacher commented: “I will pay for the crowns.”
7-Pickles the Dog finds the Jules Rimmet Trophy
In a story straight out of the CBBC script archives, a plucky young dog by the name of Pickles discovered the then stolen World Cup trophy on the eve of the 1966 World Cup, ensuring that football was definitely coming home. After a security blunder that allowed the perpetrator/s to steal the trophy from its display in Westminister, and a botched ransom and negotiation, it was up to the keen senses of Pickles to find the discarded trophy near his owner’s flat in South London. Becoming some what of a minor celebrity in the aftermath, Pickles was awarded a medal by the National Canine Defence League, became a TV star and even appeared in a film with Eric Sykes called The Spy with a Cold Nose, going on to collect Dog of the Year, Italian Dog of the Year and rounding it all off with an appearance on Blue Peter.
6-Luis Suarez Bite on Chiellini
Not one to shy away from the spotlight, Luis Suarez returned as Uruguay’s defacto best player in the 2014 World Cup. Having denied a Ghana goal with a blatant handball in the previous World Cup, taking his team to the Semi-Finals for the first time since 1970 it was Suarez’s time to shine and leave his mark competition, which he did literally by seeking his teeth into Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. It was a bold move from the forward, unimpressed by the tough man marking deployed by the seemingly tasty Italians, feigning injury to his teeth post tackle and taking no penalty from the match official. Uruguay finished the match winning 1-0, but unfortunately, Suarez didn’t get away scot free, being slammed with a 4-month ban on all footballing activity, the most expensive snack of the forward’s career.
5-Escobar Own Goal for Colombia
The 2018 World Cup has seen its fair share of own goals so far, but none more costly in the history of the cup than Andreas Escobar’s fluke own goal against hosts the USA. Tipped as favourites by Pele himself going into the finals, the team that included such greats as Carlos Valderrama, Freddy Rincón, Alexis García and Faustino Asprilla faltered at the first hurdle due to the rapidly increasing pressure of their motherland, amplified by the unstable environment post the police killing of Pablo Escobar. The shooting, a wrong place wrong time situation for Andreas after he definitely rejected the advice of his family and friends to lay low, brought a nation to mourn. Somewhat ironically, Escobar had remarked that the World Cup could provide an end to the senseless violence Colombia had experienced thanks to Andreas’ drug kingpin namesake.
4-Roy Keane Leaves the Ireland Squad During the World Cup
The backstory isn’t essential in this story, if you are interested to know though, see Keane’s exit interview whilst on his way home below. See for yourself the transcript from Keane’s tirade at Mick McCarthy and make your own judgements.
“You’re a f****** w***** . I didn’t rate you as a player, I don’t rate you as a manager and I don’t rate you as a person. You’re a f****** w***** and you can stick your World Cup up your arse. I’ve got no respect for you. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country! You can stick it up your b*******.”
3-Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’
Maradonna, not one to ever be understated, took his place in history as one of the greatest to do it by having his way with the England team at the 1986 World Cup. Breaking the deadlock between the two with a seemingly unbelievable header, it was only with a review and the complaints of England keeper Peter Shilton, that it was shown to be a clear handball to gift the Argentines the lead. Unfortunately for England, no VAR to save the day in the 80s, meaning the goal would stand. Following up his blatant bending of the rules with a goal regarded as ‘The Goal of the Century” it was enough to send England out of the finals and Maradonna on a cocaine binge that lasted for best part of a decade.
2-Germany 7-1 Brasil
Has a game ever been so emotionally devastating for one side as this? Brazil, hosting their second finals after their efforts in 1950, had great hope and chance of retaining the trophy with a core of talent lead by poster boy Neymar. Going into the Semi-Finals against Germany missing captain Thiago Silva due to discipline issues and Neymar due to an injury, the hope was to somehow squeeze a result out of a transcendent Germany team, who definitely had other ideas.
Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari called it “the worst day of my life”
1- Zinedine Zidane Headbutt
Zidane, one of the words truly exceptional players and player of the tournament at the 2006 World Cups was going out with a bang regardless. Fresh from his final season with the galacticos of Madrid, Zizou had planned to say farewell by single-handedly dragging France to the finals of World Cup. Dispatching teammates across the tournament in Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Robinho on the way to the final game against Italy. Notching a goal in the final by the way of a classy panenka chipped penalty, it was the madness of extra time that brought our iconic memory of Zidane’s final game. Frustrated by a perceived slight from Italy defender Marco Materazzi, Zizou proceeded to plant the nut on the Italian to great success, walking himself off before he even received a decision from the referee, and the rest is history. Never one to compromise or sacrifice his beliefs, it’s the Zidane’s awareness that’s taken him from a great player to a legendary manager, reeling off 3 champions league titles in a row as manager of Real Madrid, before sacrificing himself as the only manager to quit during out spoken president Flroentino Perez’s regime as Real chairman. We could all be a little more Zizou.